Share this pen


A Guide To Breaking Away From 'Stiff Thinking'


June 06, 2021

It's easy to fall into negative thoughts. It is so easy you may not realize the psychological consequences on our mental health. For one, it's great to give your negative thoughts a name before we get into how to cope with them. This rigidity in thought is called stiff thinking.

It is possible to shift your negative perspectives into a healthier reality. It calls for cognitive flexibility, a thought process using flexible thinking and set-shifting. If you are flexible, you can think of problems in new ways, and when you shift your usual coping mechanisms, you can let go of toxic thoughts and solve or look at things in new ways.

Using practices and techniques to ground yourself, you gain control of thoughts that threaten to eat away at your mental health. It's time to stop feeling unconfident, regain your compromised immune system, digestion and skin. Therefore, scroll below to break away from stiff thinking.

Put Hands In Water

If you feel your thoughts running away from you, ground yourself in the now. Grab a bowl of water or fill your sink with your preferred temperature. Immerse your hands in the water and draw your focus on the feel of the temperature. 

Pay attention to how the feeling travels and sits on your fingertips, palms, and the backs of your hands. If you can, play around with the temperature of the water. Focus on the changing feelings on each part of your hand. Immerse yourself in the differences of feeling from temperature to temperature.

Breathe Deeply

Another great grounding practice is to take time to be present with your breath. Feel every inhale and exhale. Think in and out with each breath you take. Gradually take deeper breaths and note how each breath fills your lungs and how it feels to push it all out. 

Bend Rules 

Get flexible by not sticking to routines. This is an excellent way to set shit. Stiff thinkers enjoy the rules and like to remind others and themselves of them. Escape this prison by bending the rules when needed. If you retain a strict focus on how things must go and not how they can flow, you make it hard on your mental health. 


You are your first line of defense. Talking to yourself is a fantastic way to work yourself out of a problem. As mentioned before, take a few breaths, state the problem out loud, and work through at least three solutions. When you see things clearly, choose one solution. Over time, you will put aside constant frustrations because you'll cope better with sudden changes.

Tweak Routines

Like rules, being overly dependent on routines is a surefire way to remain stiff. Of course, patterns help us organize our lives, but if you stay a stickler, you're not going to take change well.

This does not mean putting aside your responsibilities. Only make small changes to your usual routine to remind yourself it's okay to approach things differently. Think of having a calming tea before bed or a bath before dinner if you didn't do so before.

Employ Curiosity

Disarm toxic thoughts by asking the right questions. This way, you might realize the idea quickly disappears just as it formed. Remember to remain open at all times. This flexibility will challenge your negative thoughts and dig deeper into your mind. As a result, you will lay bare the tall stories you tell yourself and replace them with healthier truths.

Choose Yourself


As much as we try, there isn't much we can control in life and, that's okay. However, we can influence any situation by how we respond to it. Make an effort to put compassion and forgiveness on a pedestal. Naturally, it's easy to fall into negative thinking, so when you decide to make room in your consideration for an alternative view, you've immediately turned away from falling into the norm.

Commit To Change

The best way to take charge of your thinking patterns is to commit to making decisions about yourself from a place of love and radical self-acceptance. The change and improvement that comes with this will allow you to take full responsibility for thought health. The future you want is within reach. Also, it's the best way to get to know yourself deeply.