Loyola University Maryland

Counseling Center

Flexibility Campaign: Introduction

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Which student sounds more like you?

Student A:
You just received poor midterm grades and you have 3 tests, 2 quizzes, and a paper due this week.  Throughout the day, you find yourself dwelling on thoughts like, “I’m stupid and everyone is better than me.  I’m going to fail and be a disappointment.”  You feel anxious and overwhelmed; your stress is making it hard to sleep and eat well.  Also, you’re having a hard time concentrating in class and you feel less motivated to study.  Netflix and social media seem to take up most of your time.  It feels too late to get help and you wonder, “What’s the point?”
 
Student B:
You just received poor midterm grades and you have 3 tests, 2 quizzes, and a paper due this week.  You feel anxious and disappointed wondering, “Am I smart enough to be here? What if I fail?”  You reach out to your friend who reminds you that everyone experiences ups and downs in college and encourages you to reach out to your professors.  At first, you fluctuate between distracted studying and watching Netflix.  Even though it feels awkward, you push yourself to go to office hours because succeeding academically is important to you.  Although you are still worried, you know that you are doing what you can to improve your situation.         

What is Flexibility?

Being in college can be stressful – it includes conflicting demands between college, relationships, family, and culture.  We are learning from recent research that flexibility is crucial in managing these challenges well and in leading to a deeper sense of satisfaction with lower stress.  Flexibility is the capacity to accept difficult emotions, look at situations from different perspectives, and to try new behaviors to tackle challenges.
 
This year, we are focusing our public health work on helping our community learn to be more flexible in thinking, feeling, and behaving. Our hope is that you will learn a variety of ways to think about and deal with challenging situations.  Even if you are not currently struggling with difficulties, it is a great idea to learn some of these techniques to live a more meaningful and enjoyable life.  Flexibility requires willingness to try out new ways of thinking, being, and behaving.  The Flexibility campaign is divided into three segments, click on a bubble below to go to each page: 
  

Flexibility in thinking 
The Thinking part of the campaign will introduce you to the concepts of Mindfulness and Willingness. You will be introduced to strategies to lessen the intensity and impact of difficult thoughts. 

Flexibility in Feelings
The Feeling stage will help you gain acceptance of a range of emotions.  It can be helpful to accept that you will experience a variety of emotions, while still living the life that you want.

Flexibility in Doing
The Doing stage of the campaign will present you with a variety of strategies to manage stressful situations.  In addition, you will learn communication techniques for hard conversations.  You will also be introduced to the difference between values and goals.  This will help you to live a more meaningful life.

Why Is Flexibility Important?

People who practice these three components of flexibility often report more meaningful relationships, increased self-compassion, and increased life satisfaction.   Although these individuals are not immune to stress, they tend to experience life’s challenges as less overwhelming.

What You Can Do:


• To start, select a quiz below to see how flexible you are!  We also have a range of quizzes to help you assess your stress and quality of life.
• Go through the website and read more about the various aspects of flexibility.
• Watch the videos to gain new perspective on these topics.
• Lead a discussion or event associated with the public health campaign. 

Questions for Reflection:

• What does flexibility mean to you? How do you see it benefiting your life?
• What makes you feel “stuck”? 
• How flexible are you when it comes to handling difficult situations?
• How do you handle stress and difficult feelings?
• What helps you stay “in the moment” rather than getting caught up in the past or future?
• What changes can you make in your life to be more flexible?

Flexibility Quizzes

Flexibility Quiz  Life Satisfaction Quiz

Mindfulness Quiz          Stress Quiz                 


How Flexible Are You?