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  • Writer's pictureRashidi Kabamba

Cognitive Inflexibility/Rigidity

"Progress is impossible without change; and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything." - George Bernard Shaw

Things change, stuff happens, and you must adapt or die. You cannot progress and achieve your goals without overcoming the adversity which arises from going on that journey. As we stated in the last blog we spoke about cognitive flexibility and the ability to mentally shift and your mind being like clay which changes and forms itself based on the scenario which arises. Now let's go into the definition of cognitive inflexibility or some call it rigidity.

According to cognifit, "cognitive rigidity is the consequence of a lack of mental flexibility. It could be defined as the inability to change one's behaviour or beliefs when they are ineffective in order to reach your objective." Now cognitive rigidity or inflexibility is actually important to understand because it's essentially a mental block and your mind becomes frozen from finding alternative strategies or solutions. If you have cognitive rigidity it can affect many areas of your daily life since in life you go through many stressors on a consistent basis and have to problem solve them, but some stressors are bigger than others. Therefore if you're in a mental block, you cannot figure out solutions to get out of your specific situation. There are so many outcomes that happen when you have cognitive rigidity which can be listed below.

  • Actively resists any form of change

  • Attempt to control all situations

  • Resistance to following the lead of others

  • Repetitive self-stimulation

  • Insistence on following strict, ritualistic routines

  • Difficulty moving on from strong negative feelings

These are all outcomes which occur when your mind is cognitively rigid and obstructed. The only way outside of this way of thinking is if you heal the obstruction so that you are able to think more flexibly and then feel more at ease. Here are some tactics to be able to feel more cognitively flexible.


  • Explicity Explain

  • Use a calendar

  • Create a change board

  • Encourage flexible thinking with games

  • Make Up New Rules for Games

  • Matching Games with different matching rules

  • Trying to do different everyday tasks

  • Brainstorm together

  • Reassure their safety

  • Praise them for someone for showing flexibility

  • Spread Love

All these are ways in order to be more cognitively flexible, so that you are able to actually get rid of cognitive rigidity. With that being said, I hope you enjoyed my blog and utilise these tactics in order to be more cognitively flexible in your own life. With that being said, have a great day, peace!! :)

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