Benefits of Thinking Without Barriers

Truth is, I’ll never know all there is to know about you just as you will never know all there is to know about me. Humans are by nature too complicated to be understood fully. So, we can choose either to approach our fellow human beings with suspicion or to approach them with an open mind, a dash of optimism and a great deal of candour. – Tom Hanks

Do you keep an open mind? Sometimes, it’s hard to keep yourself open to new ideas and new ways of thinking because it requires more effort, more energy, and just the right mindset that’s not always easy to cultivate. But you should give it a try – let’s explore the reasons why having an open mind can benefit you.

Improving your relationships

The first advantage of being open-minded is that it gives you the opportunity to enhance your relationships. Judgment, the opposite of open-mindedness, rarely contributes to solid bonds, as it involves often criticizing other people’s choices.

When we are closed off to new possibilities, we might dismiss people for something they are or things they do. We can also damage our existing relationships by not allowing people to be fully honest with us, for fear of judgment. Letting it go is something sure to benefit our relationships tremendously and allow us to make new connections with ease.

Reduce stress

A common source of stress comes from judgment we make towards others, because that also means we are more aware others might be judging us. When we invest a lot of energy into wondering if what others are doing is good or bad, proper or improper, it also means that we might feel more concerned about our own experience and how we are perceived.

Judgment leads to more stress. We might be outraged or anxious due to the judgment we make and stress about the new experiences that we are facing, as they do not fit with the molds we have in our mind. Opening these boundaries can free us from a lot of stress.

Improve our ability to manage change

Change is a constant of life. We can’t avoid it no matter how we try. It’s important to develop a good ability to manage change and adapt to new situations. Open-minded people have a significant advantage in this case.

Open-mindedness allows us to be more flexible and flow with the changes. It can make us more resilient even when things are going in a different direction from what we expected. We are better able to accept new ideas, improvements, and also find solutions to adapt to things that are not as great.

So, if open-mindedness has these benefits, how can we cultivate it? After all, some people might struggle more to develop it than others. Let’s take a look.

Find new ideas

The first way is to explore new ideas, situations, and beliefs. You don’t have to accept them, just try to see how other people defend them. Why does this person believe X and not Y? What do people on this side of the world tend to believe?

Try to learn more about things you are not as familiar with. Explore situations that are novel and challenge your established views. Read new books, watch new genres of movies, shows, and videos. You might find yourself still disagreeing but the mere exposure is sure to help your mind gain more flexibility.

Let people talk

Often, we participate in conversations to share our point of view. But a good idea to train open-mindedness is to let people talk more than you do. Allow yourself to listen and suspend judgment for a while. Ask those around you questions and let them answer without criticizing what they say.

Listening can enhance your communication and help you truly hear what people are saying and open new horizons for your view of the world.

Let yourself question

Open-mindedness is tied to a good sense of humor and a good ability not to take yourself too seriously. It can also be connected to doubt. Sure, there are ideas in your life that matter too much and that’s OK. But ask yourself where your beliefs come from and where they originated.

Why do you think a certain way? What do you truly know about a specific topic? Where did you learn this? Give yourself permission to view the world like a child does – as if you were seeing it for the first time ever.