Every one faces problems on a daily basis. Some people are good at solving them without taking too much stress. However, there are some people who have difficulty coping with their problems effectively and this kind of inability undermines their self esteem, affects their mood and also interferes with their professional and personal lives. Therefore, it is important to cope with problems in a way that it helps and empowers you. Obviously problems do not go away by themselves unless you take some drastic steps to overcome them. The trouble is people tend to dismiss problem solving. If you learn to effectively use the following steps of problem solving, you will see how functional your life will become and you can save yourself from excessive worries, anxiety, and depression. When you take the right action, your problems go away and you will be able to relax and feel relieved. It is important to take actions so that you can move on with your life goals otherwise, unresolved problems will continue to make you feel incompetent, worthless, and anxious.
1. Identify the Problem and be specific
When you are boggled with problems, sometimes it is hard to specify what exactly is bothering you but you feel a generalized and global worry about things, in general. It is very important to pin point the source of your worry and anxiety. For example, your house is a clutter and you do not have time to clean and tidy up. You come home from work and feel that you cannot relax. You know that clutter is something you cannot stand and you want to clean it up but you lack the energy because it appears too overwhelming a job to you. You also feel that you do not have time to spend on professional reading that you require for your profession. That is when you need to name your problem so that you can come up with possible solutions. This is the most important stage in the problem solving strategy. If your problems are not identified, you will be in a state of confusion and will not know how to address them. You first need to define what you mean by clutter. For example, lots of toys, piles of clothes, heap of things sitting on the counter, and no room to clean. So start by giving a name to your problem. Think about what irritates you the most and where the trouble spots are. Do not be frightened due to the load of problem you are facing. Think positive and trust your intuition and you will be able to go the next step.
2. Brainstorm Possible Solutions
Write down a brief description of the problem you want to solve then list the possible solutions to the problem. Try to do this without judging and evaluating your ideas. Just do free association and list all the ideas that you think of, on a piece of paper. Do not censor the solutions even if the solution sounds silly. Allow your mind to think open mindedly but always with the problem in mind. To reduce the clutter, you may think of buying fewer things or making a storage space in the house where you can put things away.
3. Take Action Steps
From your list of solutions, select the one that is more preferred to you. Try it out and see what the outcomes are. You might want to discuss it with a person you trust. Reject those solutions which have a cost for you and do not appear feasible. For example, you may have listed an option which could cost a lot of money and you cannot afford it. You can park it for later on when you know there will be extra money, a bonus at the end of the year, or salary increase. To reduce the clutter, you may want to get rid of things that you have not used in years but they are sitting in your house collecting dust. Once you have selected your preferred solution, try it out and take the necessary steps.
4. Evaluate the Outcome
It is possible that the preferred solution will produce the desired result then you need to persist and continue to apply it till your problem is reduced. However, if it is not effective, you may want to choose another option from the list of brainstorming solutions, which is likely to produce desired result. So evaluation of the solution is very crucial. You can be the best judge of what works for you and what does not. You have the luxury to try other options as supplement to your preferred option too. Sometimes it is the combination of options work together to reduce your problem.
5. Persist Until You Feel Better
Sometimes we give up too soon and do not allow the solutions to actually work. The key to success is persistence and perseverance. On the flip side, it is also possible that you may be on the right track, but there is still room for more work to reduce the problem. You may be able to relieve some of your tension with the help of solutions that work for you but there could be an area where you need to work more and think of possible solutions. Try to explore what are these solutions and persist.
The process of evaluation and persistence is ongoing until the problem is solved. You may have solved a big portion of the problem but not hundred percent. Try to identify problems again and apply the step 1 again to see what can be done about these new problems. Try to generate solutions to solve these new problems.
6. Reward Yourself
We sometimes do not give credit to us even when we deserve it. If you have been able to solve your problems with your solutions, it is important to reinforce your problem solving skills by rewarding yourself with something you enjoy. It could be a movie you have been thinking of watching, visit to a museum or whatever pleases you. By rewarding yourself, you will be able to reinforce your behavior and next time you come across a problem, you will not feel so dejected. You will get the energy and confidence to tackle it again without feeling stressed out and drained. It is a behavioral technique which is instrumental in building close connection with your behavior and your ability to solve problems. Once you gain the confidence, you will eliminate the unnecessary worries associated with the task of problem solving.
Depressed and anxious people, tend to get so overwhelmed by their problems that they begin to isolate and withdraw. They lose their sleep over their problems and become angry and irritable. Once you get the satisfaction of applying your problem solving skills, it helps you feel better about yourself, your self esteem is enhanced and you develop more self confidence. You also learn to become a rational problem solver, using your wise mind versus making decisions from irrational set of beliefs and thoughts. Successful people tend have a habit of being rational problem solvers as they learn to master their problems with the help of rational problem solving approach.
Hypnosis can also help the person do rational problem solving. Please visit our Blossom Hypnotherapy page to learn how hypnosis can help reduce symptoms of Anxiety disorders.