See how problem-solving stops worry
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Not many of us are taught formal problem-solving. That means people delay dealing with issues in their lives. Learn problem-solving skills to get your life in order. Problem-solving stops worry and spurs you to take action. In the long run you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle.
Are you in denial?
Taking an honest look at problems in your life is hard. It’s much easier to pretend everything’s fine. Or to hope that over time, problems will disappear.
Unfortunately being passive and avoiding issues doesn’t work. Problems that are left to fester simply get worse. Then they can lead to health, relationship, financial and work issues.
Or simply interfere with your enjoyment of life.
Don’t pretend any more
You can pretend you don’t have problems. But deep down, a niggle of worry eats away at you. And it never leaves you alone.
Do you want to cope with life’s stresses more effectively? Do you want have more order in your life?
Then it’s time to learn problem-solving skills.
Benefits of problem-solving
There are many benefits of problem-solving. Let’s look at the most important one first.
1 Problem-solving stops worry and starts action
As mentioned, many people worry continually about their problems. Their whole mental space is taken up by these thoughts. Somehow they think worrying is doing something useful. Sadly, this mistaken belief stops them from taking action.
Worrying isn’t taking action
Worrying is an activity carried out in your brain. Worry doesn’t help solve problems or take action. When you worry, all you do is tell yourself how terrible the situation is or will be.
But you go over and over the same ground. You’re stuck at the level of, “I don’t know what to do.”
Problem-solving solves problems
On the other hand, problem-solving leads to solutions.
To solve problems, you have to decide on a plan. And then you actually have to do something – that is, take effective action.
Worriers may eventually switch out of worry mode into problem-solving. However by that stage, the problem has probably got much worse. By then, the worrier is drained by so much emotional overload, they don’t take any action anyway.
Problem-solving stops worry
Problem-solving short-circuits the worry stage. It goes straight from seeing the problem to working out a plan, and then carrying it out.
Taking deliberate, timely and effective actions reduces worry. As soon as you take action, you feel more in control. Seeing progress makes you feel hopeful you can work things out. Now your imagination doesn’t have to work overtime imagining disasters.
Planning and taking action frees up your thoughts. You’ve got more mental energy to deal with life’s challenges. And more mental and physical energy to devote yourself to living a life worth living.
So that’s the enormous benefit of problem-solving.
What are some other positives about it?
Other benefits of problem-solving
2 You identify problems you have
Of course, that’s what you’re probably avoiding at all costs. Getting it down on paper seems too scary.
You’re worried you’ll get too overwhelmed by it all. But it’s often a relief to spell out the situation honestly. At least you know where you stand.
You can’t change anything if you don’t know the reality. And it may not be as bad as you think. There may even be solutions you haven’t thought of yet.
3 You deal with problems coming up
Knowing what’s around the corner gives you a chance to prepare. You can decide ahead of time what you want to do. The problem may not disappear, but it’ll be a lot better than if you ignore it.
4 You manage existing problems
If you focus on one area at a time, you won’t get too overwhelmed. You can review what you’ve tried already. Then brainstorm lots of ideas for each problem.
Finally, you can decide to try the option that seems best at the present time.
5 You know exact actions to take
Your plan is like a blueprint. You know where you are now, and you know the endpoint. All you have to do is fill in the smaller steps from here to there. Then you know exactly what needs to be done.
6 You find out what you don’t know
Now you know what needs to be done, you’ll see gaps in your knowledge or skills.
See this as useful information rather than a criticism. It’s giving you a chance to work out a mini-plan to learn those things. Or you can get them done by others.
7 You adapt your plan as needed
Not everything works out exactly as you think it will. Being able to adapt to changes is a great skill.
Every now and again, review how your plan is working. That way you can adapt it as needed. Then you can deal with any new issues that might come up.
The more you practise being flexible, the better you get.
8 You see the difference small steps make
Little changes can make an immediate difference to a situation. It’s surprising how effective small changes can be over time. Not only that, each small gain makes you feel a little more hopeful.
So take the first steps to start problem-solving. Stop worrying and take action to get your life in order.
Problem-solving sounds hard, but it’s an easy skill to learn. You’ll reap the benefits for the rest of your life. Find out first-hand that problem-solving stops worry.