Positive Problem Solving

I’m having a ton of fun blogging my detox course in mini instalments because I’d actually forgotten many of the exercises that I used to teach! This is one of the exercises; once I’ve edited it for you I’m going to work through a minor on-going issue myself. It only takes about ten to fifteen minutes and is a refreshingly easy way to turn a problem on its head. Have you got ten minutes now? Have you got a pen and piece of paper? Do you have an irritating, festering, embarrassing or headache-inducing issue that you need to deal with that’s causing inertia, unwanted drama or sleepless nights? Good!! Lets get going…

  1. On a piece of paper write down one small but niggling aspect of your health or life that you don’t like and wish to change. Just one please, lets keep it simple!
  2. Now write down what you gain from having being in this predicament. This part often got a blank look from my detox group attendees, but when pushed they could usually find an answer. Dig deep! There is nearly always a flip-side to things you don’t like in your life, you just have to find it and acknowledge it. If it’s a habit or behaviour you want to change there is likely to be a reason why you initiated it and why you continue to do it. If it’s a situation you feel stuck in, what do you gain from not getting out of it? (Don’t worry if you are really struggling with this one. I’ve provided some examples below)
  3. Next I need you to forget about your answer to question 1; it’s no longer relevant to the purpose of this exercise! Instead I would like you to look closely at your answer to number 2. What scenario would you prefer? What vision of yourself is more inspiring to you? Is there a more satisfying way to achieve this?
  4. Now write down as many solutions as you can think of to achieve your answer to number 3. The more you can really focus on what you want (rather than what you don’t want) the better results you are likely to achieve. Try and compile a list of at least 5 things that will help you to accomplish what you want. Now it’s time to actually get on with them!

Here are some examples based on actual issues we worked out in Flojo’s Easy Detox group sessions:

  1. Every time a big project deadline or presentation comes up at work I get so stressed and nervous that I am unable to do my best work.
  2. When I’m stressed and nervous I get extra sympathy and praise; and a great excuse for my work not being perfect.
  3. I’d rather I got loads of praise for the amazing content of my work rather than my ability to get by even when I’m a bundle of nerves.
  4. a) I will start planning my project in good time and will actually ask for help when I need it. b) I will have a few early nights rather than pacing around worrying. c) I will drink water rather than getting strung out on coffee. d)  I will stop winding the situation up by telling everyone how stressed I am. e) I will use PAT: “I am organised, original and optimistic!”
  1. I really need to stop eating so much junk food.
  2. I actually enjoy eating junk food.
  3. I’d rather enjoy preparing and eating healthy food.
  4. a) I will look for some really inspirational healthy recipes and actually make them. b) I will use PAT because I know that it stops me eating rubbish: “Even though I want to eat a huge bar of chocolate I’d rather look gorgeous!” c) If I want to enjoy eating healthy food I need to stop filling up on junk first. d) Next time I am hungry I will stop and ask myself what food it is that I really want to eat. e) I will use Flojo’s Easy Detox recipes and plans to make sure that I’ve always got something tasty and healthy to eat in the house ready for when I want it.
  1. I’m always too tired to go out in the evenings.
  2. If I don’t go out in the evenings I don’t have to conquer my shyness or feel ignored all night.
  3. I’d rather be the centre of attention for all the right reasons.
  4. a) I will do some motivational PAT: “I’m slim, sexy and stunning!” b) I will take dance lessons so that I can socialise without even needing to talk to anyone. c) I will sign up for an image consultation so that I’m more confident about how I look. d) I already look and feel more vibrant from doing this course – perhaps I’m more ready to go start going out than I realise. e) I will book just one night out right now and build on that.

See how you get on with this exercise. It can be daunting to tackle a big problem, so just try a small one; once you’ve got that one sorted you can take on something bigger. If you are still finding it difficult you could try asking a friend to help you. Either way practising makes this exercise become easier and easier so please don’t give up on your first attempt. If the answers don’t come easily try re-phrasing the issue. Or break it down into a more manageable question. The main point is to stop looking at the negative side of the problem and instead find a self-image or scenario that shows you already being healthy and happy. It’s much easier to find ways to achieve what you want than to avoid what you don’t want.

Ok. I’ve inspired myself – whoopee! I’m going to work my current predicament out for y’all here…

  1. I seem to have a never-ending and highly compelling set of excuses not to go for a run.  I’m booked in for a Wolf Run in three months for which I’m woefully behind in my training schedule.
  2. Curling up alone on the sofa with a book and a cup of coffee rather than heading on out requires precisely zero effort and makes me feel cosy and safe. I am a natural introvert. I closely identify with my cat who sleeps most hours of the day and doesn’t really like anyone unless they can scratch her back in juussst the right place.
  3. I am actually more inspired by people who are driven to have outdoor adventures than people who hide at home. Picturing myself effortlessly running through the woods with a tan and muddy trainers brings a smile to my face quicker than picturing myself propped up on cushions flicking listlessly between book and smartphone. I guess that, similarly, I prefer to see our cat stalking, rolling around in the grass and running round the garden like a crazy thing more than watching her doze with her tail idly flicking if anyone tries to approach.
  4. OK. Deep breath… to achieve no.3… a) Timetable in three varying runs a week that keep me in nature and away from people thus acknowledging both part 2. and part 3.  b) Frequently visualising myself running happily and effortlessly will, over time, strengthen my resolve much as in this exercise.  c) I need to get new trainers stat. d) TAP: “Even though I am feeling lazy, going for a run will energise me!” e) PAT: “I am healthy, happy and full of joy!”

See ya later my lovelies, I’m off for a run! xxx

Related Posts:

Positive Affirmation Technique

Thought Adjusting Process

Taking a Deep Breath

A Change of Plan


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