Updated: Mar 31
***Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not provide medical, legal, or health advice and is not a substitute for mental health services
No matter what problem you are facing, you might feel overwhelmed and it can be hard to know where to even begin. See the tips below for some ideas that might help you tackle the issue in a systematic, straightforward, and objective way.
Figure out the problem you are trying to solve
Take a moment to think long and hard about the issue at hand. What is the specific problem that you are dealing with? Consider all of the factors involved in the problem and break it down in terms of the scope, severity, and extent it is affecting you on a personal level.
The clearer you are about your exact problem, the easier it will be to figure out how you might want to handle it.
Think of all the possible ways you can solve the problem
This is your brainstorming phase, where you think of all of the possible options that might help you solve your problem. It’s important to get creative here and not rule out any options yet. Try to keep an open mind right as this may help you sort out what ideas could be a good fit to address the issue at hand.
It’s ok to ask the opinions of others if they are also dealing with this problem along with you in case they have helpful ideas or strategies to share as well.
Narrow down your options and choose one solution for how you could solve the problem
Determining which solution is best may be a very challenging phase, as you are trying to figure out which option may be the most successful and realistic method of addressing the problem. Try to choose an option that you think could work best. Feel free to include important others if they are trying to manage the problem with you to see if you can decide on a solution together.
Remember - there is no hard and fast rule here and you don’t have to stick with this option permanently - just try the one you think could work best for now.
Evaluate the solution to the problem
Monitor the impact of the solution. Is it helping? Does the problem seem less frequent, intense, or severe? How do you feel? Are you less stressed, anxious, depressed, etc.? Check in with yourself to see if the problem has less of an effect on you or if you notice it isn’t bothering you as much in your daily life.
If you feel more peaceful and at ease, then your solution may be working well. If not, then maybe you can take a step back and see whether you need to change direction.
In the case where you and your partner or family member share the challenge of dealing with the problem together, you can ask them whether they also feel this solution is working well.
Try a different solution if needed
Lastly, if you feel the problem is continuing and you or your loved ones who are also affected don’t see much improvement, then it may make sense to consider testing out another solution. Perhaps a new strategy might be more effective.
Go back to your brainstorming list and see which option might be beneficial for your second time around. Again, pay attention to how you feel and what is happening around you.
If there is a positive change from your perspective and those of your loved ones who may be involved, then your strategy might be working out just fine. If not, keep going through your list of alternatives, try them out, evaluate, be mindful of the outcome, and change gears when you need to.
Wishing you well on your mental health journey.
Davina Tiwari MSW, RSW, CSFT
Registered Social Worker and Certified Solution Focused Therapist
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