how to be positive http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/15677/all en-US 15 Ways to Solve Your Problem http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-solve-your-problem <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-ways-to-solve-your-problem" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4991286872_36536ddd6c_z.jpg" alt="woman on a walk" title="woman on a walk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all have problems. Whether it&rsquo;s something that&rsquo;s been dumped on you at work, something at home, or something else entirely, life rarely goes 100% according to plan. No matter how large or challenging the problem, there&rsquo;s nearly always a solution of some sort. All you have to do is find it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/got-a-problem-why-you-should-figure-it-out-yourself">Got a Problem? Why You SHould Figure It Out Yourself</a>)</p> <h3>1. Speak Positively</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s easy to think about saying positive things about yourself, but it can be much harder to execute. And yet, thinking positively about yourself will make it more likely that you&rsquo;ll be able to solve a hard problem. Make a list of things you&rsquo;re good at or things you like about yourself. Then put them in the present tense, starting with &quot;I am &hellip;&quot; You&rsquo;ll end up with a list of statements like, &quot;I am happy,&quot; &quot;I am successful,&quot; and &quot;I am creative.&quot; Post the list where you can see it, and read through it at least once a day. If you&rsquo;re comfortable, read it out loud. Hearing your own voice say these things will be even more powerful.</p> <h3>2. Remember Past Successes</h3> <p>When you&rsquo;re struggling to find a solution, it&rsquo;s easy to think about all the times you&rsquo;ve tried and things haven&rsquo;t gone the way you wanted them to go. Instead, deliberately ponder your successes. No matter how small the success, think it through. Think about what made the success happen, and think about how you can recreate those things in your current situation.</p> <h3>3. Learn From Past Failures</h3> <p>If you can&rsquo;t get your mind off your past failures, use them instead. Examine each one carefully. Take some time to turn it over and over in your mind. Determine what caused you to fail. Is it something you can improve? In that case, come up with a plan to avoid that this time. Was it something out of your control? Then let it go, knowing that you can&rsquo;t control everything. Then, turn back to your problem and see if you can&rsquo;t find a solution now.</p> <h3>4. Wear Clothes That Make You Feel Attractive and Comfortable</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s so much easier to think creatively when you feel good about yourself. That means not only knowing that you look good, but not having anything to distract you. So, even if those stilettos make your legs look amazing, avoid them if you&rsquo;ll be in pain all day.</p> <h3>5. Take Some Time Away</h3> <p>If you pursue a solution and it really won&rsquo;t come, then maybe you&rsquo;re burning out on this problem. While it&rsquo;s great to get away for a day or two, a simple walk around the block or even down the hall can help you feel refreshed. Time away from a project also gives you perspective, so you can see things from multiple points of view when you go back.</p> <h3>6. Get Moving</h3> <p>When your brain focuses on one thing for too long, it starts to think in the same patterns over and over. Change your brain&rsquo;s focus by moving your body. In addition, you&rsquo;ll charge your system with endorphins, which make you feel good and will also help you think about the problem more creatively.</p> <h3>7. Wonder and Wander</h3> <p>Another way to help your brain get out of a rut is to let it wander for a while. Many times, you&rsquo;ll find yourself making connections between things that didn&rsquo;t seem connected before, and you may end up with a creative solution to your problem or at least a new pathway for inquiry. If this is hard for you, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newISS_01.htm">create a mind map</a>, so you can see all of the ways that different ideas might connect.</p> <h3>8. Go Outside</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re pondering and pondering a problem from the same point of view, get up and move outside. Going outside not only changes your perspective, but it also charges your system with D vitamins. Finally, getting outside may give you enough of a perspective change that you&rsquo;ll find new patterns for your mind, which may generate new solutions.</p> <h3>9. Watch Other People</h3> <p>If nothing is working, take some time to watch how other people work. If there&rsquo;s someone in particular who solves problems well, ask them how they do it. While some people are just wired that way, others have taken the time to learn techniques that could benefit you, too.</p> <h3>10. Ask Questions</h3> <p>Asking questions about the problem in front of you not only makes sure you have all the relevant information, but may generate an idea that becomes your solution. Sometimes, other people have a piece of data that they don&rsquo;t realize pertains to your problem. When you ask them questions, those tidbits can come out and you can utilize them.</p> <h3>11. Make a List</h3> <p>When you feel like you&rsquo;ve tried everything and nothing has worked, begin to write down your ideas&nbsp;&mdash; the ones you&rsquo;ve tried, the ones that seem crazy, and the ones that seem like they&rsquo;d take an act of God to accomplish. Writing can help your brain make new connections and seeing an idea on paper might help you see that it&rsquo;s not impossible after all.</p> <h3>12. Breathe Deep</h3> <p>Take 5-10 minutes to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/super-solid-yoga-tricks-to-help-you-relax">focus on your breathing</a>. Feel each breath come in and go out. Lay all other thoughts aside. An answer may come to you while you&rsquo;re breathing or it may not, but no matter what, your mind will be in a better place to come up with a solution when you&rsquo;re done.</p> <h3>13. Take a Blast From the Past</h3> <p>Even if no one has had your specific problem before, people have probably had similar problems. Do some research to find out how people solved these similar problems in the past. While you may not be able to utilize the exact same solution, just knowing that they solved the problem will help you calm down to find a solution of your own.</p> <h3>14. Think Differently</h3> <p>This has come up throughout this article, but it gets its own point because it&rsquo;s so important. Do whatever you have to do to get your brain out of the rut that it&rsquo;s in. Do jumping jacks. Call someone you haven&rsquo;t spoken to in years. Go someplace new for dinner. All of these things can trigger a new connection in your brain, and it just might be the one you&rsquo;re looking for.</p> <h3>15. Remember the Alamo</h3> <p>To some people, the Alamo was a huge failure. However, the men there dug deep, dug in, and held on until the very end. While they didn&rsquo;t get to see the solution to their problem, they inspired people in their own time and across time into the present. Remember that finding a solution to your problem, while important, is only the small picture. In a big picture world, what looks like failure could be more of a success in the long run.</p> <p><em>How do you solve those impossible problems? What has worked for you?</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-solve-your-problem">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-lower-your-blood-sugar">13 Natural and Easy Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-scientists-say-you-should-be-committing-the-7-deadly-sins">Why Scientists Say You Should Be Committing the 7 Deadly Sins</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-diy-dog-toys-you-can-make-for-pennies">10 DIY Dog Toys You Can Make for Pennies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-things-car-salesmen-dont-want-you-to-know">17 Things Car Salesmen Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks failure how to be positive problem solving Tue, 26 Feb 2013 11:00:36 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 967888 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Be a More Positive Person http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-a-more-positive-person <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-be-a-more-positive-person" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2385522475_477770f1f4_z.jpg" alt="happy man" title="happy man" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="179" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I come from a family of borne curmudgeons. When the wind kicked up, my dad would proclaim it had been brought in to ruin his carefully coifed side part. My mom often tempers good news with something like, &ldquo;Well, it&rsquo;s better than a kick in the head.&rdquo;</p> <p>How&rsquo;s that for positive?</p> <p>As you might imagine, I am, by my very nature, prone to pessimism. The old glass isn&rsquo;t just half empty, it&rsquo;s probably too cold, or not cold enough...or maybe I never asked for water in the first place, and it just figures that I ended up getting served it in a joint like this. So, anyway...I always sort of imagined that being a positive person was for people who wear flowers in their hair and eat organic food and think the world is a beautiful, nurturing place just bursting with possibility. Meanwhile, I can&rsquo;t help getting stuck on depressing stuff like politics and tsunamis and the birds that poop on my car the minute I&rsquo;ve washed it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-things-to-be-happy-about">Big List of Things to Be Happy&nbsp;About</a>)</p> <p>Then I started going to yoga a lot, mostly because I was feeling very uptight about the fact that I couldn&rsquo;t bend more than a couple of degrees in any direction. Yoga people are tremendously positive (suspiciously so). They&rsquo;re always smiling, and gushing and talking about how good it feels to &ldquo;just breathe.&rdquo; But while I was trying to get my breaths to conform to something along the lines of &ldquo;ocean sounds,&rdquo; I heard something else &mdash; a constant barrage of internal bellyaching running the gamut from cursing the downward dog to worrying about the weather to wondering whether my yoga pants were feeling tighter today than they were yesterday.</p> <p>I didn&rsquo;t like it. It was annoying. Worst of all, I didn&rsquo;t like the fact that I didn&rsquo;t seem to have much control over the thoughts. But after many months of working my body into ever-tighter contortions, it finally occurred to me &mdash; it was<em> my</em> brain, and it could bloody well do what <em>I</em> told it to. Nowadays I&rsquo;d say I&rsquo;m more of a recovering killjoy. Here are some things I learned along the way.</p> <h3>Fake It &lsquo;Til You Make It</h3> <p>I once watched a dog trainer on TV lift a timid dog&rsquo;s tail from between its legs as it walked down a crowded street. Minutes later, that scuttling, quivering little dog was walking tall, head &mdash; and tail &mdash; held high. By assuming a positive posture, his mind got the hang of it, too.</p> <p>I hate to say it, but our inner workings (or at least mine) aren&rsquo;t that much more complex. If I&rsquo;m stuck in traffic and just feeling furious about the fact that the guy in front of me has been driving with his <i>signal light on for about 10 minutes</i>, there are two options: melt down, or assume the teeniest, tiniest smile. Just the very corners of your mouth will do. No one even has to know you&rsquo;re doing it. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it works like a charm.</p> <h3>Understand That What You Nurture Is What Grows</h3> <p>There&rsquo;s an old Cherokee legend about an internal struggle that is characterized as two wolves. One represents negative thoughts such as anger, self-pity, resentment, and greed; the other represents positive qualities, such as hope, serenity, empathy, and faith. According to the legend, you get to decide which wolf wins &mdash; it&rsquo;s the one you feed. Let&rsquo;s just say I put one very over-fed wolf on a strict diet.</p> <h3>Realize That Anything&rsquo;s Possible</h3> <p>Think way back to what you thought your life would be like when you were, say, 10 years old. Chances are it&rsquo;s nothing like that image, right? Now before you start slipping into a depression about lost dreams and missed opportunities, think of it this way &mdash; life is full of curveballs. That doesn&rsquo;t mean every unexpected twist will put you one step closer to your dream life, but simple logic dictates that some of life&rsquo;s surprises will be good.</p> <h3>Become Proactive</h3> <p>You can think of life in two ways: something that happens to you or something that you have the power to shape. OK, so things do happen regardless, but thinking they are happening <i>to</i> you is a one-way street to being a total wet blanket. Instead, recognize that a lot of what happens is out of your control; what you can control is how you react.</p> <h3>Be Grateful</h3> <p>Everyone has some things and not others. So we all tend to overlook what we have and wish we had the awesome life that other guy has. The irony is, the other guy is probably thinking the same thing about you. Rather than sniffing around for that greener grass, just relax and enjoy life on your own lawn. It&rsquo;s a lot easier that way.</p> <h3>Don&rsquo;t Go Off the Deep End</h3> <p>Here&rsquo;s where (I think) things get a little complicated; veer too far toward optimism, and you land smack dab in the middle of totally unrealistic. And frankly, that&rsquo;s not a good place to be. Because while cultivating some good vibes will probably help you live a better, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-happy">happier life</a>, too much contentment can breed complacency. A healthy desire to make things better is what drives us to do bigger and better things. I&rsquo;m not wearing flowers in my hair yet, but I&rsquo;d say there&rsquo;s nothing negative about that.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-a-more-positive-person">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/good-luck-bad-luck-who-can-tell">Good Luck, Bad Luck: Who Can Tell?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-maintain-motivation-when-the-going-gets-tough">9 Ways to Maintain Motivation When the Going Gets Tough</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-unbelievable-visualization-board-success-stories">3 Unbelievable Visualization Board Success Stories</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-have-a-better-day-at-work">7 Ways to Have a Better Day at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-have-a-better-day">4 Ways to Have a Better Day</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development how to be positive how to stay positive positive attitude positive thinking Tue, 03 Apr 2012 10:00:11 +0000 Tara Struyk 915080 at http://www.wisebread.com