Have you ever wondered why the weight of your problems seems to be overwhelming? Have you ever stayed up at night unable to hear “what if?” thoughts out of your head? This is what worry can feel like, an all-encompassing dark cloud. It does not allow you to think logically and find reasonable solutions to your problems.
But worrying is completely normal, especially in today’s society. Today you may feel that no matter how hard you try, you can never be perfect. Fortunately, by following the proper steps, you can turn all your worry into a tool to become a better problem solver.
Why do people worry?
Worry is often seen as a problem, a negative trait. Although it can get out of control, worrying is as positive or negative as you allow it to be.
Anxiety researchers They describe the worrying process as a sequence of repetitive thoughts, mental images, and emotions that have uncertain results.
Throughout history, concern has been defined in both adverse and favorable terms. Lately, the trend has shifted towards positive connotations. It is often associated less and less with anxiety and more with a motivational trigger. For instance, psychologists The study of climate has described worry as an emotional state that leads to behavioral responses to reduce a threat. One to study found that concern about climate change was the main catalyst for generating support for climate policies.
While worrying about the weather may not be correlated with your daily life, the underlying worrying mechanisms remain the same. That fact is true whether we are talking about wildfires or your life problems. Also, the concern links to academic performance and more attempts to quit smoking; the positive effects of worry are fairly straightforward.
The worry is focused on the future, not allowing you to be a good problem solver in the present.
Therefore, it is true that overthinking can cause feelings of anxiety. On the other hand, you can use a moderate level to your advantage, right now! So how exactly do you handle the levels of your worry?
Most psychologists recommend creating a “worry list” and a “worry period.”
Take 20-30 minutes a day to think about what your concerns are. Write them down and go over the list. Finally, consider ways to deal with your problems. Dr. Colleen Carney, Associate Professor at Ryerson University, has even created a “Constructive concern worksheet” with clear instructions on how to turn your concerns positive.
You can keep worry at a moderate level and use it as a tool. But how exactly can you use this tool to become a better troubleshooter?
What are the attributes of good problem solvers?
Problem solvers, especially effective ones, are not just the average person who deals with the problems they face. Problem solvers develop a skill and a mechanism when it comes to tackling a problem and finding a solution.
To solve problems effectively, research suggests that you should be able to analyze situations and use critical thinking. It is an integral part of the process to identify and define problems and opportunities, generate different courses of action, evaluate risks and select the most viable option based on this analysis.
Probably the most critical appearance Problem solving is the ability to be self-critical and never settle for the first solution you come across. This is where the concept of worry comes in handy. So what are the main ways you can use worry to your advantage?
3 ways worrying makes us better problem solvers
When you release your worries, it becomes less challenging to solve problems.
1. Worrying is the best way to identify what your problems are
Sometimes people are not even aware of all the problems they are facing. You tend to focus on what you think is the most pressing problem and may lose sight of all the other things that could be improved. Of course, important questions like “how can I advance in my career” are the things that you logically gravitate towards the solution, but if you listen to what your subconscious tells us, we might find that there could be something even more urgent.
As mentioned earlier, worry is a sequence of repetitive thoughts. Logically, we want to believe that our most important problems are those that society tells us to worry about the most, such as work, family, money, appearance; but sometimes that is not the case. Sometimes the image that we can’t get out of our heads is an image about how we should have helped someone in need when we had the opportunity or how we should have tried that hobby that we have always longed to try. Namely. Our biggest problems are those that we are most passionate about, not those that we mistakenly believe should concern us the most.
Plus, it may be the best warning sign we have. Feeling suddenly worried about a specific appliance, for example, can be a way for your brain to warn you that something is wrong that you may not have consciously noticed. studies suggest.
Put worries to work while solving problems
By caring and following a plan like the Constructive Worry Worksheet, you will effectively identify the problems that need to be solved, and then you can begin to form a coherent plan of action regarding that problem. Whereas, if you had never identified the problems, you would not have a starting point. In fact, you would still be stuck trying to solve problems that are of minor importance to you.
So next time you worry about your car breaking down, take it to a shop! Simply because you care so much about that problem, taking steps to resolve it will make you happier. Not only that, but you will never stop doing check-ups on your car if you listen to your concerns.
2. You can use challenges to become a better problem solver
When faced with many problems, humans tend to begin to feel that they have no incentive to even try to juggle all their responsibilities.
“What good is it to fix this little problem when I feel buried under a dozen other problems that I can’t handle?”
By focusing on worries, you can fuel your desire to start acting again. research state.
Worry triggers the need to protect yourself from uncertain results. So it encourages you and shows you the reasons why you should take the right action and adopt a problem-oriented mindset. If you don’t care about certain things in life, you probably don’t care about the possible adverse results they could have. Therefore, you would not have the right incentive to be proactive, even if dealing with problems is often difficult.
Here is an example of every day that you will recognize.
Why sacrifice precious time in the day to clean your coffee maker and fail you tomorrow? And this hypothetical situation doesn’t even have lasting consequences in your life. But if you don’t worry about losing your job, you are likely to lose motivation and start to perform poorly.
Worry does not let you laze. By never leaving your thoughts, the repetitive images you have when you worry will make you a better problem solver by constantly reminding you why you are struggling to solve your problems rather than hiding them under the rug.
3. Worry sets you up for the worst possible outcome.
It doesn’t sound nice. Why would you prepare for the worst? In fact, you should be more positive and think that the worst could never happen!
Of course, a positive attitude sounds great. But the truth is, a good problem solver can’t afford not to think of all possible outcomes. And yes, that means that even the worst are likely. Remember, an integral part of the Problem resolution it is the ability to analyze all possible outcomes, never settling on the first course of action, and always being self-critical.
Worry makes you think about a particular problem long enough to allow you to go through all the possible scenarios in your head. Worry itself doesn’t have to be a negative experience when looking at the worst possible outcomes. In fact, worry often accompanies other negative feelings, perhaps fear, perhaps disappointment, perhaps different feelings. And yes, this may seem like a burden, but it has long-term benefits.
Remember how worry connects to the best academic performance?
This result is because the people who care the most are already mentally prepared for even the worst possible outcome. Research shows that if you are fearful before an adverse event, you are less likely to respond to it even with an overwhelming outburst of negative emotion. So while worry may cause you to feel certain negative emotions, it sets you up for the worst. Plus, it allows you to spread that negative emotion sustainably rather than experiencing a blind pass of negative emotion all at once.
It also allows you to plan for all possible outcomes.
The fact that you can protect yourself from feeling many negative emotions at once allows you to maintain logic and composure. Hence, you keep yourself in a better frame of mind. You will be able to find a solution to the problem you are facing. If he hadn’t been prepared for the worst, chances are that being hit by the worst would have made him collapse mentally. Of course, that would prevent you from solving your problems quickly and efficiently.
Let’s say you’re worried about your meeting with the boss on Monday. Emphasizing this meeting means that you have already considered a backup plan in your mind or are at least mentally prepared to move on and find something better. And if the boss wants to offer you a promotion, all that fear will make the achievement taste that much sweeter.
Final thoughts on how worrying makes you a better problem solver
It’s perfectly normal not to know how handle your worry. Don’t stay in a place where you repeat the same thoughts over and over. But, if you ever feel like your problems are overwhelming, you can try to worry a little. Worrying helps you focus and choose only the most pressing issues in the group. So it keeps you motivated and mentally prepares you for the worst. This excitement allows you to plan any scenario.
The next time you’re feeling a little worried about that project at work, remember that worry can help you tackle that project in no time.