Human beings fall into many different categories. We’re problem solvers by nature, after all, we invented the wheel. And other things too, like the internet. But we still struggle with the problems in our own minds. Often, these can feel pretty damn unsolvable, but overthinking never helps.
In an effort to live a simpler, happier, and more positive life, you might want to push all your problems to the back of your mind and try to replace those negative feelings with positive ones. But psychologists have realized that every problem, no matter how complex it seems, actually boils down to one of the very few common problems everybody faces.
There’s actually a list of around 15 problems, and most likely, no matter how complex and individual you’d think your specific problems were, they actually all fit into one of these 15 categories. It’s quite an interesting principle and actually means that solving and overcoming things can be a lot easier than we thought. Even though 15 sounds like a lot, really, it boils down to about four common life problems, with different variations on them. Here are the four most common life problems and how to solve them. Ready to take life by the reigns?
I’ve been there. Back when I began my career, the only emailing I had to do was to request press samples and that was pretty easy considering I had a few connections already. But rising through my career meant that I needed to join the big leagues of emailing – securing new business and breaking into industries that are tightly packed.
Six months ago, I found this near on impossible, so I understand how hard it can get. But, now, I also know how to make it better. And this time it’s not using psychology to getting what you want, but using language instead.
YOU FEEL STRESSED
One in ten people in the UK alone says they are dealing with the stress of being ‘always on’. Psychologists believe that our digital life doesn’t help to alleviate stress, and in fact, having a phone around you 24/7 will not help you become a more zen person. No matter how many apps you download to help. You need to change your mindset first and break the habit of relying on fast internet, fast communication, and being available all the time.
How to fix it:
Your stress, no matter what the root cause, can be alleviated by making a few tweaks to your lifestyle. Wake up earlier and meditate. Read books that make you feel positive and inspired. Cut down on sugar and processed food. Do one thing a week that’s just for you. Get out and walk in the countryside. Take your friends, but don’t take your phones. If you’re committed to feeling relaxed, you can do it. Start small if the thought alone brings you anxiety, put your phone on airplane mode for two hours. Do something that doesn’t involve the internet or a phone.
YOU’RE NOT REACHING YOUR GOALS
So you’re not hitting targets at work. Or maybe you thought you’d have lost the weight/started the business/quit the job by now but you haven’t made any moves towards it. It can leave you feeling demotivated and ruin your self-confidence. But it doesn’t need to, a little blip on the road shouldn’t define you or your attitude to the goals you’ve set for yourself.
How to fix it:
Remember that goals are great, but unless you have a plan, they’re going to stay vague. In my life, I’ve set so many goals, but until I actually got a pen and paper and wrote down short-term goals and the end game, I never hit them. You can’t expect yourself to hit every single goal you set without a plan. I’d recommend using the Getting Stuff Done planner to get it together, to make an action plan for your goals and keep yourself on track every day.
When it comes to work goals, you might not be hitting them because of a lack of knowledge. So write down areas you can work on and start working on them. At least you can say, you’re not hitting your goal but you are actively working towards it. That’s so much better than doing nothing.
A RELATIONSHIP ENDED
Whether it’s a friendship, a family relationship, or something more romantic, the breakdown of a relationship is never easy. It can make us feel a little useless, a little sad and weepy, and it can tar other relationships going forward. But you can solve it, even if you can’t fix it.
How to fix it:
Remember that relationships break down all the time, friendships fade away, arguments and fallouts happen. If you want to fix it, you should try to go above and beyond, listen to the other person and get their point of view, make your feelings known in a sensitive way and if there’s no way to repair that relationship, you need to move on. The world is a huge place and it’s full of interesting people, even if it doesn’t feel like it is. Hold your head high and make a pact with yourself to meet at least three new people every week.
YOU’RE WORRIED ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK
This one is quite broad. It can apply to many things, for example maybe you received negative feedback that ruined your day. Maybe you are afraid to meet new people or throw yourself into an experience because you’re scared of what people will think. Maybe you’re even (like me) planning a big event and worrying about how people who weren’t invited will take it.
How to fix it:
This is going to sound harsh, but you need to stop giving a f-. Just like that famous book says, it’s all about realizing your mental energy is better elsewhere. People should know you don’t mean any harm by the things you do, and if they don’t give a f- too, they won’t be wasting time thinking about it either. If people judge you, that’s up to them. Everyone judges everyone. It’s human nature, so just be you and do what you want to do, be happy and enjoy every moment of it.
Likewise, if you’ve had negative feedback that has knocked your confidence, you need to develop a thicker skin and realize that’s one opinion, one piece of criticism, and the more you take the better you get at what you’re doing. No matter how it was packaged, if it was harsh, or soft and caring, it’s the same message. Take it into your head, not your heart, and come back stronger and better.
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Featured photo: jeannedamas