How to Be a Better Problem Solver

We humans are constantly solving problems—whether it’s what to fix for dinner or how to find a better job. And the better we are at it, the easier our lives are.

Problems are simply choices which require making decisions. There are things we can do to enhance our ability to solve problems we are confronted with every day.

Neuroscientists have proven that when we focus on a problem we are actually feeding “negativity” which activates negative emotions in the brain. These emotions block potential solutions. Staying calm helps us acknowledge the problem and then shift our focus to a solution-oriented mindset. At this point, we can focus on what the answer should be, instead of on what went wrong or who is to blame.

When we face a problem with a mind that is open to all possible solutions, we boost our creative thinking, which can trigger potential solutions. Remember, no idea is a bad idea; it’s often the far out idea that becomes the actual viable solution.

Rather than being scary, a problem is often just feedback on a situation. A problem tells us that something is not currently working and we need to find a new way around it. Approach problems neutrally, without being judgmental and you are more likely to come up with more potential solutions.

Try changing the direction of your thoughts by thinking laterally, looking at things in a new way. Maybe flip your objective around and look for a solution that is the polar opposite.

Think using language that creates possibility. Think of phrases such as “what if” and “imagine if.” This will open up your brain to think creatively and encourage solutions. Avoid closed, negative language such as “I don’t think” or “This is not right but.”

Avoid the tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be. Try simplifying a problem by generalizing it. Remove all the detail and go back to the basics. Look for a really easy, obvious solution; you might find it!

Optiminds has earned a reputation for helping people of all ages improve cognitive skills. Our customized brain fitness programs take brain performance, including critical thinking and problem-solving skills, to new levels by strengthening nerve cells and improving cognitive power and concentration. Learn more about us by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or by visiting us at:


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