Stress and Creative Problem Solving

Chronic stress can make one feel like a slave to one’s emotions, often promoting a sense of immobilization. Sadly, this only tends to produce more stress, resulting in a downward spiral of negativity. There is an answer to stress that is very empowering. It’s called “creative problem solving” one of THE best coping techniques and it can turn any bad day into a sunny one. One thing that seems to separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom is our ability to employ our sense of creativity (e.g., the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, Hoover Damn, penisilin). Perhaps nowhere is creativity needed more than in times of crises. The creative process isn’t JUST for right-brained, artistic people. Creativity combines the powers of the right (imagination) AND left (organization) brains. Coming up with several solutions to a problem and selecting the best one is very empowering; even more so when the solution yields positive results. For some great books on the creative process, check out Roger von Oech’s A Whack on the Side of the Head and A Kick in the Seat of the Pants; two excellent resources (and fun to read) about the creative process. Many people claim not to be creative, but the truth is that we all have the ability to be creative; Necessity is, after all the mother of invention. We could easily say that stress is the mother of invention, as well.

• Stress Tip for the Day:
Consider some problem or issue you have and try to think of five different ways to solve it. How would a 6-year old see your problem? How would a person from Russia or Kenya describe your problem? How would an aliens describe it, or would they even see it as a problem? Come up with five possible (realistic) solutions and then pick the best one and try it out. What have you got to lose?

• Link Worth Noting:
Talk about effective (and creative) problem solving…Imaging fighting the corporate system, like United Airlines, and coming out on top! It was creativity (and the help of youtube) that made this happen. This video went viral and within a few days United Airlines admitted guilt and now wants to compensate this guy for his guitar. It should be noted that they also wish to use this video in their in-service trainings for baggage handlers on HOW NOT to handle baggage. Score one for David, nothing for Goliath!

• Photo of the Day:
You cannot get more creative than mother nature, and one place to see the creative process in action is on the big Island of Hawaii, where the volcano, Kilauea is creating new land mass before your very eyes. The best time to see this is around sunset and perhaps even better once its dark. This photo was taken a few years ago, but I hear that the volcano is VERY active these days.

• Quote for the Day:
“Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.”
— Picasso

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Brian Luke Seaward

Author Brian Luke Seaward

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