One way to reduce stress is to apply
problem-solving skills to handle difficult situations when they arise. A
standard problem-solving process can be used that consists of the
Step One – Problem Identification
First you have to identify what is
causing difficulty. What is causing the problem?
Step Two – Problem Clarification
Be specific and complete. Is this the
real problem, or is there a more fundamental problem?
Step Three – Identification of Alternatives
What are your options for dealing with
the problem? List them on paper so you can see them. Try to list at least
five possible solutions. This will give you more chance of choosing the
best solution and give you some alternatives if your first choice
Step Four – Projected Consequences of Each
What are the probable outcomes of each
option? Ask yourself three questions:
- What is the best possible thing that could happen if
I choose this alternative?
- What is the worst possible thing that could happen?
- What is the most likely thing that will happen?
Step Five – Decision
Which option offers the best outcomes
and seems to be the most reasonable choice for a solution? Make a decision
based upon the alternatives you have.
Step Six – Action
Once you have decided on a solution to
the problem, you need to plan how to carry it out. Making a plan answers
the question, “What am I going to do about it?” A plan is a road map
to achieve a goal. There are long-range goals and short-range goals.
Long-range goals are achieved with short-range goals, one step at a time.
Step Seven – Follow Up
Carry out your plan and evaluate how