1. Creative meditation
Next time you need to solve a problem or generate new ideas, turn to meditation. Try these quick and simple techniques to get your creative juices flowing:
- Imagine yourself in a relaxed setting; think about how it looks, feels, tastes, and sounds. Focus on your breathing and repeat calming words to induce peacefulness. Need help? Listen to a guided imagery recording.
- Open monitoring. Researchers in the Netherlands found if you let your thoughts wander for several minutes without focusing on any concept or object, you can enhance creative thinking and problem solving.
- Progressive muscle relaxation Tense each muscle group in your body, one at a time, and hold for five seconds, inhaling as you tighten and exhaling as you relax. When you’ve worked all your muscles, count backward from five to bring your focus back to the present.
As you work through a problem today, take a few moments to meditate and see where it leads.
2. Practicing optimism
Keeping your mood bright when people around you start complaining is a valuable skill. You can preserve your own sunny outlook and defuse a downward spiral by offering up a serving of optimism
- Show you care what they’re saying. Indicate you’re listening by nodding and offering a quick gesture of support such as, “That must be tough.” Sometimes a good venting session is enough to help them get it out and move on.
- Be gentle. Although you might not agree with what’s being said, resist the urge to be hostile or sarcastic — it may only create more problems. Respond to the naysayer gently, without shutting him down or saying that things aren’t that bad. Try changing the subject by asking, “What’s going well for you?”
- Keep them informed. No one likes to feel they’re the last person to know. Make sure everyone who needs to be included is
In your next encounter with a naysayer, what will you do to stay optimistic and positive?