When I think of problem solving there are a few ways to go about resolving, eliminating and reducing problems in our lives. There are two types in fact: fixing and healing.
Fixing seems to be a common approach at work and in our personal lives. I need to fix my family. I need to fix a customer service problem. I need to fix my relationship with my partner. I need to fix myself and on and on and on.
The underlying theme of fixing is action and an attempt to change something or someone that may not be ready to change or has yet to be moved in the direction of change. Often the outcome of this dynamic is STRESS.
When we constantly try to fix our problems we are ultimately living under conditions of stress induced environment. Do you know what happens to our bodies when we are stressed?
- our bodies have trouble digesting food causing stomach upset, bloating and the like
- we may easily be fatigued or have low energy
- we may be easily distracted and have a hard time focusing
- our emotions can be very scattered and reactive
- we may succumb to negative behaviours like binge eating, not eating or any other number of self-destructive behaviours
- we may eastablish intolerances to certain foods while in a sustained state of stress
- ultimately our body will have a harder time burning calories efficiently
Why does this happen you might ask? Because stress is a psychological trigger for the fight or flight response. I believe there is another way to see progress in areas of our lives that will induce a relaxation response that eliminates or significantly reduces the symptoms above.
Let’s call that approach: healing.
Healing implies that we slow down and observe what is happening around us and what might be the root cause of how we are feeling and what may be upsetting. It suggests we ask more questions. It allows us to reduce the self-induced state of stress in exchange for a more relaxed approach to life. For many who are used to fast paced, high stress environments this will be a practice to implement over time.
For instance you might initially believe that the issues with your partner were that they just cannot follow your instructions on how to complete a specific task. When a healing approach is applied in fact you may reconsider, reframe the context entirely. Perhaps the root cause of conflict is that we may not be trusting enough of our partner to give them the freedom to complete a task in their own way.
We add unessary stress by pushing, forcing our preferred methodology on others. When it’s the outcome we are actually after in the first place. Letting go of the how it gets done in favour of achieving the goal is one way to practice a healing approach vs. a fixing approach.
If you find yourself often using the language of fixing rather than healing, I invite you to slow down, take in this observation not just for the sake of your relationships and outlook on life but to create a long term state of relaxtion where your body has the optimal environment in which to digest food well, burn calories and ultimately optimize the fitness plan you have outlined.
Who doesn’t like double-duty solutions?