Inspired to Change

Top Tips to Live a Solution Focused Life



What does living a solution focused life mean?

Here at Inspired to Change “solution focused” is the way we do things. It’s the model of therapy we choose to use and it’s the way we encourage the whole Inspired to Change team and our clients to navigate life.

But what does living a solution focused life mean?

Solution focused means that we actively encourage our brains to view the inevitable difficulties in life as challenges to find solutions to, to take actions to move us forward, rather than getting stuck in the difficulties.

It’s not about ignoring the difficulties. It’s about helping our brain to make a proper assessment of them and find helpful solutions to navigate them.

And it’s not as tricky as it might sound! Here are our top tips for living a solution focused life.

Please remember, if you are feeling overwhelmed or stuck you might need some help from a solution focused therapist like one of the team from Inspired to Change before you find yourself able to use tips like these.

Our free initial consultation is a great place to start.

1. Look for the positives

At Inspired to Change we ask all our clients to make a note every day of something that has been good. Not only does this create a shift in our brain chemistry and light up certain, more helpful, areas of our brain, it also results in our brain actively finding more and more positives in our days. Looking for the positives also creates a more realistic balanced view of life for our brain, helping to balance out all that negative thinking we have a tendency to do.

2. Turn it in to a challenge

When our brain see’s a difficult situation in front of us it often goes straight in to defensive, protective mode. Our brain struggles to understand our modern day lives so often mistakes a difficult work meeting, a tough financial situation or a difficult conversation as a more primitive danger to us (think hungry lions, or scary polar bears). When our brain see’s something as a threat its much more likely to trigger our primitive survival responses of anxiety, anger or depression. Helping our brain to see a situation as a challenge rather than a threat (unless of course, you really are being chased by a hungry lion!) activates the solution finding part of our brain which encourages to take actions to resolve the situation.

3. Ask a curious question

Asking a curious question fires up that part of our brain that loves to solve problems and find solutions.This is especially helpful if it’s something we might be worrying about. When we worry about things the voice in our head tends to provide a clear statement “I’ll never be good enough to do that” If that happens try turning it in to curious question “I wonder what I could do to get better at that?”. Or “this is going to be so difficult” could be “I wonder how I could make this easier?” As soon as we ask ourselves (or others) a curious question about a positive outcome our brain can’t help but try and find an answer!

4. Practice gratitude for the small things

Look for the small things in life that make every day special. Spring flowers, a message from a friend, a funny You Tube video, a cuddle with your pets… It’s easy to take the small things for granted as we buzz through our busy days so when we take the time to stop and be grateful for these things it gives us a real boost (literally! Gratitude floods our brains with a cocktail of positive neurotransmitters) without needing to do anything different. It’s lovely to have the special day’s out, the big meet up with friends, or the once in a life time holidays. But we don’t have to create them to feel good, the small things are just as important.

5. As yourself “Will that make me feel good?”

Take a moment to stop and ask yourself questions like, ‘Will that make me feel good?’ or ‘Do I really want that?’ when it comes to decision making. This pause for calm reflection helps to ensure that the action we are taking is a proactive towards our preferred future, rather than being reactive or making decisions based on what other people want us to do.

6. Make up your mind 100% in advance

When we make up our mind 100% in advance about a particular decision or actions it’s much easier for our brain to make the right choice in the moment. When we’ve made it clear in advance what outcomes we want we’re not giving our brain the opportunity to have the “should I / shouldn’t I?” argument. Let’s take snacking as an example. Left to it’s own devises if we get hungry during the day our brain will lead us to eat the snack with the highest dopamine reward rather than the highest nutrition reward – which is why biscuits are so often the answer! If we’ve decide in advance that if we get hungry during the day our solution is to eat a healthy handful of nuts when we get hungry our brain already knows the answer. It’s not 100% foolproof of course, but it does gives us a better chance of making the right choices for ourselves and helps us avoid decision fatigue.

7. Write a list of your favourite people to spend time with

We are wired to be a social species so our connections with others are hugely important to our mental and emotional wellbeing. Write a list of the top five people in your life who fill your cup up. The people that inspire you, the ones that you feel good when you’re around them. And then make plans to spend time with them! Arrange to meet-up or speak on the phone and make sure they are in your life as much as possible. And don’t forget to tell them how awesome they are and let them know how much you appreciate them!

8. Do something different

Our brain loves it when we do different things! After all, that’s how we evolved! But we don’t have to find different things to do to tap in to our brains reward system! Looking at our regular day and encouraging our brain to find different ways to do our regular tasks keeps our brain on it’s toes looking for novel solutions.

9. Make life easier

Our brain loves to take the easy option – it does have a lot on it’s plate to be fair! However, our modern-day life often overcomplicates things and there is a culture of keeping your head down and pushing through challenges, or even an expectation that life is supposed to feel difficult. But what if we decided to make life easier. Whether it’s day to day life or life’s bigger challenges, what could we do differently that would help things to feel easier? For example, it might feel easier to go for a walk straight after the school run, or it might feel easier to make your lunch the night before, or it might feel easier to share the load with someone else … What could you do to make things feel a bit easier?

10. Ask for help

If you are feeling overwhelmed or stuck, get in touch with one of our Inspired To Change Hypnotherapists to find out how solution focused hypnotherapy can help you to reduce anxiety and overwhelm and take steps towards living a solution focused life. 

Inspired to Change Hypnotherapists are all recognised by the National Council for Hypnotherapy, the UK’s leading not-for-profit hypnotherapy professional association.

To find out how you can train as a solution focused hypnotherapist click here for our hypnotherapy school information.