Problems solved: Challenges to solve

We all have happy childhood memories of finding animal shapes and colours along park benches, pathways, pavements, plants and buildings. However, as an adult we are often frustrated with our lack of control over…

Problems solved: Challenges to solve

We all have happy childhood memories of finding animal shapes and colours along park benches, pathways, pavements, plants and buildings. However, as an adult we are often frustrated with our lack of control over situations and surroundings in which we are unable to make a difference. Many of us spend hours driving with our eyes fixed on stationary traffic or movement in our own vehicles, rather than out on our own bikes. While having the ability to slow down or move away when we see a traffic hazard is desirable, the fact that we cannot always impact on the outcome in an ‘acceptable’ way has frustrated many people in the pursuit of happiness.

Whether we want to be someone who is very good at first-aid or someone who’s fantastic at diagnosing when we’re about to go over the limit, we all have skills that we’d like to use if we could summon them. At this stage, however, we have to ask ourselves whether we’re willing to put our full focus on unleashing our personal ‘comfort’ producer when the situation calls for the opposite. This is an in-depth discussion about what are called ‘comfort’ creators and how they work. They allow us to control the outcome where we wish to do so, and do not require that we ‘think’ or consciously ‘do’ things.

Whether we want to be someone who is very good at first-aid or someone who’s fantastic at diagnosing when we’re about to go over the limit, we all have skills that we’d like to use if we could summon them. At this stage, however, we have to ask ourselves whether we’re willing to put our full focus on unleashing our personal ‘comfort’ producer when the situation calls for the opposite. This is an in-depth discussion about what are called ‘comfort’ creators and how they work. They allow us to control the outcome where we wish to do so, and do not require that we ‘think’ or consciously ‘do’ things. It is clear that relaxing people when they feel stressed, or giving them breathing room when they’re getting excited, is all well and good – but what can you do for yourself when you need to focus on one thing or another? How can you take initiative, regardless of whether the conditions in which you’re doing so are appropriate?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you might be interested in our new study on Comfort Creators. All participants were 65 or older and they were each given a specific task to do one afternoon over a three-month period. They were instructed to use a ‘comfort producer’ – their own ‘right brain’ – whenever they wished to alter the outcome of a situation in which they didn’t feel in control. For instance, they could focus their attention, on their natural creative right brain, on a picture of a puppy holding a sock, or they could focus their focus, on their natural problem-solving ‘left brain’, on a movie playing in the background.

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