Health + wellbeing

Awake at 3am? This advice from Gretel Killeen could help

- May 15, 2019 2 MIN READ

Being brave has become a catch cry on social media lately. But Gretel Killeen has come up with a pretty simple recipe for problem-solving success.

Anyone who’s ever laid awake in the early hours ruminating over life’s seemingly endless challenges, will also love this idea from Gretel Killeen.

The Australian writer and performer addressed an event I attended recently and delivered a stand-out address to a crowd of business women.

‘Shush the noise’

Seated casually on a high stool she encouraged us to start making a distinction between the noise of our minds and the real problem at hand.

“Break the noise and hysteria down to a problem and then try and solve it,'” she said with enviable clarity.

Noise = rumination, according to Gretel.

And the problem with rumination is that it diminishes our power.

When it comes to authentic success, being brave is where it’s at.

“Take every opportunity life presents to push out the picket fence in your yard,” said Gretel. 

In other words, face your problems head-on and don’t be afraid to back yourself to think clearly.

Choosing happiness

Gretel’s succinct approach to problem-solving reminded me of something I read recently in Stephanie Dowrick’s fantastic book, Choosing Happiness: Life & Soul Essentials.

A book (or should I say tome given it’s so large!) I read as directed by Stephanie in her introduction with a “wide variety of entry points.”*

Simply put, Stephanie advises anyone ruminating over a problem to grab a notepad and pen (yes, even at 3am).

Next, in a tidy line of dot points write down everything that’s worrying you, in order of urgency.

Then when you’re ready, (this could be the next day) spend some time writing down a proposed solution for each of your points.

A rosy outcome

Note: Proposed solution is the key phrase here, because while you may never truly tick said item off your list completely, the mere fact of writing down a proposed solution sends a signal to your brain that you’re tidying things up.

In other words, following this process helps to kill your endless questions have more clarity around your situation and feel more decisive.

The consequences might even leave you feeling (even just a little bit) happier.

*When I am feeling particularly stuck I repeat my question silently in mind and flip open to a random page of the book. And inexplicably enough, Stephanie’s advice resonates every time.