Typically when we are experiencing negative emotions, our focus narrows and we dwell on the cause of the negative emotion. This is perfectly natural. When experiencing anger, for instance, we tend to focus on the subject of our anger. If you've ever tried to solve a problem right after an angry confrontation , you probably had a lot of difficulty concentrating on anything except the confrontation. The same can be said when you are feeling sad or fearful or anxious. Negative emotions can help us protect ourselves from trespass, danger, loss, etc. but they are counter productive when trying to solve complex problems or being creative. Research shows that experiencing positive emotions, however, will tend to "open us up" and allow us to see more possibilties. If you need to be creative or solve a complex problem, find ways to experience joy, awe, inspiration, gratitude, love, interest, amusement, serenity, or any other positive emotion. Of course you may still not be able to solve that problem, but at least you will be giving yourself the best shot at it.