Situations can seem impossibly entangled, hopeless, or stuck. This experience can be quite compelling.
Such feelings are red flags for being in reactivity--a state of mind driven by ancient brain centers for survival. (See the post Hard-wired to react. Hard-wired to connect.) In such states, our attention is narrowed and our ability to discern a variety of causes and possibilities is impaired.
What is the first step from reactivity toward feelings of creativity and flow (a sense of full involvement and being at one's best)?
"There is quite extensive evidence showing that even if one does not experience flow, just the fact of doing something in line with one's goals improves the state of mind. A simple way of improving the quality of life is to take ownership of one's actions." (Csikszentmihalyi, 1997)
Similarly, Emerald (in The Power of TED, 2010) conceives of the way forward as choosing to shift our focus away from problems to what we want to create---what we are passionate about. In making this choice, we shift from a "victim orientation" to a "creator orientation"-- from trying to make problems go away to taking small steps toward what we care about.
Day-to-day pressures can cause a gradual slip into a victim orientation outside of our full awareness. When we finally realize we feel consumed by problems, then a way out is to choose to focus on our goals--on creating. Things may still be difficult, but the burden is usually lightened.