Gretchen Rubin, who runs happiness-project.com and is writing a book about happiness, lists as one of her "twelve commandments" the mantra "Identify the problem." It may seem like a basic idea, but often our frustrations can be traced to problems we haven't fully grappled with. Identifying a problem can often lead to a clear solution, perhaps one so mind-numbingly obvious that you'll wonder why you hadn't addressed the situation earlier.
Understanding a problem also allows people to keep things in perspective, to understand whether something is really worth getting upset about. It prevents giving in to self-pity and instead represents a more proactive approach that allows for finding a solution and moving on to other concerns. And if you're feeling overwhelmed with concerns, singling out a problem and addressing it can lessen stress and make once daunting challenges seem surmountable.