When you are hit by a crisis, there is usually an emotional storm going through your mind and body, with negative thoughts and feelings going in all directions. One way to overcome this is: S.T.O.P.
Slow your breathing
Focus on your breathing by slowing down your breaths going in and going out. This will help you to calm down and reduce the influence of your emotions.
Take notice of what you are thinking and feeling. Do not buy into them by accepting them as factual.
Take a step back from your thoughts and feelings. See them for what they are and put them in a corner rather than letting them overwhelm you.
Pursue your values
This step is to respond to the crisis by pursuing a course of action. Connect with your values and ask yourself, ‘What do I want to be in this crisis? What do I want to stand for? How would I like to act and be happy with my response?’
Things to Consider
1) Who could you ask for help/assistance/support/advice?
2) Is there anything from your past that you can apply now or guide you through this?
3) What are the smallest and easiest steps you could take: in the next few minutes, in the next few hours and in the next few days.
4) If the situation is unchangeable, how can you use your time and energy constructively, rather than worrying or blaming and being overwhelmed?
5) A useful question to ask is: ‘Given where I find myself currently, what is the best course of action to take? Are there any personal strengths I can develop or strengthen as I go through this ordeal? How can I learn and grow from this experience?’
6) ‘If someone I loved was going through this experience, feeling what I am feeling –how would I support them? How would I behave towards them? What might I say or do?’ Then do it to yourself.
None of this is easy to do. But doing these things will make the crisis less explosive or volatile than it could have been.