I'm Having a Crisis!

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The other day I was listening to the CD of a business leader. He stated that everyone has a crisis in their life every three or four months. That seems like a lot, doesn't it? Well, maybe not, if you consider family, friends, business, career, finances and the myriad of other situations that might not be totally in our control.

But no matter how "out of control" you feel, you can take control of many things that will help you to de-escalate and resolve the issues.

  1. Take a breath - Even if someone has a gun to your head, this strategy will help you to calm down. Most of the time we take very shallow breaths, leaving dead oxygen in our lungs. Try breathing out until you think you have no air left in your body. Then give one more little push. When you breathe in, you will then have lungs full of fresh air.
  2. Be realistic - The older you are, the more crises you have survived in the past. When you consider that you have handled many difficult things in the past, this crisis will be brought down to its appropriate size.
  3. Think positive thoughts - Say things like "I can handle this." "There is a good solution". "This too shall pass". Imagine the types of things that you would say to comfort a small child who is afraid. Say the same kind and reassuring statements to you.
  4. Consult with someone who can help - Explain the situation to someone who will not just sympathize but be able to help you lay out a plan to resolve the crisis. Ensure that you consult with someone who has expertise in the problem area.
  5. Consider your options - There are always several different ways to deal with a crisis. Write down as many as you can think of and under each, write the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  6. Make a solid plan - You wouldn't start to build a house without a blueprint, would you? Writing out a plan will guide you to successful resolution. Make sure you include a timeline for the steps you plan to take.
  7. Take action - No matter how much you plan, things will likely not change or improve unless you do something. Even very small steps result in travel away from the starting point. Perhaps you will need to set up an appointment or arrange to have a conversation with someone. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that procrastination does not hamper you.
  8. Evaluate the process - You will want to know what things didn't work so that you can replace them in the future and what things worked well so you can try them again.
  9. Celebrate - When you are through the crisis, acknowledge the fact that you make it! You are a survivor! You are probably also much wiser than you were before this crisis.

If you are facing a crisis in your life right now, consider scheduling an appointment with a psychologist who will help you to not only get through it but also develop skills which will make the next one easier to navigate.


Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email office@drlindahancock.com


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