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Coping Through Crises

Updated on April 1, 2015

Coping Strategies

Things don't always happen the way we hope and anticipate. Sometimes the imagined outcomes of our plans evaporate out side of our control. Events crop up on occasion that have the capacity to stir our emotions as our lives get thrown off kilter by one thing or another.

When one is able to perceive the whole picture, they may even find that some unexpected outcomes were blessings in disguise. Although we learn and practice methods that help stabilize our emotions, we may need to expand on our coping skills. Additional methods are useful in that they offer more choices for difficult situations that have a deeper emotional impact.

The causes behind circumstances are not always clearly understood and there are times when hindsight offers twenty/twenty vision. Coping skills help us manage our lives while going through changes that are upsetting and times of emotional difficulty.

Maintaining emotional balance is important when in the mist of a crisis. Even though they are generally short term, they have the capacity to cause more problems when we are not prepared to respond to them effectively.

The word accepts can be used as an acronym to remember the following seven methods:

A - Activities to keep the mind focused in a constructive manner.
C - Contribute your time, effort or money to assist someone else or others.
C - Do comparisons considering that things could be worse, although at times it may not seem like it. Remember the things to be thankful for.
E - Listen to uplifting music and comedy to soothe emotions.
P - Place the concerns you are unable to solve aside until an appropriate time presents itself. You might need to go through the gestures by writing it on a piece of paper, place it in a shoebox and set it on a shelf.
T - Engage thoughts in an interesting book or movie. Inhale wise, exhale mind.
S - Sensations such as a warm shower or bath and aromatherapy. Another sensation to rest our mind from a concern or disappointment is to squeeze an ice cube until it melts.

  • Self-soothe is another technique to help calm the inner self:

Make the environment more visually appealing. A space can be brightened by adding flowers. Play classical music and use aromatherapy for an uplifting fragrance. There are many foods that are calming and enjoyable. Exercise such as yoga and palates increase circulation and decrease stress.

  • Opposite Action:

Avoid making the problem worse by doing the opposite action from what you may feel compelled at first to do.
If upset with someone, reverse the issue to gain understanding from their perspective.
Seek other angles of perspective about the problem.

  • Radical Acceptance:

Anger and bitterness are signs of non-acceptance. Denial, blocking it out and escaping reality are also non-acceptance.
Turn the mind onto the acceptance path over and over again.
Notice your feelings.
Make an inner commitment to accept what cannot be changed or things you haven't any control over.
Repeat the 2 steps.

  • Willingness:

Willingness is the opposite of the kind of wilfulness that makes matters worse.
Allow the world to be what it is and agree to participate in it.
Play out the cards your dealt the best that you can.

Willingness has to do with letting go of negative thoughts. Once that is accomplished we are able to think more clearly and make appropriate decisions.

  • Consider your place in the universe:

Determine how the situation or problem can be viewed in the spiritual sense.
Inquire whether there are lessons to learn for personal improvement and growth.
Be mindful of the golden rule.
Always do your best to take the high road whenever that path is known or obvious.
Apply and practice patience.

The more we balance our emotions by practicing coping strategies the easier it becomes over the long run.

Liz Olivia


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