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How To Keep Calm When The World Around You Is Falling To Pieces

Updated on September 1, 2015
Calming sunset wallpaper
Calming sunset wallpaper

For some reason crisis always seems to hit in the most unexpected ways. It may not directly affect you, but for some reason you seem to be in the middle of the storm. Your mental state takes a battering and you feel like you want to curl up in a corner, turn off the light and just leave the world alone for a while. Mental health isn't always about depression or panic attacks. It can be something as simple as other people and their troubles overwhelming you.

Over the last week I have found out that my best friend is very ill. I won't go into details but the shock sent waves bounding around my town. Shock itself can damage your self esteem, make you have a panic attack and bring forth all those horrible feelings that we all keep hidden from time to time.

Our minds are a dark pit. Most of the time we are happy taking each day as it comes, but then all of a sudden we get scared. Scared of life, scared for our families, and have a deep feeling of grief for our friends.

Here is a few ways to cope with this insanity. And somehow bring yourself back into the normal state of play.

Breathing Exercises can help you calm down.
Breathing Exercises can help you calm down. | Source

Breath

When something horrible happens we forget to breath. Our normal functions take a battering and our breathing becomes irregular.

In fact if we breath too fast we can hyperventilate and faint. So sit down, or take a stroll down the garden.

Breath in slowly through your nose and out of your mouth. Do this for at least ten minutes. Just getting out into the fresh air should help, and the breathing exercise will calm you down and make you feel better.

Find your own space and relax.
Find your own space and relax. | Source

You Need Space

Now this may sound the last thing that you would want to do. But hear me out. You need space, and lots of it.

When we are trying to think through the crisis that we have heard about, we don't need to listen to other people talk and gossip about it, or even just general speech.

We need silence for our brains to process the information.

Too much input can make you start to panic, and in fact, if you try to hold a conversation too quickly you will just get muddled and start breathing erratically again.

Shut the door, close your eyes and just think. Then try to clear your mind. Your thoughts will start to process the info and you should be able to cope better with the problem.

Take your mind to see something wonderful
Take your mind to see something wonderful | Source

Go Out For The Day

Get away from your surroundings. Take a train and go and visit relatives, see a film, or escape to the coast for a few days. Maybe you like to visit Art Galleries, this is the time to go.

Your brain needs balance, as well as your body. You need to see something different, something wonderful. This way the balance will return and you will find that you can cope with all the trouble around you.

Talk to a neutral friend.
Talk to a neutral friend. | Source

Talk To A Neutral Friend.

Talking is good for you. As long as it doesn't involve the people in the crisis.

You need to speak to someone neutral. Another friend, a work colleague and so on.

Go for a drink and talk and talk until you can't find any more words.

You will feel as though you have cleansed out all the bad thoughts.

And with a bit of luck you may find someone else's take on the situation has actually helped you to see the bigger picture. And then you can give more support to your friends.

Sometimes its best to walk away until asked
Sometimes its best to walk away until asked | Source

Don't Get Too Involved

Now this is going to be hard. You want to help. This is the first and most fundamental feeling when you know your friends are in trouble.

But sometimes its better to take a step back. I know. I have been hanging around all week trying to help my friends daughter, but of course they are in the middle of the crisis.

Sometimes its better for the their family to come together to help each other, and however much you want to help you may just get in the way. Wait for them to ask for help. Let them know you are there for them, but back away. Trust me, its for the best.

Get out with your family.
Get out with your family. | Source

Look After Your Mental and Physical Health

And last but not least, take time for your own family. Sometimes when something horrible happens to your friends or colleagues it makes you realise just how vulnerable we all are sometimes.

Try to have some fun, get out into the countryside, down the beach or just hang out together. They won't be as involved as you so they can take your mind of it.

Just remember, you won't be any help to anyone if you are suffering panic attacks or getting yourself stressed. Just be grateful for what you have been given. And just be there for them with a healthy and balanced mind and body.

How Do You Feel When Your Friends Are Facing a Crisis?

See results

If you have any other suggestions to help please let me know in the comments, Thanks.

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    • sunflowerforests profile image

      sunflowerforests 4 years ago from The light in the forest of doubt.

      Excellent advice. Very true too. Voted up.

    • Larry Fields profile image

      Larry Fields 4 years ago from Northern California

      Hi Nell,

      I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. You've presented some good options for dealing with the situation. Voted up, useful, and shared.

      I'd like to elaborate on one of the points that you made, and to make one more general suggestion. You said that sometime it's best to walk away from the situation until asked for help. Make that a long walk, and not necessarily a 'power walk'. That's an effective way to bring down the stress level.

      Second, spend some quality time with an animal friend. Some dogs are very intuitive, and they know when you need comforting. Horses are even better for relieving stress.

      Better still, borrow a friend's horse, and take her for a walk, rather than a ride.

    • bac2basics profile image

      Anne 4 years ago from Spain

      Hi Nell. I suffer from anxiety and depression sometimes so this hub is helpful to me and you do make some good points. Taking a long walk somewhere pleasant really does help, and like Larry says doing it with an animal is even better, unless you happen to pick a dog who drags you all over the place that is.

      I get too involved with other peoples problems as well and sometimes it does make me feel ill, so good advice to take a step back and then approach with a clearer mind.

      I am so sorry about your friend Nell, I know how hard it is when something bad happens and there´s not a damned thing you can do to help. Look after yourself . Hugs Anne.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      What I find in life issues come in groves...one thing seems to set off many more things. And sometimes it is overwhelming. What I do when I have many problems I just write them down and don't look for several days. SOme of the problems have disappeared, some I no longer care about and some of chronic ..and sometimes there are new ones to add to the list. Being in the crisis state is no fun and plays havoc with your well being. Lots of good ideas here as long as you can get past the lethargy..Great hub...Voting UP.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Very sound and logical advice. Sometimes it just makes sense to take a back seqt during things for a while, for your own sanity, as well as that of your close friends. Well done, awesome and up.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      Good practical advice, agree with all your pointers. Sometimes it's difficult to do something positive when anxiety takes a hold. The points you suggest are valid, and could make that difference..

      I do agree with Carol7777 - I find that once a crisis appears it seems to bring others quite unexpectedly. I find going out to the gym helps - I'm not even a physical person but I can get rid of some angst on those machines. I sincerely hope you have some positive news of your friend soon Nell Rose- take care... Voting Up and interesting.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Beautiful counsel out of your own experience. Thanks for the personal benefit this is to me.

    • sligobay profile image

      sligobay 4 years ago from east of the equator

      Hello Nell. Sorry for the bad news for you and your friend. I have employed all of your suggestions at any given time. Detachment is as important and necessary as empathy. We can keep others in our thoughts and prayers without becoming preoccupied with events which we are powerless to control.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Nell, I'm so sorry about your friend's illness. It is very difficult to stand by, wanting to help. You make very good suggestions on staying calm when everything else is in turmoil. I do like to take a walk and connect with nature. It clears my thoughts and helps me to see things differently. Voted Up++

      ;) Pearl

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I know how you feel Nell, I have a friend who lost her daughter and husband then fell and broke a lot of bones and it has been weeks since I heard from her but she has daughters so I really can't nose in but it has been so stressful wondering if she is OK. Lifegate here at hubs has a prayer group, I think I may go to him and get her name in for prayer. When we can do nothing I guess is the time to hand it over to someone who can. God bless Nell, hope you are OK.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Very useful tips Nell. When i am troubled about something i have no control of, i go out and find something to do, sitting at home worrying is useless. Thank you...Cheers.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Thanks Ruby, thats the best solution, when I heard about my friend I went out shopping, and I mean shopping! lol! thanks so much for reading, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Thanks Jackie, thats a great idea, and yes I am over the shock of her illness now, just praying that she will come through it, thanks nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Thanks Pearl, yes going for a walk in the countryside really does help and it gets our minds back into gear too, thanks so much for reading, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi sligo, great to see you again, thats great advice, sometimes we need to switch off otherwise it can just make our brains go round and round, I think she has so many family around her she will be okay, fingers crossed, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Thanks MsDora, glad you found it helpful, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      HI travmaj, thats a great idea, I need to get swimming again, thanks so much for reading, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi Deb, that is the logical thing to do, thank you, I will try and let them get on with it, but if they need my help then they can call me, thanks for the advice, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Thanks carol, yes thats a great idea, to start with I was so upset about my friend it all seemed to overwhelm me, now I think things have sunk in a bit and believe she may just be fine, it was such a shock, I wrote this to put things in perspective, thanks so much nell

    • sligobay profile image

      sligobay 4 years ago from east of the equator

      Hi Nell. I read a glimmer of hope in your comments and just a glimmer is sometimes enough to help us soldier through the worst of things.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the good advice, Nell. I'm sure that it will be useful for many people. I'm sorry about your friend's problem and about what you are experiencing, too.

    • Ruchi Urvashi profile image

      Ruchi Urvashi 4 years ago from Singapore

      Hi Nell, this article is very useful. When i started living independently 10 years back, I too used to panic when something will happen. Now, after lot of soul work and meditation, I know how to handle difficult situations peacefully. When we are peaceful inside, we save energy and this energy can be used to solve the problem creatively.

    • christopheranton profile image

      Christopher Antony Meade 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

      The best thing really is to listen, when people need you to. Then think about things and make a few good and practical suggestions. Don't overdo the advice. When someone is stressed, nagging them, (no matter how good your intentions are), can only make them feel worse.

    • Angel21518 profile image

      Angel21518 4 years ago

      I love this hub! Having put into practice...just listening, not judging, and being a shoulder for someone to lean on, are crucial skills during a struggling or tough period in someones life.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      You are right, our natural inclination is to put ourselves out to help others, only to realize, that we are in need of help as well. I like your advise to step back, let them know you are there for them, and let their own family take over the care-giving role. That way, we can be there for them when they need a shoulder to lean on.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Nell: your advice is spot on! We all get overwhelmed with life sometimes - I know I have and I just have to take a 'time out'. People laugh at me, but sometimes it is the only way for met to cope during overwhelming times. Stress is another thing that affects me negatively, so I have used your breathing exercises suggestion and meditation has done wonders for me during stressful times. Also, the beach. I think the sea/ocean and the waves crashing ashore help me to get outside myself and realize my problems are small compared to the huge ocean and nature. Nature also has a calming affect on me. I also agree with you that even though we want to help others in times of need or distress, sometimes the best thing for them is to stay away and give them space. It's hard to know what to do sometimes. But, your advice and suggestions are great. Voted up and shared!

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 4 years ago from Pune, India

      Great insight, very useful for everybody.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 4 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I am sorry to hear that trouble has come your way and appreciate that you've offered this thoughtful article for those of us in the same boat. Sometimes it seems as if being an upset mess is the right thing, I mean, how can we just do things when our world is close to falling apart? Of course it's stupid and helps no one, but can be so hard to avoid. Thanks for the tips. I hope all goes well.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi Dolores, Its just sometimes when life seems to hit our friends that it makes us feel completely useless, thanks so much for reading, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Thanks jainismus, glad you liked it, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi suzette, Thanks so much, yes the ocean is so calming, and just getting to think of how we can help them certainly puts things in perspective, thanks so much for reading, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi denise, thats it exactly, thank you, and glad you liked it, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi Angela, thanks so much, yes I am waiting to see if I can help, not a lot more I can do for them at the moment, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi christopher, thats so true, I did keep phoning her to start with but now I am just waiting to see what they need me to do if anything, thanks as always, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi Ruchi, thanks for reading, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi Alicia, thanks so much, yes it was a shock for her, but I will wait to see if they need my help, thanks for your thoughts, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Thanks sligo, yes I think there is hope for her, fingers crossed, and its great to see you, nell

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      It is amazing how often I catch myself holding my breath--a reminder to just breathe!!

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Thanks Audrey, yes I know what you mean! we panic, take a breath and then forget to breath back out! thanks so much for reading, nell

    • radhikasree profile image

      Radhika Sreekanth 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Enjoyed reading the several ways to console the mind when it pains. Very cool and practical ideas! Up, useful and interesting. Sharing too.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      This is a good checklist for any stressful situation. Thanks!

    • jenbeach21 profile image

      jenbeach21 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Really great advice especially with the events going on now in this world!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Thanks jen, yes you are right, what a horrible thing to happen, my prayers are with those caught up in the bombing, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Thanks rebecca, glad you liked it, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Thanks radhikasree, thanks so much for reading, nell

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

      This is some very good info on ways to keep calm in this anxiety producing world. I know a friend who could use this info right now. I told them to take 4 deep breaths and exhale slowly when a they feel anxious. Good stuff Nell, thank you.:)

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Thanks Alastar, you must be psychic! I was actually just going to read your hubs after spotting you in a comment on an old hub of mine. I suddenly realised that I hadn't been over for a while! I hope your friend is okay, and that was great advice that you told him, thanks, nell

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 4 years ago from the Ether

      Oh, very well said Nell. I sometimes go the opposite direction...I don't let anything outside of my own life bother me! LOL. Meaning, I don't let "friends drama" get me down or wear on me. Not sure if that's a good thing or bad thing. Oh, well. Blessings!

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Lol! thanks Kitty! I learned to switch of many moons ago, but in the case of my friend its pretty serious stuff, so it did shake me a bit, I did have a friend who's drama's nearly drove me insane! I just walked from that one! thanks as always, and great to see you! nell

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Useful information. I agree with your tips and suggestions.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Thanks lovedoctor, glad you liked it, nell

    • Fossillady profile image

      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      First of all, I'm sorry about your friend, you are such a caring friend to them. This is great advise Nell and could really help someone in a crisis situation. I think breathing and distancing yourself, at first, are fundamental first steps. Sending blessings your way, Fossi

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Thanks Kathi, really nice to see you. yes it was a bit of a shock about my friend, I have kept away this week so that the family can do what they have to do, but I do keep phoning her, taking a deep breath does help as going out and doing stuff, have a great weekend, and thanks as always, nell

    • SilentReed profile image

      SilentReed 4 years ago from Philippines

      The world around us IS falling to pieces. We're just not removing the blinkers, preferring to remain complaisant and trusting governments who have time and time again been proven deceitful and untrustworthy.

      Let me take a breather while I get that out of my system.... OK, I think my breathing is back to normal.:)

      These are sensible advice on how to cope with unfortunate events in our life. I especially can understand you wanting to help your friend and somehow feel that you are getting in the way. There is only so much we can do. Your friend's family will have to carry much of the burden, but knowing that you are there for them helps.

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Thanks SilentReed, thats so true about the governments. And yes watching the news it seems that the world is going to pot as we say over here! thanks so much for reading, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Thanks SilentReed, thats so true about the governments. And yes watching the news it seems that the world is going to pot as we say over here! thanks so much for reading, nell

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Well I've been dealing with an ill parent for about a month now and I know these feelings well. Taking time for myself has been my biggest help and realizing that things do work out in the end, one way or another. Really useful hub.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Thanks Glimmer, it is hard looking after an ill parent, I know, my mum and dad were bad for years, taking time out for yourself is so important, thanks so much for reading, nell

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Great hub we all need to know how to handle ourselves during a crisis. Very useful tips, thank you for sharing. Voted way up.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Thanks Vellur, yes so true, thanks so much for reading, and have a great week, nell

    • Karine Gordineer profile image

      Karine Gordineer 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Hi Nell...I always enjoy reading your Hubs. You gave some really good sound advice. Hope all is going well with your friend.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Thanks Karine, much better thanks, and hope you are fine?

    • Karine Gordineer profile image

      Karine Gordineer 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Good thanks Nell. Been SO busy this summer :) Trying to keep up with my reading.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Thanks Karine, glad to see you!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Awesome hub, most helpful and useful about How To Keep Calm When The World Around You Is Falling To Pieces, and interesting thought

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Thanks for reading, DDE, yes sometimes we just have to step back! lol!

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