Ever have one of those days when everything seems to be going wrong? What about when you've thought your worst nightmare came true? You are so lying to me if you tell me you've never had one of those days or thought possibly one of your biggest fears may have become a reality. How did you react and deal with all of this?
Well, allow me to share how I've reacted and have coped with these situations. First, I may initially panic over the thoughts running a million miles a minute in my mind of everything negative that could possibly happen based on news I received --focusing on how my world is about to fall apart.
Then I may even (quite often) break down crying or get angry or laugh out of nervousness, in that moment of hysteria. I tend to go to feelings first and gather support at the same time. Yes, I allow myself to feel exactly what I'm feeling at that moment or shortly afterwards. This is completely healthy and I never want to go numb with my emotions. Next I try to calm myself down with the support and encouragement of others. Finally, I create an action plan with the assistance of friends to work through the concern.
Feeling a sense of loss of control and catastrophe taking over can cause this panic. However, this state of panic doesn't have to last longer than you allow it to. On several past occasions, I've told myself that if I can get through this moment, then I can get through anything. This seemed to have calmed me down for some reason -- searching for the inner strength to save me especially in that moment of crisis.
Imagining what's the worst that could possibly happen, then realizing that somehow it can be resolved or managed. This strategy has allowed me to get through some of the most anxious moments in my life. Then I somehow in my calm more focused state of mind think of how this situation or terrible news compares to what could really be worse. For example, say a minor health/dental concern that perhaps requires minor surgery or treatment compared to major surgery with a longer recovery. Now, I don't wish any of this on anyone -- minor or major -- as it can be really stress and anxiety inducing for the regular person who seems to have their act together.
It's exactly during this state of mind of comparison or analysis when I gain back my perspective. Thinking about how this situation compares to something more extreme gives me perspective. This technique especially works well for me when my anxiety seems to be at an overwhelming anticipation level of what's to come feeling in my stomach for endless hours lasting all day long and maybe even for several days.
Life is unpredictable to a certain extent and we don't have control over everything. However, we have control over how we react and our Perspective. Once you've got Perspective, then everything magically seems better. Perspective becomes exactly what you need and then you've got Everything!
Of course, having some chocolate (in moderation), running, yoga, having a sense of humor and talking it through with close friends or a good empathetic therapist (to verify my perspective is reasonable) does wonders for me. But certainly find the healthy coping strategies that works for you. In the end, trust that with Perspective and taking the right action steps that everything will work itself out, as it always does.
Would love to hear your thoughts on how having perspective has helped you! Also, what's your strategy for dealing with not so good news? So be sure to share your thoughts below in the comments and/or on the C&R Self blog!
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Originally posted May 2012 on Courageous & Remarkable Self blog
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Sarina is currently working on her first book, Courageous & Remarkable Self, A Practice for Stepping into Your Greatness!