How To Deal with Crisis

How well do you deal with crisis? Crisis comes on personal and global levels. This can be illness, loss of the sole breadwinner’s job, the death of someone … Crisis can be what we are seeing with our environment, political system, healthcare, education…

In our super-connected world today, change comes at a phenomenal speed, with change appearing in multiples ways. We are also faced with the trauma and stress of crisis experienced by people from around the world as well. Dealing well with crisis is a skill we can all develop and benefit from.

5 Tips on How to Deal with Crisis

Photo Credit : Robert Bye

Staying Present

Being swept away by powerful emotions is understandable. It is, however, important not to act from this state as emotions are temporary and reactionary. It was interesting to learn that our emotions are states generated by the brain partly based on past experiences. So we are often reacting to prior events. Staying present with our emotions helps us understand what is going on and to deal with crisis more effectively. We may even identify our deep-rooted triggers that launch our automated response.

Suggestions :
  • Rescue Remedy : This Bach flower essence combination helps with panic, shock, anxiety, irritation, irrational thought, and inattentiveness.
  • Aconite or Arnica homeopathic remedy : Both remedies help with shock, with Aconite for the more “freaking out” state and Arnica for those who insist they are fine and don’t want to be touched.
  • Jin Shin Jyutsu : This Art of Healing offers an abundance of holds and sequences. The easiest to remember is simply holding all your fingers. Start by exhaling and then hold each finger and palm for three breaths each. And/or do this 36 Breaths while giving yourself a hug. Or you can try this Jin Shin Jyutsu Self-Help to more easily digest the situation. These are wonderful to do regularly to enhance our overall well-being.
  • BodyTalk Access : “Tap Out” your cortices is an easy and powerful way to harmonize and connect the brain hemispheres to better handle stress. This is also cumulative and a good habit to do on a daily basis.
  • Being In Nature : Earthing, connecting to the ground, is healing and helps us return to our body.
 

Surrender The Idea of Being Good

What I mean by this is that at some level most people believe that good gets rewarded and evil gets punished. On one side, this is thinking that if we do the right thing, good things happen to us. On another side, it’s thinking that if we can fix “what we did wrong”, our pain and struggles will end. Another way to see this is that because of our suffering, we are then entitled to special treatment or recognition. Or have other people suffer because we did.

This kind of “rule” helps us feel like we can ensure a world that is fair, and safe, for ourselves.

This line of reasoning, however, doesn’t fly. How do we explain babies born with serious illness, the killing of innocent people, or tragic accidents?

In Caroline Myss’ book Defy Gravity, she recounts how her workshop guest speaker James Finely responded to the dichotomy of unreasonableness and a loving God that many struggle with. A former Trappist monk, James Finley’s spiritual director was Thomas Merton, who reminds us through his journal that “this day will never come again.” Here’s his considered answer:

We can’t make sense of events such as that – nor should we. We can never reason away the reality of evil and it is a mistake to try. Evil exists. Unreasonable cruelties happen and some may happen to you. The next level of that answer is that you take what cannot be changed on the outside and you transcend it on the inside. You use the external crisis to transform you, past the point at which crises of evil, despair, or destruction can destroy you. You must become stronger within by building a capacity inside you that an respond to the world around you with a much greater power, the power of love.

James Finley

So maybe we aren’t mystics like John of the Cross; we can still breathe in his wisdom. John of the Cross, spiritual director to Saint Teresa of Ávila, coined the term “dark night of the soul.” His revelation from the the brutal treatment he received was not to be consumed by the oppression, injustice, and suffering. His ordinary consciousness needed to be transformed.

how to deal with crisis stock photo by Brooke Cagle
Photo Credit : Brook Eagle

Get Quiet

With all the external noise, sometimes it is challenging to hear our inner voice. Why do we want to get quiet? We want to hear what our own needs are and where they stem from. By sitting in silence and stillness, perhaps just observing our breath, we rediscover our own inner centre. We can cultivate an atmosphere of fearlessness as we get honest about why do what we do and why we feel so unsafe.

Crisis situations can require the different parties to negotiate a win-win-win resolution. Only by knowing what you need and deeply listening to what others need can a beneficial and intelligent solution be created.

Or it can call you to talk with the different aspects of who you are. Instead of rooting out what “negative” or “wrong” thing you did as a way to resolve the crisis, focus on connecting with your life’s meaning and purpose. This may include looking at the unreasonableness of your voice of reason, at forgiveness, at the real agenda behind our actions, and whether our worldview is indeed our truth. Or is your belief system created from conditioning, the overculture, or what Caroline Myss calls “psychic free radicals.”

The meaningful life emerges from the choice to become congruent with your intuitive nature.

Caroline Myss, Defy Gravity

Language with Compassion

When we are furious, terrified, or confused, we can become aggressive in how we communicate with others. Some people bully, some posture, some use words to twist another person in great pain. Staying present, surrendering our sense of entitlement, and hearing our inner voice helps us to language with compassion.

Non-violent communication was pioneered by Marshall B Rosenberg, PhD (1934 – 2015). You can learn more from his books, including Nonviolent Communications, Living Nonviolent Communication : Practical Tools to Connect and Communicate Skillfully in Every Situation, and Being Me, Loving You.

Compassionate communication reflects the desire to speak from a place of true power and connection. As well as the understanding that we can meet others without fear of humiliation, rejection, and reprisal. In this way, we have no agenda, show up fully, and listen deeply, for the highest good of all.

Trust

Crisis is chaos and humans generally do not deal well with uncertainty, change, and chaos. We mostly try to reason with it, even when it all feels so unreasonable. It’s a way to maintain or exert control. While we may come to know the world with our five senses, through scientific data, we also know there is an invisible world. This, we cannot access with just our five senses. It also has different laws in operation, at these high altitudes.

To strengthen our trust, we learn to listen to and honour our intuition more each day. During crisis, it’s important to get quiet so we can hear that voice above external noises and fast-moving energetic currents. That voice is not always soft though it will usually go against what we call logic and reason. It is this veil of separation we pierce when we trust. To navigate through a crisis, showing up whole and congruent shows up new spectrums of possibility.


Crisis doesn’t follow the rules and laws we like to define and control the world with. We aren’t met with these times because we are being punished. Nor can we end a crisis by “being good.”

At some point, we probably thought we could make the world safer with more information and data points. Yet such security is an illusion and there is no certainty that can protect us from anything “bad” happens.

We cannot change the world; we can change how we receive and perceive the world. These tips to deal with crisis help us manage our energies as well as move forward with a great self-understanding and connection.

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