Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dealing with a crisis – Anxiety and stress

Managing stress and anxiety through breathing techniques, meditation or similar exercises are useful but, for some of the stresses that many can experience such as a life crisis, these techniques although helpful, are simply not enough.

Let’s get real, example: problems such as financial crisis where you do not have the means to provide for you or your family, having a loved one sick in the hospital where you have to make major life decisions for, these things are not easy to deal with.

So in crisis like these, if you need to cry its okay, go ahead and cry till you let it all out. If anxiety sets in, well, that would only be normal under the circumstances.

What is important is that we try our best not to let the emotions of anxiety; panic and depression take over our very existence to the point where we begin to have irrational or harmful thoughts toward ourselves and others.

There is no doubt that under such circumstances as the one's I mentioned above, we will experience high levels of anxiety, but one thing that I have learned and still am learning is to practice acceptance of whatever  high level situation I'm in, that would normally cause great distress. Once I accept, I can begin to have more control over my emotions to where I can continue to manage the current situations.

Have I, during these serious life hardships broken down to my knees in a river of uncontrollable tears, followed by a few hours of depressive exhaustion?  Absolutely! 

It probably would have not been normal not to break down.  And I am grateful for that awareness, It has helped me push forward and concentrate on the solutions unlike the past when I lacked self awareness and would become spiritually and physically sick, retrieving into my bed for days and days at a time, while the problems became bigger and bigger, some beyond repair. 

During my experiences with life crisis's it was super important to get a full night’s sleep, I was going to need a lot of energy to deal with very trying issues and I knew that I would have a lot more tears to let out. So the sleep is imperative, no matter when and how you can get it.

Nutrition, I'd be lying if I said I took it very serious during those difficult times, so I'm not. The very first thing that goes when I am stressed and full of anxiety is my appetite. I do however; recognize how vital it is, because as we know, that is also where we get most of our energy from. What I did when I was in a middle of a crisis was drink lots of water and carry snacks on me in case I did get a surge of hunger, at least I would have something handy to munch on. 

Developing an understanding that the current crisis will not remain the same helps immensely, because the truth is that it will not stay as it is, the dynamics of the circumstance will eventually change.  This mantra, as cliché as it may seem, has helped me. “This too shall pass.”

No, it is not easy, I have been there, I have experienced crisis where my life has been turned upside down along with an aching heart and a hole in my soul. But, the three things that I try my very best to practice and be aware off is:

1. The crisis will past, it will not remain this way forever.

2. My higher power has brought me this far in life and will not abandon me now.

3. Although, I have cried and experienced depression and anxiety, I will continue to care for my physical and mental health, focus on the solution instead of becoming overly obsessive about the situation.

In such crisis it is also important to seek comfort and direction from your friends and family. If you belong to a church, speak with your priest, reverend or minister. Support groups are available in many communities; if you have a therapist utilize him/her, if not, make a first time appointment to see one.

When the crisis settles, you will learn that the experience made you stronger and you will have developed a sense of awareness, along with the ability to help others in similar situations and be a voice among many.

This has been my experience.

Madison O'


  1. Good advice, Madison. I've certainly experienced what you write about here. Awareness is the important factor, as you point out.

  2. Madison,

    I can so relate to this post. I am proud of you for your insight -- you identified areas that are troubling you and came up with a plan/solutions for dealing with each step.

    When you wrote about the appetite issue during times of anxiety and stress, I wondered if you had been a fly on my wall -- I am the SAME way and do the same thing -- drink lots of water and carry snacks.

    My psychiatrist also suggested eating small snacks every two hours - whether I feel like it or not - and keeping a food journal. Both were helpful, and my appetite has begun to emerge again tonight.

    Keep up the excellent work.


  3. Stephanie, thank you so much for visiting and reading my post:)

  4. Hi Debbie, yes, eating has always been a big one for me and as you know it can be tough to deal. I too try to eat snacks whether I feel like it or not. Although, there has been times where I can get nausea from making myself eat. I also suffer from IBS, so basically I can write a whole post just on these subjects, anxiety, nerves, eating, IBS, etc. I'm sure you probably could too.


  5. Really insightful, educational and enjoyable post. The starting point to any improvement in live is to understand and accept what and where you are currently. Don't be afraid to talk about how you feel with people you trust. Sometimes the simple act of talking is all it takes to stop the crisis - this works for my often


    1. Thank you Ian for sharing your thoughts. :-)


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