Are you in crisis mode?
All too often we take being in crisis for granted. We think others are worse off than us; refugees struggling to find safety, people dying of cancer and so much more. If we look at our lives though, we also go through traumatic things, we struggle with feeling unsafe but we play it down because we "just get on with it" so it can't be that bad, right?
If you are in crisis mode, you are reacting to everything. There is almost no time to think and everything catches you off guard or increases your stress levels and you feel panicky. You are putting out fires, rushing from one thing to another, and you feel like you can't catch your breath. You are always in alert mode, in ready mode, and you can't relax.
I don't need to tell you that this mode is not healthy either physically or mentally, but how can we change it?
Many clients who see counsellors are in crisis mode, survival mode, and with time and patience the mind can slowly acknowledge the trauma is over, that you've got through and can start looking at the aftermath of a crisis. It is when you finally feel safe you can start to think about what you have gone through and slowly learn to start to respond and not react.
What is responding?
- Stopping and pausing, being aware of what is happening.
- Talk yourself down if anxious to a calm point and be self compassionate and gentle.
- Look at the evidence that is being presented and the evidence of your abilities, strengths and resources.
- Ask your emotions to wait a moment and look at what is happening objectively and logically.
Prepare a response, plan a response and breathe, doing things at your own pace. Then you can respond knowing you have worked through a process that will help you deal with the situation in a new way, a much healthier way.
If you find yourself in crisis mode and want to learn how to calmly respond, then please do seek help. You don't have to struggle on your own, you're not alone.
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About Jasvinder Jessy Paston
I’m Jessy, a qualified BACP person-centred counsellor and coach, supporting clients through talking and phototherapy. I specialise in postnatal mental health issues, depression, anxiety and bereavement, working in partnership with my clients.