Monday, August 22, 2011

Life Crisis and Intervention

I have just completed my last two classes for my B.S. degree in Psychology. My last class was Crisis and Intervention and I realized just how many times people are in crisis every day. From big crises to little ones. We all face them just the same. However, while some people are more resilient and bounce back and move on some are not.

Many people these days are struggling and often times one small crisis is easily turned into a big one, or even worse, like a snowball rolling down hill one thing gathers another until the crisis seems so catastrophic that the person can see no solution at all...only darkness. In my job I talk with the public every day and I realize that more people than ever are struggling to over come life challenges they never thought they would have to face. I listened as men and women shared stories of having to work overtime without extra pay just to keep their jobs, families who are worried about losing their homes, or business owners who have watched their income drop dramatically over the last few months while expenses have increased at the same time. Men and women who have Masters and Doctorate degrees who have lost their jobs due to the economic crash, are now living on food stamps and selling the homes they have worked so hard to build. Our station and status in life does not matter. What does matter is that we are all affected, we are all being challenged.

What do we do when faced with a life crisis? How do we deal with the fear and anxiety that wreaks havoc in our minds? I don't have all the answers, but,  I do know what it's like to be gripped by fear, to be woken in the middle of the night by racing, anxious thoughts, or to be so overwhelmed by responsibilities that I think I can't sleep. These experiences have taught me a few things that have made a positive difference in my life and I'm hoping they might help you, too.

Affirm good in your life. While I know it can be hard to believe that things will be okay, especially when you feel you have no control over your life. However, when you're in the thick of it, it's critical to take control of your thinking. This is the one thing that you can control. When I'm afraid or worried, I remind myself that my thoughts always precede my fear and anxiety. In order for me to feel afraid, for example, I first have to think fearful thoughts. These are the What If Thoughts of things that haven't even happened yet. So, to counteract this psuedo-reality, I start my day by planting good thoughts in my mind. I fill one page in my journal with spontaneous, positive affirmations and thoughts of gratitude. Here are some of my favorites (feel free to borrow them :

Good things are always coming my way and I welcome them with open arms.
I have people in my life who love me and are willing to help me.
Success loves me and I look forward to being successful.
I look for opportunities to help those less fortunate than me.
The Universe loves me and supports me in every moment.
In this moment I have all that I need.
Even though I'm not rich right now, I am grateful for the job that allows me to eat.
I am so grateful, I have a place to live. Thank you thank you thank you!

Done forget You are not alone! Please don't suffer in silence. If you're out of work and need a job, ask the people in your life to help you brainstorm ideas. If you're a business owner who needs to increase sales, be sure to let your friends and neighbors know, or create a business networking group like Le Tip or join one if you have it in your area. If you're worried about the basics like food, shelter, or healthcare, please call upon the support services in your community. The only thing that prevents us from asking for help is our ego and our pride and this can be the most detrimental thing we can do. It is not shameful to admit that we need help. In fact it is a sign of strength. 

Take action
 This week, do one thing every day to affirm the abundance that exists in your life, or acknowledge the ways that your life is improving or delivering to you what you need most. And, look for one person to support as well. Be open to receive and anxious to give. Accept a compliment graciously, help a stranger unexpectedly and without concern for receiving anything in return. Do this regularly and you'll be surprised at the way your life will change for the better.