How to Keep Emotional Control During a Crisis

Throughout your life, you’re going to face a number of different crises, including both small-scale and large-scale events. You may have to deal with the aftermath of a critical car accident or a similar personal trauma, or you may be concerned about the effects of a much further-reaching event, like the spread of a pandemic like COVID-19.

Whatever the case, managing your emotions during the crisis is critical to your long-term success.

Why Emotional Management Is Important
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why emotional management is so important:

· Decision making. People in control of their emotions make much better decisions. Otherwise, your emotions can dictate your course of action. If you’re afraid, you might react to a stimulus prematurely. If you’re irritable, you might overreact to a concerning situation. But if you’re calm, you’ll think through your options and you’ll be able to incorporate more logic into your thought processes.

· Social effects. Panic and other strong emotions “emotional circuit breaker,” a way to break this cycle of negative thoughts.

Usually, this means taking yourself out of whatever situation is responsible for your negative emotions. It might mean stepping out of a room, withdrawing from a specific group of people, or avoiding reading the news on social media for a few days.

Learn to Meditate
There are many varieties of meditation, but all of them are intended to help you gain more control over your thoughts and feelings. You won’t experience the benefits right away; instead, most of the benefits from meditation come from practicing it, consistently, over a long period of time. Commit to daily practice, even if it’s just for sessions of a few minutes each. Soon, you’ll feel in much better control of your emotions.

Surround Yourself With Different People
Next, start surrounding yourself with different groups of people. This is helpful for a few reasons. First, it’s going to break you out of your echo chamber; people who experience panic and anxiety tend to cluster together and exacerbate each other’s negative feelings. Finding new people can give you a new perspective, or give you different insights you can use to manage your emotions.

This is also a good way to socialize more frequently—and socializing is good for your mood and your health.

Think Big-Picture
Finally, try to think big-picture during a crisis. Most crises feel like the end of the world in the moment, but are only temporary in their effects. Is this something that’s going to impact your life in a week? What about a month? In 10 years, are you going to think back to this moment? In most cases, the answer is no, and you can find comfort in that.
There are some emotions you simply won’t be able to help, but for the most part, you have control over your own thoughts and feelings. When you experience anxiety about the future, or when you feel like you’re in the middle of an Earth-shattering crisis, take a moment and use these strategies to regain your emotional control.

29 thoughts on “How to Keep Emotional Control During a Crisis”

  1. Well… there IS a brass cannon, but we’ve no suitable ball or powder so we haven’t used that one yet.
    Mostly a collection of late 1800s pistols, with a beautiful 1839 9mm pinfire revolver from France (did you know pinfire ammo was still available?) and a couple of muzzle loader pistols from before then.

  2. I was interested in the link to an “emotional circuit breaker,” at Wikipedia (the link seems to be broken). It might be very useful in dealing with situations that bring on strong negative emotional reactions. Think “fight or flight”, anger, and panic when cooperation or discussion might be more helpful. I have heard of two possible such circuit breakers that can be used immediately, rather than distancing oneself from the situation.

    The first is an intellectual concept from anger management called an imaginary “puke shield”. To use this one, it helps to practice ahead of time – before the situation.

    The second is a purely physical “attention out”. Rapid, intentional, horizontal eye movement (focus left, focus right, focus left, repeat for 19 times) seems to interrupt emotional firestorms (see also Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing – EMDR, and https://www.quantamagazine.org/to-pay-attention-the-brain-uses-filters-not-a-spotlight-20190924/ ).

  3. Since we are going to suspend the production of nonessentials,
    toys and guns in your list, we have to provide the displaced workers
    with the means to buy the other items, otherwise even a part
    of the essential producers will find themselves unemployed,
    as it happened in the Great Depression. In a nutshell, the cost
    of bare survival must be paid to everybody, independently from
    what he does, at least in this time of emergency. (I consider beer
    and whisky as part of food).

  4. You cannot change the people you are around.

    Not clear what you mean by that. People regularly change which people they are around. Just move.

  5. Income is meaningless. What matters is resources: food, water, electricity, toys, internet, beer, chocolate, whisky, guns, fuel, medicines…
    It doesn’t matter how much you shuffle numbers back and forth in computers to give everyone $1000/month, $2000/month, $10 000/month. If enough of the population isn’t going to work each day then we run out off all that stuff.
    Then people aren’t going to stay home.

  6. I wouldn’t be surprised, come Monday, that I am the only one in my department working; everyone else would remote in. You need to have someone on site to handle IRL tasks and issues. That or lock the whole place down. I guess I’ll find out soon. Keeping an eye one my work e-mail.

  7. Maybe we should draft the healthiest 10% of the population… and put them in a camp with enough ventilators for two weeks and purposely infect them with corona virus… then let them return to the general population…. then when that batch is finished find the next 10% of healthiest people and purposely infect them the same way… with 4 week 20% of the population would be immune in a controlled fashion and able to work in critical jobs…

  8. Well in April we find how how many of the clinical trials went. If we get good news then we should be able to greatly mitigate cases of the ol’ Wu-flu and start moving towards normal.

  9. As a introvert i find this fantastic news. As a working class person who if they aren’t going to work in a week will have no job or money and will lose this house it sucks.

    Man it must be nice to just be able to stay home.

    Also at most a month this time then in three months stay another week. Then maybe again a month or so later. By then we are done.

  10. If y’all weren’t out there doing it, life would get a lot crappier in a quick minute. Very much appreciated!

  11. By definition in Primal Science, “neurosis” is the *successful* repression of childhood and, esp, birth trauma. It is involuntary and unconscious. Stress tests this system of repression, sometimes leading to a sufficient crisis to want to start Primal Therapy. IF one is aware of it. BTW, almost all “mental illnesses” currently recognized in popular lore are actually failure states of neurosis. They are more healthy than neurosis in an odd and unexpected way.

  12. I put in 40-hours this week – some from home – some going rogue in my otherwise uninhabited office. My company has to keep the lights on for everybody who are reading books – gotta keep those ventilators pumping. I can find a few minutes to comment here, tho.

  13. How about, grow up and don’t be a sissy. Have we really become so weak minded that you can’t stay home for 2 weeks maybe 4 and just chill. We have so many conveniences to spend time on. Read a book, play outside, go for a drive, computer games, movies, etc. How about work? Do all those things you didn’t have time for when you were so busy. My brother is a cop and watched a 33 yr old man-child break down and cry because there was no milk at the grocery store. Get a grip people!

  14. Socializing? As in covid19 parties (like the old chicken pox parties)? I have another tip: don’t get sucked into the Covid19 articles and news. Learn more about quantum mechanics and awesome new toys that go bang.

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