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Staying Positive in a Crisis

A crisis is an unexpected event or situation requiring a decision point, while an emergency presents immediate risk to life or property. During a crisis, resist the impulse to panic, conjure up the worst-case scenario, and engage in "awfulizing" (or catastrophizing). This rush to fear and dread is driven by not knowing what will happen next. (It’s this not knowing that aggravates the stress response.) Churning with fear undermines resilience and decreases your ability to solve problems, remain productive, and model optimism to others.

With this is mind, recognize that imagined worst-case scenarios rarely follow crises, and when they do, they are almost always more manageable than first imagined. Counter crisis stress with sleep, proper nutrition, appropriate exercise, and relaxation and other mindfulness activities. Avoid reaching for drugs, alcohol, or comfort foods to gain relief. Reaching for substances can inhibit effective and timely decisions you need to make that will resolve crises faster and more successfully. Instead, take advantage of support resources. An EAP or a trained and supportive listener can offer guidance to help you with decisions, uncover options, and keep you grounded with a reality check.

Learn more: [search: worry waste].

UR Medicine EAP is brought to you by Well-U, helping eligible individuals to assess issues, and provide short-term counseling and referrals.

Keith Stein | 6/27/2019

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