CLB 016: How to Survive an Emotional Crisis

emotional crisis

Have you ever experienced an emotional crisis? Where you were flooded by a storm of difficult thoughts and feelings. What did you do?

A crisis can present in many different forms, from the death of a loved one, to loss of a job, to collapse of a marriage, to financial disaster.

When you’re hit by a crisis, an emotional storm is likely to whip through your mind and body, tossing painful feelings and thoughts in all directions.

What you should do when you find yourself experiencing an emotional crisis? What can you do to not only survive, but to thrive? It’ll be handy to have these techniques in your back pocket so you can use them whenever needed.


Key Points Re: Surviving an Emotional Crisis

  • If we want to act effectively then we can’t allow that storm to carry us away. The first thing we need to do is “drop anchor.”
  • Consider practicing the “Grounding Breath”
  • The next step is to take note. Take a moment to scan your body and notice what you’re feeling. Find the most painful feeling, observe it, breathe into it, expand around it, and allow it to be.
  • After that, take a step back and notice all the thoughts whirring around in your head. See if you can “name the story.” Give a name to the story your mind is trying to tell you. For example, “Here’s the ‘I can’t cope’ story.”
  • The last step is to pursue your values.
  • To remember what to do in an emotional crisis remember the word STOP.
    • Slow your breathing
    • Take note
    • Open up
    • Pursue your values


Episode Transcript

You can download the transcript of this episode by clicking here.


Home Play

You don’t get to choose the deck of cards you are dealt in life; you only get to choose how you play with them. So a useful question to ask is: ‘Given this is the hand I’ve been dealt, what’s the best way to play with it? What personal strengths can I develop or strengthen as I go through this ordeal? How can I learn and grow from this experience?’

Be compassionate to yourself. Ask yourself, ‘If someone I loved was going through this experience, feeling what I am feeling – if I wanted to be kind and caring towards them, how would I treat them? How would I behave towards them? What might I say or do?’ Then try treating yourself the same way.

Again and again come back to those four basic steps, using them over and over until the crisis has resolved. STOP. Slow your breathing, take note, open up, pursue your values.


To help keep this near you, to have this knowledge wherever you go, so you don’t have to worry about remembering, I’ve created a wallet size printable 4 Steps to Survive an Emotional Crisis handout for you.

Click here to download it now.


And check out episode 9 for a more detailed walk through of the breathing exercise.


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4 responses to “CLB 016: How to Survive an Emotional Crisis”

  1. Hi, the link to your ep 16 wallet size printable 4 Steps to Survive an Emotional Crisis handout is faulty. Can you check it out? thanks

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