Screen shot 2011-10-18 at 5.40.16 PM

5 Ways to Cope During a Life Crisis

One of the great things about a life crisis is you get to find out what works. When life is easy and no major challenges are on the horizon, you can read all about affirmations, pray, meditate, firewalk or just read self-help manuals written by big-name gurus. Then life throws you a major health challenge, the end of a relationship, the death of somebody close to you and an unexpected job loss. Now what?

Will you turn to a book, seek professional help, and meditate some more or just fall apart at the seams? This is when you get to find out what really works and what doesn’t. Here are a few ideas that have worked time and time again for people who wanted to turn their lives around after experiencing a life crisis. Tactic 1 – Run Toward, NOT Away If there is no growth without discomfort, why do so many people run away when things become uncomfortable? They avoid public speaking, they panic when the partner they know is wrong for them threatens to leave and they beg to keep the job they don’t even like. When my father was diagnosed with a terminal illness and when my marriage ended, I was taking the situation to the end and imagining myself coping. Well, not just coping but moving on with my life and being happy. Everything must come to an end and real peace of mind comes when you accept this.

Tactic 2 – Come Back to the Center The center is the core of YOU, where you sense all your feelings and experience your emotions. A Course in Miracles says that we are never upset or angry for the reason we think. When I lost the job I hated, looking back I wasn’t really upset about that after all, I was frightened that I would end up broke and destitute. I had become comfortable in my crappy job. If you come back to your emotional center and dig deep into the emotions you are feeling, you will eventually realize that it all comes back to the same fear—the fear of death.

Tactic 3 – Do What You Don’t Want to Do During a life crisis, you will be tempted to crawl into your bed and pull the sheets over your head. You may even want to turn to alcohol, drugs, food or something else to help numb the pain. Instead, do this:

  • Feed your body fresh, organic food
  • Exercise every day, even if it is just walking
  • Read books that inspire you
  • See a comedy show and laugh

If you have some spare cash, get a nice haircut and treat yourself to a new outfit. The temptation will be to neglect yourself, but you must do the opposite and invest in yourself.

Tactic 4 – Avoid Pity Parties Your friends and family will not want to see you suffer and at times like this, you will be thankful for a support network. When I was having my major crisis, I would spend every night on the phone with friends and relatives talking about what I was going through. Here’s the thing though; is talking about how terrible you feel helping you at all? Sometimes we can fall into the trap of becoming a victim in the story of our life. If you can, share your problem with a professional counselor or hypnotherapist who is there to help you move on with your life. Spend the time with your family and friends doing fun stuff.

Tactic 5 – A Full Life Is…? Do books change your life or just change the way you look at your life? Either way, a book that had a profound effect on me is ‘The Road Less Travelled’ by M. Scott Peck. The first line of the book reads ‘Life is Difficult.’ Does that sound obvious to you? You could have knocked me down with a feather when I read that short sentence. Of course, but then when did we buy into this notion that life was supposed to be all roses? Maybe it is the movies or TV that makes us think this way. If you live a full life, then you will experience great suffering but also great joy. This is life and it is how it is supposed to be. You will lose friends, have health challenges, have your partner walk out on you, but you will also love, travel and meet some very special people who touch your life. Enjoy the ride.

Paul Browning is a writer, Internet marketer and survivor of rock bottom. He is also the author of 7 People Saved My Life, a survival manual for anyone trying to cope with a life crisis.

Don’t Forget to SIGN UP for the PTB newsletter!

Related Articles:

A Smarter Approach To Time Management

Tips For Breaking Bad Habits and Developing Good Habits

 

  • http://essaysmonster.com/custom-essay-writing custom essay writing services

    this is a really good idea! you have a very large force of will ….. not everyone can so like you! admire you!

  • http://www.TransformationalMotivation.com M. Tohami

    Any life crisis is a great opportunity to re-invent yourself.

  • http://www.awesomelifecoach.com Kian | Awesome Life Coach

    Great article and thanks for sharing! One other thing that I helps get over a crisis is to give yourself one grieving day where you just think and feel whatever you want about the crisis. If you want to be sad you be sad, if you want to reflect you reflect, but at the end of that day you have to take the steps to move on.

    • Anonymous

      You are right there Kian, you can remember that you are human and to feel hurt means you have feelings.

  • http://www.fredtracy.com Fred Tracy

    Hey there.

    This is a great article. Even though we’re all interested in personal growth, it can be especially hard to keep the pursuit going in the face of really negative occurrences. I especially like your idea about running towards what’s bothering you rather than away. This powerful.

    Take it easy.

  • http://hanofharmony.com The Vizier

    Hi Paul,

    I totally agree with this sentence, “One of the great things about a life crisis is you get to find out what works.”  

    I recently experienced a life crisis myself.  During this painful time, I had to call upon all my experiences thus far and all the checks and measures I had put in place to cope with a life crisis.  Thankfully, they were enough for me to pull through and to survive.  Make no mistake, I was badly battered, but I did not crumble or collapse like I would have had during my younger days.  

    I think all your tactics are great.  Of all of them, I like Tactic 1 best.  Running away never solves anything.  It just leaves the problem there to grow and fester.  And one day, that unresolved problem could become so big, you can no longer manage it.  It is better to face it as soon as you possibly can and deal with it in the best way possible.  Not only do you resolve the problem before it becomes too great, you also grow from this experience and gain deeper insights into life.  

    For me, what is most important during a crisis is to look for the hidden meaning and to try to see the bigger picture.  Everything in life happens for a reason.  The Universe or God places a crisis in our lives not to torment or torture us, but to help us to grow in wisdom, experience and capacity for what is to come.  In fact, each crisis I faced was greater than the last, if not it wouldn’t be a crisis to me.  And that is how much I have grown and am able to manage and handle.

    If a particular view of your crisis is causing you pain, try to reframe your experience.  Try to give your suffering meaning.  By doing so, it will help you to make it through and survive, if not for your sake, then for those who love and depend on you.

    Thank you for sharing this lovely article!  :)

    Irving the Vizier

    • Anonymous

      Wise words there Irving the Vizier

  • http://www.colon-liver-cleanse.com/ Sean

    Yep, avoiding the pity party and useless complaining is the best thing you can do. Man up, face the problem head on, deal with it, learn from it and move on with a smile. :) Wonderful article Paul.

    • http://jackfoley.net Jack foley

      Totally agree..

      U can focus on the problem or the solution…

      Yea thoese conversations should about what you are going to do, not what happened to you

  • http://thebooksthatchangedmylife.com Marc Van Der Linden

    Hi Paul,

    Great Post! 

    Tactic 2 helped me the most of all when I had my life crisis a decade ago – although I understood only much later on. 

    Whatever happens, going back to our center is the most powerful thing you can do in a life crisis situation.

    Thanks for the reminder.  

  • http://www.tourismdentalindia.com Dental Tourism

    I am going through one of the toughest time of my life. This article has come as a being soother. I am thankful for such a lovely post. Regards

  • http://Mazzastick.com Justin

    So true Paul. When life gets crazy our rational mind tends not to act so rational. I have to say that taking care of the body and mind during crisis is the most crucial thing to do.

  • chetan

    Great post Paul !  This is more connected to me since I lost my job 3 month back which I did not liked at all.  Till now I try to keep myself in positive mode  like reading books / upgrade my knowledge.  As you have mention I do long distance running and that keep my healthy. 
    It is important to keep your hobby alive during crisis which gives us support like Last week I traveled alone to mountain and met different people and took their photographs & enjoyed nature.

    Chetan

    • Anonymous

      Yes Chetan,

      keep up the traning and eating healthy food.

      Paul

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for all the comments – I feel very humbled.

    Paul Browning http://www.7-people.com

  • http://twitter.com/BlkSuitThinking Black Suit Thinking

    I have a new self-help hero. You can tell this isn’t just regurgitated Robbins or Canfield, he’s lived this sh*t. FANASTIC advice.

  • Anonymous

    Controlling the situation any way that you can is an excellent way to deal with a crisis because the feelings that result from crisis arise due to feeling out of control. Even if the situation is beyond your control there are always ways you can do something that can turn the tables back to you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=683971440 Richard Elmer

    Good article – Thanks again Paul

  • G.Luniv

    Many times before a life change occurs, we don’t anticipate a change.  Wouldn’t it be better to program yourself to be prepared for a change.  How?  Assess the resources you will need to the various changes that might occur. (i.e. loss of job, loss of spouce, loss of child, loss of parent…etc.)  If we run a scenario through our minds before it happens, we will be able to envision the tragedy and assess the resources we would need.  Then work to accumulate these resources,or feelings.  We don’t need to be complete stock piled with the resources, a 50% level is a good place to start.

  • Sbeckcom

    I like the fact that you are helping people in so many way!!  The network site you have is great for people that are getting into the network field and now to know that you write stuff like this is just fantastic.  You are a great man Paul and thanks for me and all your followers.  We do appreciate it!!!!

  • Soul Searcher

    Very interesting reading, you never know when you will need a pick me up

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charles-Chandroo/1349371550 Charles Chandroo

    In the journey of life there will be hills and mountains that will challenge us. Keep you head high, stick through it, and at the end, you’ll be on top, and much stronger for the next challenge to come.

  • Zachary Aletheia

    Great article paul!

  • Jackeye

    Great post, I try to remember daily that the many
    Number of trials are there to make me a stronger person.
    Life is not easy, we learn to climb our mountains one day at a time!

  • Lamin Yabou

    grr8. lamin yabou

  • Jeff1545

    Been in Australia a month now Paul; it’s the occasional doubts that get us but keeping positive and remembering why we are doing this keeps us on track.

    Keep on keeping on mate.

  • S133py23

    Great read!  One can get more out of this article than from most books by those so called “big-name gurus”  I think, deep down, most people know what they must do.  What keeps them from doing them is fear.  Fear of the unknown, fear of losing ones’ own “comfort zone”.  Funny thing about comfort zones, if you step out of yours, you’ll realize that there is so much more to living than just life.  As you said, “enjoy the ride”!  Great article!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gary-Shamlian/1820127693 Gary Shamlian

    Nice post with fantastic advice.  I feel that these tactics can be applied to any obstacle that life flings into our paths whether they be tiny bumps or giant hills.   Tactic 4 can especially hold true for most of us as it is too easy to just shrink into ourselves and ask the universe “why me?”

  • Angie_adelaide

    Brilliant article Paul, so much sound advice, well done

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=693365588 Carol Cholai

    Thanks Paul – You are truly an inspiration! In Networking but also in life during those ‘downtimes’! Keep up the great job!!

  • http://dailybitsofwisdom.com Kyle Beck

    Great post Paul!  Thanks for reminding those going through hard times that it’s always better to move through our pain rather than run from it.

  • Suzanne

    I love this post. The pity party is a big concern. Human nature is to nurture our loved ones when they are hurting causing the pity to linger much longer  than necessary. I believe in feeling the pain but we must learn to trust ourselves to flip the switch and know we can get on with things. Feel the pain but know when it is time to interrupt the negative pattern before it becomes a habit.
    http://www.pristineperception.com

  • Suzanne

    I love this post. The pity party is a big concern. Human nature is to nurture our loved ones when they are hurting causing the pity to linger much longer  than necessary. I believe in feeling the pain but we must learn to trust ourselves to flip the switch and know we can get on with things. Feel the pain but know when it is time to interrupt the negative pattern before it becomes a habit.
    http://www.pristineperception.com

  • Suzanne

    I love this post. The pity party is a big concern. Human nature is to nurture our loved ones when they are hurting causing the pity to linger much longer  than necessary. I believe in feeling the pain but we must learn to trust ourselves to flip the switch and know we can get on with things. Feel the pain but know when it is time to interrupt the negative pattern before it becomes a habit.
    http://www.pristineperception.com

  • Suzanne

    I love this post. The pity party is a big concern. Human nature is to nurture our loved ones when they are hurting causing the pity to linger much longer  than necessary. I believe in feeling the pain but we must learn to trust ourselves to flip the switch and know we can get on with things. Feel the pain but know when it is time to interrupt the negative pattern before it becomes a habit.
    http://www.pristineperception.com

  • http://www.tourismdentalindia.com Dental Tourism

    This is so true. One needs to take the challenges head on . Otherwise they overpower you. 

  • http://www.OurWishRadio.com Raymond Cubeta

    That’s really cool. I appreciate you sharing this with us. Keep up the good work! :)

  • Poka7976

    thanks very much very  helping in a crisis  i do not always imagine myself coping and able to face!!
    thanks 

  • http://www.bettermoviemaking.com Pickthebrain

    I love the idea of avoiding pity parties.  It is too easy to hide under the tissues

  • Escher7

    My life crisis ended in the loss of my law business and my ticket to practice, but after 30 years it turned into a silver lining. After the anti-depressants worked and I came around, I realized forced retirement was just what I needed. No more pressure or carrying other peoples’ problems. Just mountain bikes, smoking my pipe and reading. Not very ambitious, but I have never been happier.

  • Dbwalker1741

    well paul
    thanks this article has come at a good time. I have just been told i have kidney disease and need to learn to cope with all the ramifications. this article has been helpful and will be a good guide for me.

    david

  • Pingback: INSPIRATIONAL: The death of somebody close to you « Reinke Faces Life

  • faruk

    Very useful, Paul. Re: Tactic – 4 Avoid Pity Parties… “Sometimes we can fall into the trap of becoming a victim in the story of our life.” I read somewhere that Arnie would not tolerate any negativity/self-pittying from any one. He would only mix with positive people. He was determined to succeed.

  • Michael

    Great Article. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas. It’s great to see people with a good outlook on life. I try and walk every day and eat well also. It works.

  • Pomadon

    interesting …….

  • Pomadon

    interesting …….

  • B.Roberts

     My father was recently diagnosed with stage 4colon cancer.  When you said to see it through to the end and see yourself coping with it and moving on I tried it and it was a tremendous help to me.  Thank you!

  • Shan_niz88

    great Idea,,,,,,

  • Trevor Chandler

    I agree with all that is said in the article.  An old African proverb states, “Smooth seas  do NOT make good sailors.”  When an situation arises that presents some sort of challenge, this is an “opportunity” to learn for sure, to ultimately become a good sailor through life.

  • shaukat amann

    kkhjjjjjjj

  • shaukat amann

    this is a great web in this world please check Live Strong with Cancer Awareness Bracelets

  • shaukat amann

    this is a great web in this world please check Live Strong with Cancer Awareness Bracelets

  • Tmgibbo12b

    This site has been a real help in keeping me focused on my goal. Thank you for your insites.

  • Arturas Mickus

    Thanks for letting us advertise here!

  • Arturas Mickus

    http://www.theblogger.com.au/about-theblogger blog blogspot blogger wordpress

  • Kerri

    Good points. It is important to feel, though. Also, not everyone has a supportive network of friends and family. I think it’s okay to cry and allow yourself to feel what you do just not at the expense of moving forward and trying to stay positive. If you suppress the negative, I assure you it will come back.

  • http://javabynataraj.blogspot.com/ Mdhar

    Good tactics to lead life with comfort and confidence. We should be very healthy and keep our brain cool…Thanks for sharing your ideas..

  • Pingback: In fight or flight? Care for yourself and plan to get back on track | kAos Group - A Professional Organizing Company

  • faiqa

    great post as ever!1

  • Martina

    Nice article. :)

  • Karen McNeil

    Very interesting and insightful. I have to say though, when your at the lowest point ever, regardless how much of a positive mental attitude you have practiced all your life, you are not able to just dust yourself off and get on with living a full life. I speak through personal and professional experience, its like the circle of grief, you have to allow yourself to go through all those steps and as is very common, go back a few before you can truly move on. I know that’s kinda basically what you have said but you seem to have over simplified things. Each person will deal with loss in their own way, there is no one size fits all. I speak from the heart. I do enjoy reading your blog but I did take some offence at how easy you made it sound. The comments from others weren’t much better I have to say, makes me wonder what utterly awful things some have been through, to Just be able to get on and up and carryon with life, couldn’t possibly be after the death of a child or losing their health. To overcome either of those events is a very long work in progress, the outcome being, you never can be the same person you were prior to this, its impossible. You can however learn to pretend you are ok, put a face on for benefit of others but when your on your own, that mask comes off. Through time, and it can take years, then you may find that you can and that its ok to smile, do things you enjoy and really laugh like you mean it.

  • Danzo1000

    Another great book: The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph.