How to cope in a crisis?
This article will help you stay present in times of crisis with five tips created through the lens of Buddhism within a psychotherapeutic space. Buddhist philosophy is both simple and complex, but we will keep our senses calm and in the moment right now.
When we are in crisis, we might wonder how to stay present in troubling times and how to practice mindfulness when our emotions and feelings are as stressed as our breathing. The aftermath of a crisis can be even more debilitating as we are “coming down” from the crisis and thus, no longer running on emotions and adrenaline.
Practicing mindfulness will help us calm the nervous system, control our thoughts, focus on our feelings and give a sense of power over symptoms of depression and anxiety, PTSD, stress, or other uncomfortable feelings.
As humans, we are conditioned to desire stability; we crave it. One aspect of war or COVID is that it creates a sense of instability, and we might worry about life as we watch the news unfold.
We might try to initiate mindfulness for our mental health, but the present moment feels like the last thing we want to do is sit and meditate. We want to learn more try to figure out what is coming next, all in the name of trying to find stability.
It is perfectly normal to have feelings of fear and anxiety over the present situation. There’s a simple way to be strong during times of uncertainty.
Why Stay Present During a Time of Uncertainty?
Are you afraid of the future? Maybe you are still feeling uncomfortable about the present moment. It can sometimes feel challenging to stay present, particularly at a time of uncertainty.
Many of us have concerns for a variety of reasons. The feeling of uncertainty affects our body, mind, and spirit. Staying present is a way to avoid the traps of worrying too much about the future or dwelling on the past.
We tend to chase happiness. Chasing anything keeps us out of the present moment, and we begin to forget what we were chasing or what frame we should manage it.
For instance, happiness is not a moment about being positive all of the time but staying content and seeing the benefits of living fully and practicing mindfulness in creative ways.
Happiness is just an idea.
If we chase happiness, we miss the bliss in front of us, even if that bliss has crisis intertwined. The present moment is where we can release crisis with the awareness that there is more to our lives than the crisis. We can respond to the crisis or stress with what is happening in our senses with a mindful demeanor.
Let me give you an example. How often have you heard of someone going through a particularly tough time and then stating that they were thankful for the people in their lives who helped them and supported them through the struggle? There is happiness in that struggle to be able to pay homage to the people that they appreciate.
5 Buddhist Philosophy Mindfulness Tips to Stop Living in Crisis Mode
Wouldn’t it be great if you could think of mindfulness as a workout?
In a way, it is. Being mindful in times of stress is a skill set, and the more you’ve had trauma, neglect, or betrayal in life, statistically, the harder it will be for you to stay present.
Stress in world crises is overwhelming because they are everywhere. Everyone is talking about their version of the crisis; everyone has an opinion. It’s on the news; it’s the fabric of our day-to-day lives.
Getting out of crisis mode is important; this helps you manage all of the other emotions and struggles you might have already had pre-crisis.
I’m going to list these in order. They are all created with a Buddhist philosophy interwoven with psychology.
- Accept Suffering and Release the Past. This is important because often, the person you are dwelling on has moved on or is so toxic that they never were able to care deeply to begin with. Forgiving others is a key to letting go; make no mistake, you are not approving of their behaviors, but you are simply releasing the power they have over you. Accept you’ve suffered but make the future less weighty. With this release, you will have more space for the next goal.
- Do more of what you love. While money is important, there is something to be said for pulling back a bit. In a crisis, you need a safe space emotionally to sort through your feelings. No matter what your career or lack of one, the important thing right now is to enjoy life. When we enjoy life, we are more able to be present, and we might ease out of the shackles of stress, anxiety, and depression.
- Once you’ve activated parts of yourself that were dormant and you’ve regained your passions a bit, then it is time to take it a step further. Now, learn something new. During the early part of the pandemic, I learned how to hand crochet. There was a meditative feel to wrapping the yard around my hands and looping loose knots to create a scarf or blanket. It helped me feel a sense of accomplishment and removed me from feeling limited. Learning something new during a crisis is an excellent way to self-heal, as the brain creates more pathways which are strengthening your solution-based skills.
- Declutter your body, mind, and spirit. There is a sense of peace when we declutter items we do not need, eliminate foods that destroy our health and release the shame or confusion that holds us back spiritually. Take this slowly while you begin the next goal.
- Create a calm space; this might be our entire home, or a corner alter area. A place for a candle, a plant, and painting or artwork that represents not only your spiritual side but an aesthetically pleasing space. This will be a space you can visit or even imagine in times of high stress or crisis. This is a perfect place to meditate.
A primer on present moment awareness
It sounds complex, but meditation has a kind of peripheral vision: you can focus on one thought or concept, and other thoughts, feelings, images, or ideas can surface. You can watch them float by or give them center stage. Don’t worry if you feel like you’ve got too many thoughts. That is common and normal and especially in times of stress; this is a coping strategy, and I don’t want you to filter or suppress yourself in any way.
This is a present moment of awareness, and it can help you stay present in a crisis.
12-Month Self-Healing Planner
The planner helps you to curate your self-help endeavors, create monthly themes and organize your healing. I will also send you “doses of zen” prompts and inspiration, weekly.