There are a few things that you should avoid doing during a crisis because they are counterproductive and interfere with your ultimate goal, which is to build a new life that’s true to who you really are. For example, during a crisis:

Avoid substance abuse
You need to stay oriented in the present and use all of your faculties to meet the huge challenge of the crisis. Using drugs, including alcohol, replaces effective action with a temporary state of feeling good, which, when the drug wears off, leaves you still in the thrall of the crisis. Drinking or drugging your way through a crisis is a way of asking it to linger on in your life for a long time.

Observe when you have vengeful thoughts and work to let them go
We may be angry when our crisis has been caused by someone else, and it is understandable that we may have thoughts about having the other person go through the same pain that we are experiencing. Holding on to retributive thinking sustains a negative cycle and prolongs the crisis. Frame your thinking in different terms – the other person has actually given you a wonderful gift that has allowed you to move into a new phase of your life. You are the winner, not the other person.

Change negative thoughts into positive ones
Try turning your negative thinking, which we experience during periods of crisis, into positive thoughts. Do this by observing your negativity (“There I go again”) and then consciously telling yourself that you’re now going to focus on the positives in your life. Positive thinking attracts positive experiences – and allows us to set the stage for a bright future, a future that we deserve.

Baya Mebarek, Psy.D., LMFT

San Diego Couples and Family Therapy serves the surrounding areas of Sorrento Valley Road as La Jolla, UTC San Diego, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos, Poway, University City and Escondido.