How Do I Keep It Together When I’m On The Verge Of Breaking Down?
Uh oh. Things just aren’t going your way and it’s not looking pretty.
You can’t hold it together. Or you’re going to snap. You’re panicked and anxious. Waterworks are imminent. But now is neither the time or place to have that good cry or scream you so desperately need (but if it is, have at it. Have that cry. It’ll be awesome).
This is an article about helping you calm down, think straight and get to that state where you can rationally deal with whatever problem is causing you pain.
- Change your environment & just breathe: Hang up the phone, shut the computer off, and leave the room. Disconnect. Go outside. Go anywhere other than where you are. Sit down and take a few deep breaths. Sometimes, a change of scenery and some deep breathing are all you need to get into a calmer state.
- Clear your throat (or drop your chin to your chest) and swallow: If you feel the tears welling up but you feel like it’s not the right time to cry, just clear your throat. It will make you want to swallow, which, by reflex, causes your tongue to lift up to the roof of your mouth. That act stops the build up of tears, thus rendering you physically unable to cry.
- Dunk your face in ice cold water: You are in a panic – heart racing, palms sweaty. You’ve seen it on TV – “I can’t breathe!” says the panicked bride. “Get me out of this dress!” and her best friend proceeds to rip the $5000 designer gown off. If this is you, get a large bowl, fill it up with ice and water and dunk your face in for a few seconds. It sounds odd, but your nerves will slow your heart almost instantly. It is extremely effective. Hopefully you won’t have to resort to this with a full face of makeup moments before you walk down the aisle, but if you’re the type to get worked up, well maybe you should have a bucket of ice handy.
- Write: If you have a little more time and just want to vent, get out the old pen and paper (or use a digital version like 750words.com) and start writing. Pour out everything that is in your head and heart. You can be as immature, irrational and whiny as you want. Write, write and write some more. Feel better? Hopefully you’ll gain some clarity, find solutions and learn a thing or two about yourself. Bonus: If you can make a habit of this, you’ll find that you can only vent so much. Eventually, you’ll start to realize that you are a pretty smart cookie. You just need a time and a place to sort things through without distraction.
- 7 Cups of Tea: This is a new website (www.7cupsoftea.com) where you can have free, anonymous 1:1 conversations with trained active listeners. No, they are not necessarily counselors and they do not offer medical or psychological advice, but they are there to offer compassion and care when you need to vent, talk something through or cope.
- Be Grateful: Think of 10 things to be grateful for. A roof over your head. A job that pays you. Your dog. An amazing fiance. A supportive family. This forces you to change your mindset into something positive. Even if only for awhile. We all have something to be grateful for. Even if you are lying on the floor in fetal position with nothing to get you up, you can think of at least one, and then maybe another one. What have you got to lose? Bonus: We should all be grateful for the things we have in our lives every single day. It turns bad things into good things, it reminds us of what’s important, it keeps us positive and happy, and it doesn’t cost us a thing.