Sometimes, life’s random events can be like an emotional tsunami. Emotional tsunamis erupt from a variety of circumstances; infidelity, betrayal, having a family member cause extreme pain for you or loved ones, unforeseen tragedy and serious illness. As in nature, you can’t control tsunamis, they just happen. The consequences can often be fatal, and the scars may last years or even decades. Tsunamis are unexpected and devastating, but you can endure, even thrive, in the aftermath. Here are some basic tips on how to survive an emotional tsunami.
1. Prepare in advance
Get your confidence in the right place. A sign of maturity is understanding that other people’s actions and decisions are independent from your own. This is not to say their actions will not have an impact on your life, but the power behind preparation is remembering your actions and your environment will always depend on what YOU decide.
Recently, an old friend mentioned that it is the conglomeration of small stones in a road that defines a path. In knowing this, make sure during your daily routine you have no regrets affecting your choices. Instead, live your life to its fullness.
2. Recognizing the signs
Tsunamis usually come after a storm. Instead of being caught unprepared, look for the signs of what may come. Be aware of the challenges you may face, and where they may lead. Be conscious of the possible consequences, ponder the different outcomes and rehearse in your mind how you will react to those challenges. Sometimes even writing your potential reactions on a piece of paper can help in addressing anguishing events. By doing so, you can visualize the best choices for difficult situations. In addition, you will have a clear mind and be able to think straight before the emotional tsunami hits.
3. During the tsunami
Move to higher ground. Whether you call it meditation, prayer or private pondering, set aside time to reflect and breathe. Sometimes the waves following a tsunami last several hours. If possible, seek shelter and find support with those you love. Remember the good times you shared when the waters were calm. That calm will surely return, so focus on life beyond the storm. The tsunami will go away. But until it does, hold on to a phrase or two that provide faith and hope. Remember: you can’t control the tsunami, just how you react to it.
4. Surviving the aftermath
Clean up, get reliable information and remember that the need for survival continues. You are now in a better position to assist others than you ever were. Enjoy the beauty of the simple things in life. Control what you can and look for the rainbow after the storm. As with most storms of this magnitude, recovery and repair take time. Oftentimes, lives change along with the landscape; sometimes never returning to one’s original state. Yet by recognizing the pattern of the emotional tsunami, you can prepare yourself for the damaging force, recognize the signs of what may come and find the strength to weather the fiercest of storms with your spirit intact and the loving support of those around you.