Many of us are “crisis junkies.” That is to say that we have become addicted to crises.  Too often we find disasters around every corner.  When something turns out other than the way we expected, we think that it is awful and a disaster.

When we think something is awful, a crisis, and a disaster, we get very upset.  We may experience:

  • a panic attack
  • a psychophysiological disorder (our upset transforms us to experience pain and organ dysfunction)
  • psychosomatic illnesses
  • headache and/or stomach problems
  • sleep disorders
  • a need to overeat
  • addiction to the news (most of which is bad)
  • constant catastrophizing, awfulizing, and obsessing

We brood, ruminate, and continually worry. And, too often we keep watching the news so that we can catastrophize even more.  

In short, the crisis junkie is a disaster seeker. We seek disasters in order that we may feel bad. WE BECOME ADDICTED TO DISASTERS! It is almost to the point that we have become addicted to the “DELICIOUS AGONY OF LIFE!”

Does this sound familiar?

Many crisis junkies live in the past.  They go into life backwards, constantly reliving the past and feeling guilty, depressed, and/or hostile about what has happened.  In addition, they continually worry about and fear what may happen next.

As a result, they end up either repeatedly reviewing an existing disaster or agonizing about the next disaster coming around the corner.   

The disaster seeker often obtains many payoffs for being addicted to crises. 

This means that people who are constantly viewing their experiences as disasters get a variety of rewards for that behavior. 

They might be:

  1. Kept busy being upset, awfulizing, and anxious.
  2. Unable to focus on common sense so they avoid making pragmatic decisions while they remain unable to face dealing with their next move or next objectives.
  3. Unable to relax (which they often interpret as lazy).
  4. Continually living their lives REACTIVELY rather than becoming more PROACTIVE and in charge of their next moves.

Consider how much you let your emotions dominate your state of mind.

You may notice that too often your emotions escalate and become chronically in charge of your ongoing behavior.

Think about the famous line delivered by Mark Twain many years ago: I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

Ask yourself the following:

WHAT REALLY QUALIFIES AS A DISASTER? 

Is what happens to you really a disaster or do you just choose to think of it as a disaster

Certainly, there are misfortunes, tragedies, and victimizing situations that we experience in life that are genuine disasters.   On the other hand, I would question how accurate it is to label so many of our experiences as such. 

WHAT DO YOU DO IF THIS HAPPENS TO YOU OR SOMEONE YOU CARE ABOUT?

I submit that you have a choice to identify something as a disaster or to call it something else.

Words often have a very lethal and deadly power.  Imagine saying the words:  disaster, awful, terrible, horrible, terminal, unparalleled catastrophe.   

After you envision saying these words, many unpleasant feelings come to mind and your anxiety likely goes up.  The feelings that result invariably conjure up an image of the situation being unmanageable and out of control.  When people feel out of control, their self-concept, resiliency, and ability to prevail becomes at risk.

This is why the words “disaster” and “crisis” are deadly, lethal, and create much more in the way of negative results than is necessary. 

Instead, think about using these words: 

NUISANCE

INCONVENIENCE

IRRITANT

ISSUE

When something turns out other than the way you expected, rather than becoming upset and cultivating another disaster, consider labeling the situation a NUISANCE, INCONVENIENCE, IRRITANT, or ISSUE.  The images now connote something that is both manageable and controllable.

We automatically feel capable of effectively handling a nuisance, an inconvenience, an irritant, or an issue by far better than ineffectively handling a disaster.  When we remember that we have the choice to call an experience a nuisance or inconvenience, we feel much stronger, more capable, and more resilient.  Your anxiety goes down and your confidence and horsepower remain intact. 

For example, several years ago, having completed a presentation to a variety of car dealers on the East Coast, I received a complimentary letter from one of the dealers.  The letter contained the following:

            “…When we got to work this morning, we discovered the computer

            was “down” and that no one could get paid. Bob quickly assured us

            all that this was not a crisis, merely a temporary nuisance.  Amazing

            as it sounds, everyone treated it this way and soon the computer

            was fixed, we were paid, and no one got upset.  Thanks!”  

In summary, you have a choice to perceive a bad experience in terms of being “a DISASTER and an AWFUL CRISIS” or as “a NUISANCE, an ISSUE, an IRRITANT, or an INCONVENIENCE.”  I very much encourage you to prefer these new replacements. 

It makes life much more manageable!  

LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS!

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