Tag Archives: danger

Crisis Intervention

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

Do you know what to do during a crisis? The crisis can be as simple as an overflowing toilet, or as perilous as receiving life-threatening health news with many other possibilities in between.

Here are a couple of definitions for crisis. A crisis is defined as a time when we are faced with some circumstance, news, or event that we have never been faced with before. A crisis can also include being faced with an event, circumstance or news that is similar to a previous experience, but our usual problem solving and coping strategies don’t work to solve the problem.

If you’ve ever had the unhappy experience of an overflowing toilet then you probably already know how to cope. But what if your usual strategies and problem solving steps don’t work? Now your toilet continues to overflow, pouring out more and more water so that your bathroom begins to flood. If you don’t know what to do besides what you have already done and you still are not having success dealing with the water and impending flood then you are in a crisis.

The Chinese symbols for our single English word crisis are two side by side symbols meaning opportunity and danger. In other words, a crisis is a potentially dangerous time AND a time where opportunities for change are most pregnant.


Normally when a person is faced with a problem that is not solved using their usual strategies, or a new problem needing some resolution and solution there is also an increase urgency to act quickly! This urge to DO SOMETHING NOW in fact can be counter-productive during a crisis. But it is hard for your logical mind to over rule you emotionally driven desire for quick action and positive results!

A crisis ends in one of three ways:

  1.               A person may be no better off, nor worse off once the crisis has resolve.
  2.              Or a person may be better off with improvement in herself, her life, or both once the crisis has resolved.
  3.              Or the quality of a person’s life may be worse following the crisis than it was before the crisis began.

Here are some simple (but not necessarily easy) steps to follow when you are faced with any crisis:

  1. SLOW DOWN! Take enough time to breath in and breath out for at least 30 – 60 seconds, telling your self to go slow. There are a few times and crisis when                       taking quick and immediate action is necessary. But there are far more problems         and crisis where there is enough time to go slower and slowly with more                           beneficial results and outcomes.
  1. Clearly define the problem. This includes clearly defining how the world would be if the problem was solved.

                                    What do you want? 

  1. List all steps you have already taken to solve the problem and have the world as you want it to be.

What are you doing now to get what you want? 

  1. Evaluate the effectiveness of these present problem solving strategies.

Is what Im doing working? 

  1. Brainstorm ALL possible additional solutions. Get help from wherever you can if you can think of no additional options.
  1. Choose the best options from the brainstorm list and make a plan to solve the problem and achieve your hope for results using other strategies and solutions.
  1. Evaluated the effectiveness of new plan.
  1. Repeat steps 5-7 until your problem is solved, or your crisis is resolved.

Aiming to resolve the crisis where you are at least as Mentally Happy & Healthy               as you were prior to the crisis is the minimal goal.

This simple (but not necessarily easy) process will help to solve many problems and resolve many crises. You can test this out by simply reviewing a recent problem that you solved or crisis that you handled. Aren’t these the very steps that you took?

Are you facing a present problem or crisis? Try following the above strategy and see if it actually is helpful.

There is one more blog to be written offering more ideas and help when dealing with a crisis or problem. This will include a few more strategies than this step-by-step process.

For now see if you can improve your Mental Health & Happiness by using your coping strategies to help decrease your upset enough to follow this process. Then follow these steps.

Turn your complaint inside out

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN


Complaining is one of the deadly habits that contributes to destroying relationships according to William Glasser. A recent study reported in a Psychology Today blog stated that the most common complaint men have about marriage is the amount of complaining that their wives do. (Anyone else besides me notice the irony of men complaining about women complaining?)

Most of us can quickly name the expert complainer in our own lives. Sadly this is the person we try to avoid. Quite simply stated, complaining is unattractive and detrimental to our Mental Health & Happiness.

So why do so many people, including each of us, engage in this habit?

Our brain is hardwired to notice what is not right in our world. This attribute is necessary for our very survival. When we were evolving as a species it was important to notice when our environment changed enough to put our very survival at risk. When a pride of lions decided to move into the next door cave where we were living it was important that we noticed this change.  Had our brain not alerted us to this danger and we not then taken appropriate action, that would have been the end of us!

This means our brain notices almost everything that is wrong in our world. Luckily most of us do not need to comment or complain about everything that is wrong. But most of us will comment or complain about some things sometimes.

Several of the recent blogs and social media posters writing about increased happiness advocate that people go twenty-four hours without complaining. Great idea. But what are you going to do instead? If complaining is a natural and brain based urge, if you don’t have some other strategy to follow instead you are most likely to fall right back into complaining all over again.

Why not use this natural brain-based ability to your advantage. Every time you notice something worth complaining about you can take this opportunity to start declaring what you want instead. The more you do this the more you will begin to better understand and appreciate what you really want in your life.

So instead of complaining about the lions who moved in next door you could say I look forward to finding a new home where friendly and safe neighbors surround us.

Instead of complaining about the weather you could say I look forward to the next sunny day or Im sorry for me its raining. Im happy for the gardens and flowers that it is raining.

Instead of complaining about some physical ailment that is causing you pain you could say This stomach ache is reminding me to make better food choices in the future or This headache reminds me to spend more time in gentle light to be kinder to myself.

Instead of complaining about all the complainers that surround you, you could say I wonder what these people want that they are not getting?

Go ahead and eliminate complaining for twenty-four hours. And for better Mental Health & Happiness replace your complaining with a declaration of what you want instead.


Driving to Mental Health

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

At his point in my life, I figure I have been a passenger with at least 100 different drivers. Some are happy and entertaining while they maneuver through traffic. Some are conscientious, safe and good drivers. I only have to apply the imaginary brakes on my side of the passenger seat on rare occasions with very few.

canstockphoto0012473What I find the most astounding, however, is the large number of drivers who are outraged by other drivers. Without hesitation some drivers let fury, scorn and abuse fly at the other drivers sharing their road and route. I am amazed at their level of hostility, anger and scathing opinions they have of these other drivers. Most of these folks are family members or dear and close friends. This aspect of their personality only comes out when they are driving. I would wonder, How can this dear person allow other people’s driving to dictate her feelings, mood, and happiness? 

That is until I moved to a new region of the country. I have now become one of those unhappy, impatient, and screaming drivers. The common courtesy and rules of the road that I practiced in New England are not the same in the Rocky Mountains. Too often I find myself arriving at my destination furious and blustering about the other incompetent drivers on the road. “Don’t people know how to drive in this state?” I complain but no one seems to sympathize with me.

I also realized sound just like my brother-in-law did when he moved from New Jersey complaining about all of the incompetent drivers in Rhode Island. At the time I thought he was nuts. Now I’m becoming the same nut! And Jack has since moved to Georgia where he is complaining about how poorly people drive in that state too!

I have been recently reading my niece’s Facebook entries. She lives in South Carolina and has made the conscious choice not to drive a car but to use her bicycle instead. And she is bitterly complaining about the dangers and cavalier attitude of drivers toward bicyclists! This became my final straw.

In order to improve my own Mental Health & Happiness, I’m changing my ways. I know for sure that I cannot change the way other drivers drive, or cyclists ride, or pedestrians walk. I can only control myself. It is time I followed my own advice.

When I look for the other drivers who are driving cooperatively, safely, and considerately I always find them.

I’ve started a new habit. Every time I get behind the wheel, before I start driving, I thank my fellow drivers for driving cooperatively, safely and considerately. I vow to do the same. Let’s work together to arrive at our personal destinations safely and filled with love. 

So far I have been amazed how much more considerately, safely and cooperatively the other drivers have become!