When we think of emotional crisis, we often think of the dramatic, like having breakdowns or meltdowns. But emotional crisis can also include more subtle things such as burnout or having a rough week. Ongoing feelings of boredom, loneliness, or disconnection also count.

When facing these kinds of challenges, it’s normal to become like an animal retreating from danger. Often the loss of control can feel so overwhelming that we end up wanting to hide away from the world and not do anything.

However, the tendency to stop when we’re feeling bad has an important function– it gives us space. I’ve come to learn that how I decide to use this space plays an important role in how soon I can get back on my feet.

Take back your power

Honestly, when going through an emotional crisis, you will feel powerless. But in this state of suspended activity, you finally have the space to finally get what you need. And once you start to get what you need to be healthier emotionally, mentally, and physically, that’s when you take back your power.

Use the space to:

  • Get professional help. Call a mental health hotline. See a doctor, therapist, or skilled bodyworker.
  • Use the explorative power of extraverted intuition to learn more about your situation. As a tip, if directly looking up your problems creates too much anxiety, research something that’s closely related to it instead.

For example, when I was suffering from severe full-body pain in 2021, looking up “Chronic Pain” online did nothing but give me more stress. However, I knew I got into this situation by not giving enough attention to my nature as an HSP. So I started reading more books on high sensitivity instead. Once I did, I was able to find methods that helped me to reduce my pain.

  • Use the reflective powers of introverted feeling to re-examine your values. Reassess your life. What needs to stay? What can you let go? What brings you joy now?
  • Take advantage of introverted sensing and learn from the past. Revisit old memories and wounds and retell those moments from the viewpoint of more mature eyes. I recommend the book How to Overcome Your Childhood by the School of Life if you’d like to get a start on this on your own or would like to have some interesting insights to share with a therapist.
  • Pay attention to your body. Sometimes INFPs can get so stuck in their head, that they risk forgetting to check in with their body. How are you sleeping? How are you eating? How is your breathing? Where do you feel tense in your body? Figuring out one thing you can do now to improve each of these areas can boost your recovery from emotional crisis.
  • Be honest. Tell close friends and family you trust how things are really going in your life. Do the same in your journal. Being honest and shining light on your deepest worries can be the start to finding the answers you need.

The best thing about emotional crisis and breaking down is that it’s a chance to rebuild yourself from the ground up. If you’re looking for light productivity (and anti-productivity) tips for when facing a crisis you may also enjoy my latest book, Thoughtful Planning. I also share ways to examine your needs, set gentle goals, and integrate them into your life.

And here are some additional, hand-picked articles related to this topic that you may find helpful:

3 Lists that Have Improved My Wellbeing as an INFP

Things I Wish I Knew Earlier About My Emotional Health as an INFP

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