Getting out of Crisis-Mode Thinking

What do you do when you find yourself panicking because of a real or perceived crisis?

Your emotions are welling up inside you, and panic floods you. You go into “Fight or Flight Mode”. These emotions make us feel that we have to act immediately to get out of the crisis. Our body is focused on eliminating any real or perceived threat. If you’re in a burning building, this mental response is appropriate. However, we often can find ourselves getting into panic mode more often than we would like. When we are in this, the rational-thinking part of our brain is bypassed. As you can understand, this would be a bad time to be making big decisions. Decisions made or things said in crisis/panic mode are often regretted.

Life is about growing, right? As you become more self-aware, it’s good to recognize and identify when you’ve hit crisis mode. When you can identify this, you can remind yourself that the instructions your brain is giving you are not dependable currently.

So how do we get out of panic mode into rational thinking? Experts have found certain things that can help pull us out.

First of all, it’s helpful to think a rational thought. This could be as simple as “I’ve survived everything I’ve been through this far.” Sometimes this is all that’s needed.

Do some deep breathing exercises, such as inhaling for 5 seconds, holding for 5 seconds, and exhaling for 5 seconds.

Do progressive relaxation exercises and go to a quiet place if possible.

Many will turn to prayer during this time.

Ground yourself, and focus on using your senses: what can you feel, see, taste, and smell.

Take a moment to think about something other than the issue.

Call a trusted family member or friend who can walk you through your crisis in a calm way.


An unexpected pregnancy can easily cause a person to become panicked, and get into crisis mode thinking. Because the crisis mode thinking can cause us to focus on immediately eliminating any “threats”, abortion is sometimes the go-to decision for those in this situation. Because big decisions should not be made in crisis mode, we recommend coming in to our clinic to talk through your situation. You can confirm the pregnancy with an ultrasound, and find out the resources and support available to you. Maybe you just need a calm support person to share your feelings with. Maybe there’s aspects you’re not thinking of. We can help. Give us a call any day. 419-399-2447.