When you face a crisis situation, you are really too upset to do proper CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). Instead, what you need to do is ground yourself first:
Notice 5 things you can see, 5 things you can hear, 5 things you can touch or feel against your skin.
Next, take a few slow, deep breaths.
You can say a coping statement, some phrase that helps you get through tough situations. Write your coping statement on a 3 X 5 card and keep it with you. Some examples of coping statements are:
‘This is upsetting, but I can stand what I don’t like.’
‘I can’t change what happened, so I’m not going to let it get to me.’
Or try: ‘I know this is hard, but this too shall pass.’
Finally, say to yourself: The crisis I have to deal with is (fill in the blank). The feelings I’m having are A, B, C. The thoughts I’m having are D, E, F. And the actions I can take to deal with the crisis are G, H, I.
(Adapted from: ‘The Happiness Trap’, by Russ Harris, 2008.)
As the French say: ‘bon courage!’ (Roughly translated as: ‘May you be courageous’)
PS You can also try something simple to distract yourself such as reciting the alphabet or some familiar children’s nursery rhyme.