Something Ms Brownlow wrote in an email that I thought I'd share. We were actually talking about plumbing problems at the time but, you know... applies in situations both big and small, concrete and emotional.
at the moment when one just might want to panic, that instant when you realize you're up against it or you're in a very dangerous situation and people around you might be beginning to freeze or to shout unhelpful things [like 'we're all going to die!'], the thing to always do is take a deep breath and assume as an absolute matter of faith that there is a way out, there is a solution, and then you look for it! You simply begin to search your surroundings calmly to see where it is. You have no idea what it might be or where, but you know it's there and you know that you'll recognize it when you see it. And you do not let your faith waiver. I learned to do that every single time, and the proof that it works is that I'm still here.