When you’re upset, it’s worth considering what your situation would look like to someone who deals with that kind of crisis professionally.

I advised college freshman for seven years, and I still remember the first time a student cried in my office. I don’t know which of us was more shaken! After that had happened a few times (not that it happened often, mind you), I learned to take it in stride and focus on helping the student solve their problem. Exposure to the situation helped me gain perspective and lessened my own discomfort.

Think about an oncologist’s perspective on a cancer diagnosis, a family lawyer’s outlook on divorce, or a financial planner’s approach to stock market fluctuations. They’re likely to have a far broader perspective on each of these situations than the rest of us, and this stoic, measured approach helps them focus on what can be done instead of on how bad things seem.

It’s a question worth asking: “How would a professional approach this?”