Distress in this context meaning a state of mind when you cannot think, organize, focus. Call it panic or shock. For example, you get a phone call that your child is missing in another state(s). Can't hop on a plane cause you wouldn't know where to go or don't have the money. Some people may never have the state of distress or shock. They may just jump into action. But some of us just get stunned. What to do when there's really nothing you can do? Distraction doesn't work cause you can't think about anything else in this state of mind. Some people chatter incessantly or reach for a substance to " calm down". This state of panic may last 5 minutes or 5 hours. I submit that for some of us this is what we call drama. The drama that our children create in our lives. They panic and deal with it by dumping it on us. We wish they had better coping skills. I always highly recommend DBT therapy. There's a module called Distress Tolerance. Taught me a lot. The crux of it as I recall is that you should do something "mindless". It suggests that you can cope better if you have a "toolbox" of ways to cope that are healthy. Ways that work for you. Some of us do this automatically. I pace. Some may just sit and stare into space. Some pray. My DBT class handed out a business card for the wallet of ways to cope. So 3 words per line maybe 10 lines. I suggest that we should all have such a list. If we could get our kids to make such a list and use it even better. But i wonder if we can't develop a list of suggestions. What do you do mindlessly/ recommend your child do when in a state of distress? Go for a brisk walk or walk the dog briskly for 15 minutes. Clean the bathroom from top to bottom. Water the garden/ cut the lawn. Change every bed in the house.