Whether you're facing a small setback or a serious life challenge, it helps to have coping strategies on hand. Try these tactics, courtesy of Jeffery Rossman, PhD, director of life management at Canyon Ranch Resort in Lenox, Mass.

Let your emotions out

Go ahead and allow yourself to feel all the feelsincluding sadness, anger and frustration. "It's natural to have strong feelings about a crisis," explains Rossman. "Rather than trying to sugarcoat them, or keep the bad things trapped inside, it's better to get them out."

RELATED: Best and Worst Ways to Cope With Stress

Find a meaningful mantra

Come up with something you can say to yourself in particularly trying situations, or think of an image that can be a source of strength. Heather Krasnov, for example, got through one difficult half marathon by yelling out the name of a friend in treatment at every mile.

Jot down your thoughts

Start keeping a journal to get your thinking in order—it will help put things in perspective. "Studies show that when people are going through a hard time, using a notebook to write down their feelings helps them handle the situation better, and their health starts to improve," says Rossman.

RELATED: 13 Ways to Beat Stress in 15 Minutes or Less

Tap into your past

Your life is filled with "wins"—thinking back on those will give you a boost now. "People have tons of other challenges they've successfully faced, from health issues to career crises, that once made them feel vulnerable," says Rossman. "Going back to those moments can remind you that you're able to handle it."