Life is full of uncertainties, especially times like this. While many things remain out of your control, your mindset is vital to dealing with difficult circumstances and facing the unknown.
The role of uncertainty in life
Uncertainties are all around us, never more so than today. The present COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the uncertainty over the economy, employment, finances, relationships, and in fact, physical and psychological state. Yet as a people, we crave security. We would like to feel safe and have a way of control over our lives and well-being. Fear can leave you feeling stressed, anxious, and powerless over the direction of your life. It can drain you emotionally and trap you during a downward spiral of endless “what-ifs” and worst-case scenarios about what tomorrow may bring.
We’re all different in what proportion uncertainty we will tolerate in life. Some people seem to enjoy taking risks and living unpredictable lives, while others find the randomness of life deeply distressing. But all folks have a limit. If you are feeling overwhelmed by uncertainty and worry, it’s essential to understand that you’re not alone; many people are within the same boat. It’s also important to realize that regardless of how helpless and hopeless you are feeling, there are steps you’ll fancy better affect uncontrollable circumstances, alleviate your anxiety, and face the unknown with more confidence.
Learning to deal with uncertainties
While we might not wish to acknowledge it, uncertainty may be a natural and unavoidable part of life. Little or no about our lives is constant or specific, and while we’ve control over many things, we can’t control everything that happens to us. Because the coronavirus outbreak has shown, life can change very quickly and unpredictably. You’ll have suddenly become sick, lost your job, or found yourself struggling to place food on the table or keep your family safe. You’ll worry about when the pandemic will end or if life will ever return to normal.
To deal with all this uncertainty, many folks use worrying as a tool for trying to predict the longer term and avoid nasty surprises. Worrying can make it appear to be you’ve got some control over uncertain circumstances. You’ll believe that it’ll help you find an answer to your problems or prepare you for the worst. Maybe if you only agonize over a drag long enough, just think through every possibility, or read every opinion online, you’ll find an answer and be ready to control it—unfortunately, none of these works. Chronic worrying can’t offer you more control over uncontrollable events; it just robs you of enjoyment within the present, saps your energy, and keeps you up in the dark. But there are healthier ways to deal with uncertainty—and that begins with adjusting your mindset.
The following tips can assist you with:
* Specialize in controlling those things that are under your control.
* Challenge your need for certainty.
* Learn to raised tolerance, even embrace the inevitable uncertainty of life.
* Reduce your anxiety and stress levels.
Tip 1: Take action over the items you’ll control
Much about life is uncertain at the moment—and many things remain outside of your control. But while you can’t control the spread of an epidemic, the recovery of the economy, or whether you’ll have a paycheck next week, you’re not powerless. Whatever your fears or personal circumstances, rather than worry about the uncontrollable, attempt to refocus your mind on taking action over the aspects within your control.
For example, if you’ve lost your job or income during this difficult time, you continue to have control over what proportion of energy you set into searching online for work, sending out resumes, or networking with your contacts. Similarly, if you’re worried about your health amid the coronavirus pandemic, you’ll regularly wash your hands, cleaning surfaces, avoiding crowds, and searching out for vulnerable friends and neighbors.
By that specialize in the aspects of a drag that you simply can control during this way, you’ll switch from ineffective worrying and ruminating into active problem-solving. Of course, all circumstances are different, and you’ll find that in some situations, all you’ll control is your attitude and emotional response.
Actively affect your emotions.
When circumstances are out of your control, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by fear and negative emotions. You’ll think that bottling up how you feel, trying to place on a brave face, or forcing yourself to be positive will provide the most unaffected outcome. But denying or suppressing your emotions will only increase stress and anxiety and cause you to more susceptible to depression or burnout.
When you can do nothing else in a few situations, you’ll still actively confront your emotions—even the foremost negative and fearful ones. Allowing yourself to experience uncertainty during this way can help you reduce stress, better come to terms with your circumstances, and find a way of peace as you affect challenges.
Tip 2: Challenge your need for certainty
While uncertainty and alter are inescapable parts of life, we frequently adopt behaviors to undertake to deal with the discomfort they will bring. Additionally, to worrying through every possible scenario, you may:
Excessively seek reassurance from others. You repeatedly ask friends or loved ones if you’re making the proper decision, endlessly research information online, or hunt down expert advice to get rid of uncertainty from your life.
Micromanage people. You refuse to delegate tasks to others, either at work or at home. You’ll even attempt to force people around you to vary, to form their behavior more predictable for you.
Procrastinate. By not making decisions, you hope to avoid the uncertainty that inevitably follows. You’ll find ways to delay or postpone acting—or even prevent certain situations altogether—to stop bad things from happening.
Repeatedly check things. You call or text your family, friends, or kids, again and again, to form sure they’re safe. You review and re-check emails, texts, or forms before sending, double-check lists to make sure you haven’t missed anything that would have repercussions on the predictability of the longer term.
How to challenge these behaviors
You can challenge the behaviors you’ve adopted to alleviate the discomfort of uncertainty by asking yourself the subsequent questions:
What are the benefits of certainty? What are the disadvantages?
Life can change during a moment, and it’s crammed with unexpected events and surprises—but that’s not always a nasty thing. For each unpleasant surprise, like a traffic accident or severe diagnosis, some goodies happen out of the blue as well—a dream job offer, a surprise pay rise, or an unexpected call from an old flame. Opportunity often arises from the unexpected, and having to face uncertainty in life also can assist you in learning to adapt, overcome challenges, and increase your resiliency. It can help you to grow as an individual.
What proportion are you able to be sure about in life?
Does anyone have employment for all times, a guarantee of excellent health, or absolute certainty over what tomorrow will bring? Behaviors like worrying, micromanaging, and procrastinating offer the illusion of getting some control over a situation, but what do they modify in reality? The reality is not what proportion you are trying to plan and steel oneself against every possible outcome; life will find how unusual you are. All striving for certainty does is fuel worry and anxiety.
Do you assume bad things will happen simply because an outcome is uncertain? What’s the likelihood they will?
When faced with uncertainty, it’s easy to overestimate the likelihood of something terrible and underestimate your ability to cope if it does. But as long as the likelihood of something terrible happening is low, even at this precarious time, is it possible to measure thereupon small chance and focus instead on the more likely outcomes? Ask your friends and family how they deal with uncertainty in specific circumstances. Could you be doing the same?
By challenging your need for certainty, you’ll begin to abandon negative behaviors, reduce stress and worry, and release time and energy for practical purposes.
Tip 3: Learn to accept uncertainty simply
No matter what proportion you strive to eliminate doubt and volatility from your life, you already accept tons of uncertainty a day. Whenever you cross a street, drag the wheel of a car, or eat takeout or restaurant food you’re receiving A level of risk. You’re trusting that the traffic will stop, you won’t have an accident, and everything you’re eating is safe. The probability of something wrong in these circumstances is little, so you accept the danger and advance without requiring certainty. If you’re religious, you furthermore may likely take some doubt and uncertainty as a part of your faith.
When irrational fears and worries take hold, it is often hard to think logically and accurately weigh up the probability of something terrible. To assist you in becoming more tolerant and accepting of uncertainty, the subsequent steps can help:
Identify your uncertainty triggers. Tons of uncertainty tends to be self-generated, through excessive worrying or a pessimistic outlook, for instance. However, some difficulties are often generated by external sources, especially sometimes like this. You are reading media stories that specialize in worst-case scenarios, spending time on social media amid rumors and half-truths, or just communicating with anxious friends can all fuel your fears and uncertainties. That’s the rationale why numerous people are panic-buying toilet tissue at the moment—they see others doing it, and it feeds their fears.
By recognizing your triggers, you’ll take action to avoid or reduce your exposure to them.
Recognize once you feel the necessity for certainty. Notice once you start to feel anxious and fearful a few situations, begin to stress about what-ifs, or desire a situation is way worse than it is. Search for the physical cues that you’re feeling anxious. You would possibly notice the strain in your neck or shoulders, shortness of breath, the onset of a headache, or an empty feeling in your stomach. Take a flash to pause and recognize that you’re craving reassurance or a guarantee.
Allow yourself to feel the uncertainty. Rather than engaging in futile efforts to realize control over the uncontrollable, let yourself experience the discomfort of change. Like all emotions, if you permit yourself to feel fear and uncertainty, they will eventually pass. specialize in this moment and your breathing and allow yourself to feel and observe the difficulty you’re experiencing quickly. Take some slow, deep breaths or try meditation to stay you anchored within the present.
Answer the what-ifs running through your head by acknowledging that you’re not a fortune-teller; you don’t know what will happen. All you’ll do is abandoning and accept the uncertainty as a part of life.
Shift your attention. Specialize in solvable worries, taking action on those aspects of a drag that you simply can control, or just return to what you were doing. When your mind wanders back to worrying or the emotions of uncertainty return, refocus your mind on this moment and your breathing.