There is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now and that can be the catalyst for an infinite amount of stress and unhappiness.
Your brain perceives ambiguity as a threat and tries to protect you by diminishing your ability to focus on anything other than getting rid of certainty. Sometimes that is not possible. You can’t control every situation. Here are some tips for coping with uncertainty.
Accept Where You are in This Moment
It’s ok to pick your battles, but in doing that, you have to be aware of which battles are truly worth fighting. Acceptance allows you to see the reality of a situation in the current moment and frees you to move forward with the information you have rather than remain paralyzed by fear of uncertainty.
The best resource you have available to make a difference in your situation is yourself. If you are spending time worrying about the future in ways that you cannot control, you will not have the energy or mindset to control the things you are able to. Self-care is important. Get some rest, laugh, relax, and remember to enjoy life.
Be Your Own Hero
When you act as though you have no power, you get trapped in narratives that leave you feeling angry, helpless, and trapped. You may end up hoping for other people to save you from your misery. You don’t need someone else to save you, but it is good to have emotionally supportive friends (or therapists) that see you as capable of solving your own problems.
When you feel insecure or uncertain, your brain tries to come to the resume by activating the dopamine reward system. This system encourages you to seek rewards that make you feel good. This could be a midnight snack, an extra glass of wine or a Netflix binge-watching session. Choose healthier comforts like going to bed earlier, calling a friend or going for a hike.
Glass Half Full
It is normal and often helpful for you to consider worst-case scenarios so that you can be prepared and take precautions. Unfortunately, your brain tends to react emotionally as though the worst case is already happening when it isn’t. Do your best to control your thoughts and imagine the best possible scenario. If there is a negative scenario, there is a positive one too.
“If uncertainty is unacceptable to you, it turns into fear. If it is perfectly acceptable, it turns into increased aliveness, alertness, and creativity.” — Eckhart Tolle