Uncertain times are certainly here, here’s how to cope with uncertainty in a healthy way.
Peaceful and rioting protests, massive unemployment, political disputes, and wildfires in California.
We must recognize our inability to control our lives in this season. There is much out of our control. When we lose our ability to control our lives, we experience a sense of powerlessness.
When we feel powerless, we experience stress and anxiety.
“Acknowledging that we can’t control and change everything is extremely important, Wanting to know and control everything fuels uncertainty. -Amelia Aldao
Yes, we need uncertainty. Well, it’s here on steroids.
Admitting that life is out of our control is easier said than done. Acceptance of uncertainty is huge in our search for our peace of mind. Fact is both certainty and uncertainty are a part of the six core needs of humans.
Finding balance between what is certain and what is uncertain
Tony Robbins recommends a balance of both certainty and uncertainty. Having only one of the two is a problem. Some uncertainty can be healthy. It activates our nervous system and stimulates our creativity to accept the things we cannot change. The need for uncertainty, diversity, challenge, and change is unsettling, but it serves us in ways we cannot see.
Maybe this prayer will help.
O God and Heavenly Father, Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed; courage to change that which can be changed, and wisdom to know the one from the other, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Trying to gain control over the uncontrollable is futile and will lead to additional stress and worry. Allow yourself to experience the discomfort of uncertainty.
Embracing the discomfort of uncertainty will shift your mentality from out of control into control.
So embrace what you would usually resist.
The following tips can help you to:
- Focus on controlling those things that are under your control
- Challenge your need for certainty.
- Learn to better tolerate, even embrace, the inevitable uncertainty of life.
- Reduce your anxiety and stress levels.
Certainty is better
Even the most care-free person needs a degree of certainty. Certainty creates a sense of feeling secure, safe, and comfortable. Everyone needs this.
The first human need is the need for certainty. It’s our need to feel in control. Certainty is a survival mechanism and is instinctual for all humans. But taking risks is healthy to our emotional well being.
One of the best coping skills is to stay focused on the present. Staying focused gives you a sense of certainty. You have certainly handled many problems in your past. Remember that.
Every uncertain thing that showed up has passed through your life. You were a part of the solution. You need to know that you can find answers to your problems when they show up.
No matter how much you strive to eliminate doubt and volatility from your life, you already accept a lot of uncertainty every day. Each time you cross a street, get behind the wheel of a car or eat takeout or restaurant food, you’re accepting a level of uncertainty. You’re trusting that the traffic will stop, you won’t have an accident, and everything you’re eating is safe.
The chances of something terrible happening in these circumstances is small, so you accept the risk and move on without requiring certainty. If you’re religious, you also likely take some doubt and uncertainty as part of your faith. Faith and uncertainty are sisters.
God demands faith
God will ask us to do unusual acts-sometimes foolish things. “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.” (I Corinthians 1:27, NKJV)
An opportunity arises from the most unexpected places. When we face uncertainty, it makes certain moments more enjoyable.
I love this story from Laura McDonnell
Stars are formed from chaos. Stars form from the gravitational collapse of large clouds of interstellar material. Stars are born only after the first collapse (Scientific American).
When you find yourself collapsing, or feel trapped in a chaotic environment, take confidence in knowing that a new beginning might be coming. Beauty is discovered after the toughest of times.
Many new and wonderful beginnings were preceded by brokenness, a collapse, chaos, and or exhausting moments that felt like an eternity.
Take comfort in knowing that:
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart, yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end”(Ecclesiastes 3:11)
This post first appeared here.