Times of uncertainty often generate feelings of anxiety.
This makes sense, given that this is the actual definition of anxiety – worrying about the unknown or something that is yet to happen.
The good news is that these feelings are totally normal when faced with change and there are things you can do to manage these emotions.
If you are looking for ways to cope with uncertainty and reduce anxiety, these 5 strategies can help.
Focus on the things you can control
There are things that we can control, and things that we can’t. While it’s normal to worry about things outside of our power, it’s actually not helpful. After all, what’s the point of stressing about something we can do nothing about? This is why it’s important that we try to focus on the things that we can control. This way, we can put our energy into finding solutions that will help change certain outcomes and this will make us feel more in control.
The practice of mindfulness revolves around being present in the current moment. If we can do this well, we are taking our focus away from the future and its uncertainty. This will help to control our thoughts and reduce our stress.
Even when times are tough, there is usually something to be grateful for. If you are feeling anxious about the unknown, try to identify the things that you do have. You can then shift your thinking to appreciate all of the good in your life, rather than worrying about the negative impact change might have.
Replace negative thoughts with constructive ones
There’s a place for negative thoughts and they shouldn’t be ignored. If you need to feel something, let yourself feel it. That being said, plain negative thoughts are likely to make anxiety worse. If you notice yourself thinking something hopeless, alter it so that it becomes constructive. Don’t just think ‘all change is bad’, try “change is hard but at least this good thing will happen”. It will have a big impact on your mental wellbeing and resilience.
Engage in physical activity
Physical activity is good for the mind and body. It realizes feel-good endorphins which can help to improve our mood, but also helps us to step back from whatever we are stressing about and be present in the moment.