7 Tips to Manage Uncertainty and Decrease Anxiety

The only thing predictable about life is it being unpredictable!  Therefore, we must become resilient and both accept as well as make the best out of the change that occurs.

Here are a few tips that can help you make peace with uncertainty:

  1. Make plans rather than set expectations

Expectations typically aren’t met and therefore you set yourself up for disappointment.  You can hope for the best with tomorrow, but you will never be able to control the finite outcome.  When you expect the worst, you take on a pessimistic mindset and become closed off to new opportunities.  When you expect the best, you embrace a perfectionist attitude that creates drastic crashes when that lofty ambition is not achieved.

Instead focus your intentions on creating a plan for how you will to embrace the experience and develop tangible action items to help you realize your dreams.

  1. Plan for a variety of outcomes

One difficulty with uncertainty is the myriad of ways something can play out.  This can make people struggle to find a sense of control and grounding.  Instead of worries about all the what could happen.  Try to plan for an array of scenarios.  You can make lists of benefits that could happen if you were take a series of different job opportunities or move to a new location.  But make sure you remain flexible as complications will always arise and you need to be able to pivot at a moment’s notice!

  1. See your feelings like they were an integral part of a movie

When you can look at feelings objectively, noticing them from an array of angles, you can avoid feeling lost in a moment.  This helps you prevent over speculation or anxiety about your looming situation.  Instead, you can notice and process each feeling as it arises.  When you can name it and claim it, you can begin to properly address it!

  1. Explore and refine your coping and self-care skills

Be able to embrace the moments as they arise and know that you are capable of navigating this precarious path before you.  Ask yourself, “what is the worst that can happen?” and have some solutions at the ready this way you are prepare to facing unexpected challenges, or opportunities, as they arise.

  1. Monitor your stress levels regularly

There is no way around it, uncertainty causes stress to your body, mind and spirit.  As stress lingers, your physical body has negative effects like increased blood pressure, difficulty regulating blood sugar and metabolism, tense muscles, elevated breathing or heart rates, and more.  It is essential that you adopt stress reducing techniques into your day, every day.  It can be as simple as a five to ten meditations or a quiet walk outside after work.  When you maintain a sense of grounding you are better equipped to face any unexpected event that comes your way.

  1. Control the controllables

Even in the midst of chaos, there are aspects you can harness to make your life a bit easier.  Maybe you can’t predict the exact apartment you will move into, but you can do your research into which neighborhood best suits your needs and lifestyle.  If you are going on a trip, you can’t control the weather, but you can ensure you pack clothes that will stand up well to heat or cold, sunshine or rain, a swimsuit or a fancy cocktail dress.  Seize the small moments of controls when you can.

  1. Be mindful

When you either live in the past or future, you aren’t noticing what is actually happening around you.  You neglect to see the wonderous beauty or opportunities at your feet, instead become trapped in a cycle of fear and anxiety about what could be or what was.  Try a daily practice of a five-to-ten-minute mediation to recenter yourself and connect to the present moment.  Afterwards, you might be better prepared to inventory the next day’s schedule or opportunities.  That way you can better prioritize your needs and plans.  Plus, when you live in the moment, you free up more time and energy to spend with your loved ones or on your favorite pastimes.  Both will bring you increased joy and this elevate your overall wellbeing and mood.

Even in the most curated life, nothing is truly predictable or will stay the same for long.  When uncertainty keeps you up at night thinking about what might go amiss or you long for ideal outcomes, bring yourself back to the present.  Work on practicing acceptance and embrace the amusement park that is life.  It will bring you the highest of highest, and the steepest of drops.  But it’s an adventure to truly live.  Remember the saying: “Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow is not promised to us, but today is a gift, and that’s why it’s called the present.

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