Anxiety: Adapting to uncertainties in life

We live in an uncertain world, and this day is more than any other. Much of what lies ahead in life is still unpredictable, whether it has to do with a worldwide epidemic, the economy, or your finances, health, and relationships. However, we humans want security. We desire a sense of security and control over our lives and well-being. You might experience tension, anxiety, and a sense of helplessness about the course of your life if you live in fear and uncertainty. It can emotionally deplete you and lock you in a downward cycle of never-ending “what-ifs” and worst-case scenarios of what the future might hold.

The level of uncertainty that each of us can handle in life varies. While some people like to relish taking chances and leading uncertain lives, others find the arbitrary nature of life to be incredibly upsetting. We all, however, have a limit. It’s crucial to realize that you’re not alone if you feel paralyzed by doubt and anxiety; many people share your situation.

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Stress is often fueled by uncertainty

Planning for the future is hindered by uncertainty.

Typically, our minds base future decisions on experiences from the past. We can’t use the past to guide our decision-making when the future is uncertain, or we’re going through something fresh.

Without it, we may become fearful of what the future may bring, thinking through potential outcomes and worrying about them.

Fear of the unknown might bring on stress-related physiological changes. Our fight-or-flight reaction is frequently triggered by stress, which causes physiological changes like hormone surges and an elevated heart rate. Chronic stress over time can harm your health, raising your risk for memory loss and cardiovascular disease.

You develop a chronic stress pattern and make yourself more vulnerable to fear and anxiety if you continually anticipate uncertainty and potential adverse events and, as a result, are in fight-or-flight mode.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and depression have all been linked to low tolerance for uncertainty (OCD). On the other side, persons with a higher tolerance for uncertainty may experience less stress because they are less likely to obsess over uncertainties beyond their control.

Embracing uncertainty

Accepting uncertainty amid significant changes, as we do in our everyday lives, is healthy. And even while the unexpected turns that life takes may not always appear favorable, it’s crucial, to be honest about how much power you actually own.

We don’t like uncertainty, yet it’s a fact of life. Acceptance can be seen as the opposite of denial. Acceptance is not liking anything; it is saying, “I’m willing to experience this uncertainty and embrace it as part of my life.”

Controlling uncertainty

Even though we might not like to admit it, uncertainty is a normal and inevitable aspect of life. Although we have some control over many things, relatively few things in our lives are constant or completely guaranteed.

Here are several strategies you may use to manage uncertainty, which is something many of us struggle with.

Choose what is important

When confronted with a danger to their well-being, or a significant event like selling their home, most people feel anxious. However, occasionally a physical response to uncertainty will be set off in less visible situations. Work, money, rivalry, parenting, and friendships can all lead to unease, anxiety, and other unpleasant emotions.

Take action

When your uncertainty reaction has been activated, take action and become aware of how it affects your body. Try a brief meditation if it’s causing you anxiety. This might not only be of immediate assistance, but it will also help you become more aware of how your body responds to uncertainty. In the end, it might assist you in learning to tolerate your feelings of fear rather than wasting time worrying.

Identify thoughts

Recognize the mental traps that worry tries to lure you into. For instance, “catastrophizing” is the propensity of our thoughts to overstate all the potential negative outcomes. Once we become aware of this inclination, we can manage to resist or even dismiss our anxieties.

Do not overreact

Avoid being duped by an ambiguous circumstance or your response to it. Negative emotions are OK; after all, they are common. Discuss your worries with someone if necessary, then return to your own capacity to take disappointment.

It takes patience to wait in uncertainty. Setting a realistic time limit for when the present crisis will be resolved and delaying thoughts regarding it until that time has passed may be necessary to develop patience. Engage in something you enjoy doing or that can divert your attention in the interim.

Talk about the outcome

If the uncertainty passes and you do suffer a significant letdown, be honest with dependable people. Permit yourself to consider your own interpretation of this. Emotions diffuse more when we are more open and communicative with others (slowly but surely). Reflecting and allowing feelings to come is distinct from giving in to fears about uncertainty.

We may change our expectations and direct our energy and ambitions to places where our hopes can be satisfied by being receptive to this process. For instance, if you are not successful in getting a promotion at work, you can decide to devote more time to a sport or musical endeavor that you may not have previously prioritized.


Life is full of uncertainty, which cannot be avoided. Accepting uncertainty about the future can be challenging. However, learning to tolerate ambiguity is a talent in itself. You might feel less anxious, be better at making choices, and enjoy daily tasks and social interactions when you learn to handle uncertainty.

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