There are so many uncertainties in life. We face many every day without even thinking about them, but the ones we do focus and dwell on, well those ones can cause a whole lot of disruption and anxiety.
I want to start by highlighting something very important. The opposite of uncertainty isn’t certainty, because certainty just isn’t realistic. However, what is realistic, is to focus on living in the present moment. This means making mindful and thoughtful decisions. I’ll walk you through what this looks like in just a minute.
One of the biggest things that I struggled with through my anxiety, panic disorder, and agoraphobia journey, was always wanting to feel safe, secure, and in control. But because of how I had trained my brain to think, I was often convincing myself that I wasn’t safe, that I wasn’t secure, and that I wasn’t in control.
I’d often think about what would happen 5 minutes from now, a day from now, a week from now, or years from now. What if I die? What happens when I die? What if I get a disease? What if I have a disease? What if my mom dies? What if I get in a car accident? What if I never recover from this? What if I never do the things I want to in life? What happens if I’m stuck living life this forever?
I craved knowing what the future held. I felt like if I knew what it held, or if I could control it, I’d feel safer, more secure, more in control, and ultimately more at peace. But by craving to know what I would never know, caused me to feel all of the things that I was trying so hard not to feel. It caused me to feel unsafe, insecure, out of control, and beyond anxious!
I was manifesting my reality! I was constantly preparing myself for the worst, and believed every thought that came into my mind. Doing this caused the anxiety, panic, and symptoms. And ultimately, I was preventing myself from recovering.
Like with many things relating to anxiety, panic disorder, and agoraphobia, your mindset is key. Let me give you some tips that will help you to realize the power of accepting uncertainty:
Accept it, feel it, & let it go - I know that it's hard, but you have to work to accept that you can't control everything. Accepting and letting go of the things you don’t have control of will make your journey a lot easier, and a whole lot more enjoyable! Instead, focus on what you can control. Like the messages you give yourself, how you respond to your thoughts, where you put your focus, and what actions you take.
Don't avoid - Avoiding uncertainty will only create and heighten your worries and fears, and will strengthen them and make them harder to overcome. Same goes for your emotions! Don't avoid them. Feel your emotions so that you can move past them. I always find it super helpful to share my worries, fears, and emotions, especially in the moment!
Focus on the present - Do a mindfulness exercise, like a simple breathing technique - here’s my favorite one! Or hit play on a guided meditation! Doing a mindfulness exercise will help to bring your brain back into the present moment when it starts to trail off and worry about all of those uncertainties.
Manifest & envision what you want - If you're stuck on the worst case scenario, things likely aren't going to turn out how you want them to. Instead, focus on the best case scenario and manifest it... What does it look like? Where are you? What are you doing? How will you feel?
Remind yourself of your capabilities - We literally face uncertainty on a daily basis, and we do it successfully, sometimes without even thinking about it! Will something bad happen just because the outcome is uncertain? Heck no! I’ve had many really amazing experiences happen when there were uncertainties present. Have you faced uncertainty in the past and came out the other side? The answer is yes! Remind yourself of this truth.
Gain a different perspective - Look at uncertainties as opportunities and possibilities. It's your chance to paint your own picture! Facing uncertainty can lead to amazing things. And however it turns out, be proud of yourself for being brave!
Do a simple gratefulness practice - Writing down what you’re grateful for puts the focus on the good you have in your life rather than all of that uncertain stuff that isn’t relevant to your right now.
Limit your information intake - It’s helpful to be informed, but it can be incredibly harmful to take in too much information. Limit the time you spend taking in news, and the time you spend on social media.
Invest in the basics - Moving your body every day, drinking water, getting adequate sleep, eating well, all of these things have such huge impacts on your overall mental health!
Put the focus on you - What do you enjoy doing? What makes you happy? What makes you feel fulfilled and gives you purpose? Do more of those things! Putting you first isn’t selfish, it’s healthy!
Do you ever think to yourself, why can’t I just be more like that person? They are so carefree! Nobody is truly carefree, but you are absolutely capable of being like “that person.” You are capable of accepting uncertainty and using it to work for you rather than against you. You are capable of living in the present moment. It just takes a little hard work and some practice and dedication to some healthy habits to get there!
Keep taking those small steps forward.