Life is unpredictable, and even with careful planning, you’ll be dealing with uncertainty occasionally. This feeling can be overwhelming as it indicates many things are out of your control. You can handle uncertainty in life with grace while keeping your emotions in check, though.
Dealing with uncertainty in life is a major source of anxiety, especially for those that struggle to view it in a positive light. If you can shift your mindset, though, you can see that uncertainty can be a gift rather than an obstacle. You will learn to appreciate and enjoy the unexpected aspects of life as it keeps you guessing about what’s coming next.
If you let it, uncertainty will leave you feeling powerless over your life, draining you emotionally. You can’t control every aspect of life, and worrying won’t change that. Worrying will only obstruct the enjoyment of the present and keep your mind racing.
Twelve Tips for Dealing with Uncertainty in Life
Rather than filling your life with worry and anxiety about dealing with uncertainty, adjust your mindset instead. You can never know for sure what will happen in the future, so let go of your attempt to control it. Finding different ways of dealing with uncertainty in life can help you overcome the negative feelings that can accompany it.
1. Focus on Things You Can Control
When you feel like your life is out of your control, it can seem like everything is falling apart. If uncertainty triggers this feeling in you, try focusing on things that you can control instead. When you focus on what you can control, you will feel better.
Find small things that give you peace, comfort, encouragement and helps you feel centered. The things you do should be straightforward and easily achievable while also encouraging positive thinking. Create a list of a few activities that can do this for you, and then reference them when you experience uncertainty.
When you focus on things you can control, you’ll switch from worry to problem-solving. Even if the only thing you can control is your attitude or emotional response, it can make all the difference when you face uncertainty.
2. Challenge Your Need for Certainty
When you feel uncertainty creeping in, don’t resist the change, or you’ll struggle much more. Challenge yourself and your need for certainty by keeping an open and realistic mindset. By challenging your need for certainty, you can let go of negative behaviors, reduce stress and worry, and save energy.
Change is inevitable, so be kind to yourself as you adapt to the new situation as necessary. It is okay to feel uncertain, but you can’t refuse to change. As you challenge your need for certainty, don’t be afraid to ask questions or make mistakes.
3. Learn to Accept Uncertainty
If you can accept uncertainty and learn to adapt to it, you can reduce worry and anxiety. With acceptance, you will experience positive thinking and hope for the future. One way you can learn to accept uncertainty is by recognizing the daily uncertainties that you already handle.
Once you recognize these daily issues, remember that you breeze over these situations each day, and everything turns out fine. This acknowledgment will help you face the unknown and embrace uncertainty with confidence. As you do this, you will become more tolerant of things that scare you.
If that doesn’t help you accept uncertainty, you can seek professional help. Research-based therapy can help with excessive worrying about the future and the unknown.
4. Live One Day at a Time
If you focus on the present, you’ll notice that many of your worries disappear. Live one day at a time and focus only on what today holds. Push away anxious feelings when you think of the future, or it can leave you feeling hopeless and depressed.
When you’re facing uncertainty, obsessing over the situation will make it seem worse. It can intensify your fear and hinder your ability to accept and adapt to change.
If you can focus on one day at a time, you’ll be more connected to the present. Being connected to the present will disrupt your negative feelings about the future. You will experience a calm mind and an overall mood boost.
5. Take A Break from the News
The news can trigger intense feelings of uncertainty in life. If you are already dealing with uncertainty, taking a break from the news can help you overcome it. Frequently checking the news will only intensify your stress levels and anxiety, especially during your most vulnerable times of the day.
Rather than constantly checking your news app, stay away from it for a while. The longer you stay away, the better, but at least a couple of hours will help. If you continuously have the news playing in the background, turn it off and play something positive or uplifting instead. You will feel the discomfort of uncertainty lift from your shoulders.
6. Love Yourself
When dealing with uncertainty in life, loving yourself is the best thing you can do. Focus on self-care and personal growth as you work through the unknown. Taking care of your body, mind, and spirit can help you face the future confidently and prepared.
Love yourself enough to get enough rest and eat nutritious foods that will sustain you. Spend time doing things you enjoy, and put yourself first sometimes. When you take care of yourself, you’ll feel much better about dealing with uncertainty in your life.
Avoid turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms when you experience uncertainty. Instead, consider the following options to help cope with feelings of uncertainty:
- go for a hike
- practice gratitude
- take a nap
- watch something funny
- talk to someone you trust
7. Stop Over-Thinking
When you overthink, you convince yourself of things that aren’t true. During times of uncertainty, it is easy to give in to the worst-case scenario type of thinking. While thinking of the worst-case scenario can help prevent disaster, it can be detrimental to your stress levels.
Overthinking will cause you to believe that the worst-case scenarios will truly happen. You might begin to feel like that situation is already happening, and you can experience grief and negativity over it. Plus, believing that the worst possible possibility will come true can hold you back and create close-mindedness.
Studies show that one way to stop overthinking is to envision the best-case scenario taking place. Look for positive aspects of each situation to replace your negative thoughts.
If you have to decide, go with your gut instinct rather than spending too much time thinking. By going with your gut when dealing with uncertainty, you can find solutions and identify problem areas.
8. Reduce Your Anxiety and Stress Levels
By finding positive ways to reduce your anxiety and stress levels, you can interrupt the negative thoughts that accompany uncertainty. Learning about healthy coping mechanisms can help.
Exercise is a popular way to reduce anxiety and stress levels as it naturally relieves stress and anxiety. If you want to boost the effectiveness of exercise, try adding a mindfulness element. Focus on the way your body feels as you exercise
Making time for relaxation can help with reducing your anxiety and stress levels, too. Some relaxation techniques that you can choose from include meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises. Set aside time each day to relax, and don’t skip it to do something for someone else.
Another powerful way to reduce your stress and anxiety is by getting plenty of sleep. If you can sleep better at night, your worries and fears will ease up a little, allowing you to think clearer. Additionally, eating a healthy diet full of vitamins and nutrients will help ease the negative feelings.
9. Reflect on Your Success
Life is never easy, meaning that in the past, you’ve overcome stressful situations and obstacles. Since you’re here right now, it means that you survived everything you have already been through. Overcoming and persevering is a huge feat, so give yourself some credit for it.
Spend time reflecting on your successes, though, because there is always a learning opportunity. Determine what you could have done differently to make the situation even easier or more beneficial. When you spend time reflecting, you prepare yourself for uncertainties in the future.