12 Tips for Dealing with Uncertainty in Life

12 Tips for Dealing with Uncertainty in Life

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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
  • exercise
  • talk to someone you trust

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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.

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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.

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If you look back on your past and believe that it was all certain, you’re experiencing what psychologists call hindsight bias. Hindsight bias says that people create illusions that the past was certain although that is never the case. Whenever you feel uncertain, remember this fact and spend time reflecting on your success.

10. Practice Mindfulness

Research from psychologist Gertrude Lyons shows that mindfulness is a beneficial coping mechanism. Being mindful means that you pay attention to where you are and what you are doing. It requires being fully present and not overreacting or becoming overwhelmed.

Everyone can be mindful, but it requires practice to release and embrace it. You can practice mindfulness by focusing on your sending and identifying three things you can feel or hear. Additionally, acknowledge your racing or wandering thoughts and then ground yourself in the present.

Whenever you’re dealing with uncertainty in life and begin to worry, remember to practice mindfulness. You can do it anywhere, making it a beneficial option no matter where you are. As you control your thoughts and emotions, you will feel a sense of control over that aspect of your life.

11. Express Gratitude

When things seem uncertain, it is easy for your mind to focus on the negative aspects. To counteract this negativity, try expressing gratitude when you start to feel worried or fearful. Please focus on the things you are grateful for, and be specific as you think of them.

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Sometimes it helps to write down all of the things that you are thankful to have in your life. Research shows that expressing gratitude can help reduce stress and depression, helping you get through times of change.

As you replace your negative thoughts with gratitude, you’ll remember how strong you’ve been in the past. This acknowledgment will help you overcome uncertainty and focus on the good things in your life.

12. Be Kind to Yourself and Others

When dealing with uncertainty, you might not want to be nice to yourself or other people. Research shows that being kind can help you overcome negative feelings, though. It helps overcome rumination and anxiety as you connect with yourself and others on a deeper level.

If you want to be nice to others, you can try things like stopping to talk with a co-worker or smiling at them as you pass by. Thank people that have helped you, and check in on people that mean the most to you. You can also help someone run errands or carry groceries into their house.

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As long as you are intentional with your acts of kindness, you will experience the benefits. When you’re nice to people, it promotes the release of oxytocin, boosting your mood and reinforcing feelings of wellbeing.

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Final Thoughts on Tips for Dealing with Uncertainty in Life

If you want to overcome uncertainty, these tips can help you. Dealing with uncertainty is a part of life, but when you can do it positively, it can be a good experience for you. You will feel better overall, and your life will improve in all areas.

Embrace the inevitable life changes, and try to handle them beneficially. As you remove uncertainty from your life, you will feel yourself getting stronger and more resilient to the world around you. Being overwhelmed by uncertainty doesn’t have to hold you back, so follow these tips to make the most of it.

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Sarah Barkley is a lifestyle blogger and freelance writer with a Bachelor's Degree in Literature from Baker College. She is experienced in all things related to parenting, marriage, and life as a millennial parent, but loves to learn new things. She enjoys the research that goes into a strong article, and no topic is off-limits to Sarah. When she isn't writing, she is immersed in a book or watching Gilmore Girls. Sarah loves reading classic novels but also enjoys a good thriller.

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