6 Ways to Manage Uncertainty in Life

Living with Uncertainty is Challenging!

We have so many questions about the future, with more questions that answers.  This can be very difficult for many of us.  Some people can live with uncertainty, but others find it impossible to cope with.

IMG_1175We are more reflective of life as we age and we have so many unanswered big questions.  What is the meaning of life, why am I here, do I believe in god, am I a good person/parent/partner/friend, and so on.  Many of us have accepted that these questions.  They help us form our view of the world, our beliefs and our outlook on life.  These are things we seem have b
een pondering for decades.

And then there are the other questions we seriously think about all the time.  These questions tend to make us extremely uncomfortable when left
unanswered as they deal with our financial stability, our health and our living situation.  When the economy is not good it negatively impacts our available cash flow, the cost of living and our ability to survive on a fixed income.  While we may be healthy today, we could have an accident or get sick tomorrow.  Our living situation can quickly change with the end of a relationship, an accident, a natural disaster or a terrorist attack.  And where will this leave us!  What will we do?

Not having answers to these questions can definitely keep us up at night.  It can steal our appetite and plunge us into a very dark state of mind.  Sure we can answer them, but without a crystal ball, the answers are only speculation.  So what do we do?  We often handle uncertainty very badly.

4 Unhealthy Ways We Handle Uncertainty

  • Constantly pestering others for reassurance on decisions made and choices taken
  • Frantically checking things over and over again to ensure everything is fine with no surprises
  • Avoiding places, people and situations to eliminate uncertain outcomes
  • Keeping extremely busy so there is no time to think about the uncertainty in life

These ways are unhealthy methods of handling uncertainty as they all encourage anxiety and paranoia.  The goal should be to handle uncertainty in a way that encourages us to enjoy our life and not be too focused on the unknown.  It’s all about taking control, but control in a good positive way that reduces stress and the anxiety surrounding uncertainty.

6 Healthy Ways To Manage Uncertainty

1 – Replace expectations with solid plans:  When you form expectations, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment.  The future is usually different from what you expected.  Instead of expecting something specific, focus on what you can do, and make plans accordingly.

2 – Prepare for many different poIMG_1563ssibilities:  To give yourself a sense of control, make plans for a variety of different outcomes and build flexibility into your plans.  This will eliminate the fear of not knowing what to do, and provide solutions for handling a variety of future situations.

3 – Take control of your feelings:  Sometimes we can get lost in our feelings and drown in negative ‘what if’ speculations.  We need to nip these speculations and remind ourselves that while we can’t predict the future, it does not mean it will be negative.  It may also be positive and we need to look forward to it with positive feelings.

4 – Gain confidence in your ability to cope and adapt:  Determine the worst that can happened to you and then figure out how you will handle it.  Once you know how you will handle the worst, it becomes less stressful and you will build up confidence in your ability to handle the future.

5 – Control your stress levels with mindfulness and stress reduction techniques:  Focus on living in the here and now.  Mindfulness, achieved with yoga, meditation and some exercises, brings our focus to the moment, our attention to how we feel, and what is currently happening.  This relaxes our body, as it removes feelings of fear and anxiety about the unknown.  Whatever technique you use, it is important to reduce stress.  This will help you relax and be better prepared to handle whatever life presents you with.

6 – Focus on what you can do:  Focusing on what you can do provides the strength and confidence in your abilities to handle life.  This positive focus helps eliminate the stress and worry from what you can’t do.

We have to consider that living with uncertainty makes life exciting.  How boring would life be if we knew what would happen to us in the future?  We need to embrace the unknown and not fear it.

Uncertainty can keep us up at night, obsessing over what might go wrong.  Or it can motivate us to practice acceptance, live in the moment, and embrace the adventure of living.

I’m focusing on my possibilities, not my fear, and I feel extremely positive.

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This article was originally published in Sixty and Me, a website and newsletter specializing in being passionate about living well, embracing change, trying new things, meeting new friends and exploring new lifestyles.  Please click the to access this article 6 Ways to Manage Uncertainty in Life.

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