Coping With Uncertainty

Living with uncertainty can create stress and anxiety. People don’t like not knowing what is going to happen. Uncertainty is an inability to have control over a situation, and that’s not often comfortable. Look at your colleagues or clients and ask yourself if you know their schedules. Most people have routines that keep them grounded, on time, and connected. When things are going smoothly, your client can feel safe. However, emotions like anxiety or stress can overtake healthy emotions when things go awry.

Uncertainty in Life

Most people feel the need to have information. Without certainty, the brain perceives the unknown as a threat. Therefore, it will decrease a person’s ability to focus on anything other than the situation.

The survey Stress in America asked people how they felt about uncertainty. A majority of those surveyed reported uncertainty was a cause of stress. Almost half said the pandemic has interfered with their ability to plan. They’re in limbo because they can’t plan and don’t know when to prepare for the future.

What if not establishing certainty is the best thing for a person? While the brain is wired to crave predictability or certainty, sometimes uncertainty is good for people.

Living With Uncertainty

The pandemic showed people that no one could predict the future. As new variants appear and the best-laid plans shatter, they have experienced upheaval in their lives. Maybe their first urge was to try to control the situation. However, control rarely works. Instead, work with your client to let go of control. While not doing anything can seem counterintuitive, it may be the healthiest thing for your client’s mind and body. 

At some point in a person’s life, they may realize that the only thing anyone knows about the future is that they don’t know the future. Yes, a person can plan for the future, but they can’t prepare for outside events. Without realizing it, they’re always living in uncertainty. Controlling the future is impossible. Guide your client to release their expectations because they can only control themselves. 

Ways to Live Without Control

There are ways to live life without controlling events and people. No one can avoid uncertainty. Ways you can help your client learn to live without control include:

#1. Don’t Fight Uncertainty

Resisting uncertainty extends harmful thoughts or feelings because your client isn’t taking time to recover, heal, or grow. Instead, when they hang on to the need for control, emotions like depression or anxiety can increase. 

#2. Acceptance Means Living in the Moment

You can teach your client to assess situations and find healthy ways to move forward. For instance, they can be in a challenging relationship at the moment. Ask them to resist the urge to fight or blame the other person. Instead, step back from the relationship and accept it. Your client will still feel various emotions, but they also free themselves of negative emotions. Your client will learn to welcome their feelings, take in what is going on, and find a way forward. Acceptance doesn’t mean a person gave up on a relationship or situation. Instead, a person allows themselves to live in the present and grow.

#3. Practice Self-Care

Guide your client to invest time in themselves. Self-care isn’t selfish. The time they spend nurturing their mind and body helps them face uncertainty. 

#4. Work Towards Health

An essential to coping with uncertainty is for your client to practice healthy habits. Your client’s brain may try to seek out rewards to distract them from uncertainty. Instead of giving into unhealthy temptations, like excessive shopping, help your client find healthy alternatives.

#5. Spend Time Writing or Being Active

Journaling is a healthy way your client can express their thoughts and feelings. Later, they can go back and read what they wrote and gain insight into what triggers their emotions. Another way to release harmful emotions is to engage in activities like yoga, surfing, painting, or reading. 

#6. Stop Overthinking or Criticizing

Whenever your client catches themself believing self-defeating thoughts help them to replace those thoughts with positive thoughts. Instead of jumping to the worst-case scenario, guide them to search for a bright side. It is wise to think of a scenario where things don’t go as planned in some cases, but don’t make the worst-case scenario the only scenario.

#7. Look For Meaning

No one denies uncertainty is chaotic, but in chaos, there is meaning. Your client can find what makes them feel significant. When your client feels needed, they can elevate their self-confidence and happiness. 

#8. Be a Friend

Dwelling on a situation isn’t emotionally healthy. Ask your client, if a friend came to them with the same problem, what would they tell them? Then, they should take their advice.

Uncertainty can throw anyone into a tailspin. Most people rely on knowing what will happen because knowing is control. However, when something goes wrong, the disruption can create emotions like depression or anxiety. Emotions like depression and anxiety are normal reactions to chaos, but they can harm a person’s mental and physical well-being. Luckily, they don’t have to hold on to uncertainty; help them let go with SokyaHealth. Our therapists are here to guide your client to discover how embracing uncertainty can positively impact their life. Our wellness services target crucial elements to living a healthy, meaningful life. Through self-care, coaching, or therapy, your client can become connected to what makes them feel connected with themselves and others. We believe flexibility is an essential part of coping. Because our services are available through telehealth, your client can access their coach or therapist anywhere. To find out how we can help your client, call (877) 840-6956.

More than 50% of Americans struggle with mental health.

Headlight is now collaborating with health plans and companies to make therapy more accessible and affordable. Speak to a Care Coordinator today.