7 strategies to help you live with uncertainty

7 strategies to help you live with uncertainty

The last few years have thrown so many curve balls at us it can be said with confidence that the only certainty in life any more is uncertainty!

The word “unprecedented” has been used an unprecedented number of times.

Along with this, for many, comes anxiety and stress; it’s hard to be happy if you don’t know what the heck is happening!

But the good news is that we can all learn do live better with uncertainty; to accept it more and be less distressed by it.

How? Well, this TED Ideas article by Christine Carter outlines 7 great strategies …

What should we do when everything feels so out of control?

Living with so much uncertainty is hard. Human beings crave information about the future in the same way we crave food, sex and other primary rewards. Our brains perceive ambiguity as a threat, and they try to protect us by diminishing our ability to focus on anything other than creating certainty.

But sometimes — maybe always — it’s more effective for us not to attempt to create certainty. Though evolution might have rigged our brains to resist uncertainty, we can never really know what the future will bring. And during unpredictable, unfolding situations like a pandemic or a war, we need to learn to live with ambiguity.

“Uncertainty is the only certainty there is,” wrote mathematician John Allen Paulos. “Knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.”

So how can we best cope when everything feels so out of control?

Here are seven strategies.

1. Don’t resist

There’s no doubt: We are living through challenging times.

But resisting this current reality won’t help us recover, learn, grow or feel better. Ironically, resistance prolongs our pain and difficulty by amplifying the challenging emotions we are feeling. There is real truth to the aphorism that what we resist persists.

There’s an alternative.

Instead of resisting, we can practice acceptance. Research by psychologist Kristin Neff and her colleagues has shown that acceptance — particularly self-acceptance — is a counterintuitive secret to happiness. Acceptance is about meeting life where it is and moving forward from there.

Because acceptance allows us to see the reality of the situation in the present moment, it frees us up to move forward, rather than remaining paralyzed or being made ineffective by uncertainty, fear or argument.

To practice acceptance, we surrender our resistance to a problematic situation and also to our emotions about the situation. For example, you might find your marriage to be particularly challenging right now. Instead of criticizing or blaming your spouse — two tactics that are about resistance — you could calmly accept your marriage for the time being.

This doesn’t mean that you won’t feel frustrated or disappointed or saddened by the state of things. A big part of acceptance is accepting how we feel about difficult circumstances and difficult people in our lives. But allowing our challenging marriage to be as it is right now — and acknowledging our own feelings about it — puts us in a better position to move forward.

To be clear, acceptance is not the same as resignation. Accepting a situation doesn’t mean it will never get better. We aren’t accepting that things will stay the same forever; we’re only accepting  whatever is actually happening at the moment.

We can work to make our marriage happier, while at the same time allowing the reality that right now, this relationship or situation is complicated. Maybe it will get better; maybe it won’t.

Practicing acceptance in the face of difficulty is hard, but it’s also the most effective way to move forward…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE