With the world feeling like it is spiralling out of control with the corona virus, it is no wonder we all are feeling the strain of fear and uncertainty as we just don’t know what the future holds! Now uncertainty is really sneaky. What starts off as feeling unsure, worried, if left unanswered, plus being in an uncertain environment surrounded by other uncertain people this can easily and quickly spiral into deep fear, panic and extreme anxiety. My worry is not so much of the physical impact of the corona virus, but the psychological and how we are going to navigate our way through this time in the healthiest and mentally safest way possible.
Why is this happening?
1. The fear of the unknown- we have never been through something like this so we have no reference point as to how to think, feel and act
2. Lack of control- this is something we have no influence over, especially at the government, national and international levels
3. Seeing the impact on others- we can see the effects in other countries and how this panned out for them so it sends us into a panic that the same thing will happen to us!
Don’t worry you are not alone in this constant need for certainty. As humans we are programmed to crave certainty in our lives and the feeling of knowing exactly what the future holds, even if it is just 5 minutes from now.
Even more so we crave control.
Deep down in our minds is our subconscious, whose primary role is to keep us safe and protect us from danger. It is our survival instinct. Our subconscious LOVES certainty because certainty= safety. So anytime our subconscious senses that we don’t have control or we are facing a dilemma this will signal a big red flag that HELP THERE IS DANGER. This is the reason for all those unwanted emotions, all the anxiety which develops, the worrying, ruminating, panicking, fearing. This is all the work of your subconscious mind, just doing what it thinks is best to keep you safe!
If you are trying to control what is happening around you or placing much focus and energy on things that you cannot influence then you will continue to feel more and more uncertain, anxious and overwhelmed. This will impact on your relationships, your career and your health because you will living in fear with your subconscious constantly feeling under threat.
In all of this uncertainty we are living in right now, the only thing you can be certain of is you and how you respond to the uncertainty! So, the next time you face a situation which brings back those familiar signs of uncertainty you can start to take back some control using these 3 steps:
1. What can I control here?
There are only a number of things which you can truly control in your life:
· Your thoughts
· Your feelings
· Your actions
· Your mistakes
You have zero control over other people, their words, their actions and what is happening around you. If this is where your focus lies, all this will do is increase your anxiety levels as these are the things you cannot directly influence, thus signalling to your subconscious that you are not safe!
Train yourself to take-action only on the things you can control and accept those things you can’t have an effect on and leave them behind- they are just fuelling your uncertainty.
Now you know where you need to focus your mind and energy, it is time to take-action only on those things within your control.
Ask yourself this simple question: “what can I do here now? Where is the opportunity here?”
I can keep some sense of daily routine going- eating healthy, exercising, working, nurturing my relationships
Take the necessary precautions and understand the impact of my actions on others
Have down time to ensure I rest and get enough sleep
Take active steps to help manage those feelings of anxiety.
Keep talking to others and keep my relationships strong for support, we are all in the same boat.
See life as it is in that moment, not the disaster your brain is making it out to be nor how you’d like it to be, then take-action. Now what is the best you can make out of it? Where is the opportunity, what are your choices, what can you do here now?
3. Reframe your uncertainty
If we don’t reframe and embrace this uncertainty, then we will never truly be able to resolve those things causing us to feel this way. Life will always throw us obstacles (like COVID-19), but it is how we respond to those obstacles which is the most important thing. If we seeing uncertain as an opportunity to adapt and change, this allows us to remain flexible to all the uncertainties happening around us. We will never know what is around the corner, but all we can be certain of is our ability to face and tackle challenges with the knowing that we are doing all we can to get ourselves through it in the safest way possible!
“When nothing is certain everything is possible”
Need some support to help you get through this tough time? Come join my community of lovely ladies for unlimited help and weekly live sessions to give you the advice and guidance you need to stay strong right now!
Do not suffer alone in silence.
Women's Life Coach
Eating Disorder Therapist
Helping women resolve hidden issues with food (emotional eating, binge eating, bulimia, anorexia), emotions and the fear of not being good enough.