Today is the day after Election Day in a very contentious time in our country and we are left dealing with uncertainty. Having the patience to allow our democracy to work is demanding. It would be so much easier on all of us if the answers were quick. We would not feel so out of control.
“The mistake is thinking that there can be an antidote to the uncertainty.”David Levithan
We are very used to having instant gratification and getting answers at our fingertips that we are becoming uncomfortable at having to wait. Anything we need to know, we just ask Alexa, Siri, Google, or any other Artificial Intelligence available to us. This has become a part of our every day and we take it for granted that we will get answers instantaneously.
Research shows that feelings of uncertainty actually have more of a negative effect on our health, than knowing a negative outcome. For example, not knowing the status of our job causes more negative health affects than actually being fired. Similarly, research participants who were told that they had a 50% chance of receiving a painful electric shock felt far more anxious and agitated than participants who believed they were definitely going to receive the shock.
Uncertainty is a sign of humility, and humility is just the ability or the willingness to learn.Charlie Sheen
Add the uncertainty of COVID-19 to this situation, and it is understandable that we would be feeling an unusual amount of stress at this time. We need to have a game plan to help us get through this time unscathed.
Here are some strategies to help in this difficult uncertain time.
- Don’t fight it – by resisting the feelings, we will prolong the pain of being uncertain
- Look to healthy comfort items – exercise, meditate, call a friend (stay off social media)
- Don’t trust your thinking – our minds will go to the worst scenario if we let it
- Concentrate on what you can control – don’t look to others to rescue you
- Keep calm – this too shall pass
If you aren’t in the moment, you are either looking forward to uncertainty, or back to pain and regret.Jim Carrey
Focus your time and attention on things in your life that will bring you peace and serenity. Be mindful of your reactions and emotions as you go through this difficult time. Stay safe and take care of yourself. Each day is a new beginning.