Why is uncertainty stressful? Uncertainty is stressful because of the fact that it is the unknown. The only certainty is that life is uncertain! That’s probably a phrase that you have heard more than once, specially recently. We all know it, but do we truly believe it? Do we strive to control the uncontrollable and how can we feel in control in uncertain times?
What is a mindset?
Your mindset is the way you think or perceive things, your outlook on life and yourself. It’s your general attitude to what shapes your thought habits, and these habits consequently impact the way you make sense of the world and how you think about you. Having a positive mindset is extremely important when it comes to stress and uncertainty.
Not everybody’s mindset is the same. What you might personally find stressful, someone else might not. It might be a good idea to look to other people in times of stress to see how they would perceive it. How would they deal with it? Why don’t they find it stressful? Be influenced by other people’s mindsets to change your perspective!
Developing a positive mindset
- Change your perspective – speak to colleagues or friends, use their experiences and mindset to change your own.
- Get rid of any negative self talk – what are the negative things you are telling yourself and how can you change them?
- Develop a positive attutide
Take this peom for example. Read it through.
Now read it with the lines from bottom to top. You see how important words are and how they make you feel? How changing the words can change your mindset?
Stop catastrophising – are you turning something into an “end of the world” situation? Think of the last time you were worried. Did the thing you were worried about happen? If it did was it as bad as you thought? Probably not. We can have a tendency to blow things out of proportion and put unnecessary strain on oursleves. All you end up doing is adding to your stress.
Is there any part of the situation you can control? If there is do what you can to manage the situation in the best way possible. Focus on what is in your area of control and responsibility. Learn to let go of the things out of your control.
Change those negative thoughts into something positive. Focus on where you hear the voice. Put your hand in that location. You may feel it in your body or close to it. Now see if you recognise the voice. IS it your voice or that of someone you know? Now change it to a really silly voice, like Donald Duck or something and move it away from you. Can you still take yourself seriously? Of course not. Now use that technique whenever you notice that unhelpful self criticism creeping back in.
Positive affirmations can reinforce a positive image of yourself. Ask yourself what are you good at? What dare you doing well at the moment in your job or otherwise? What happens in your mind is reflected on your body. So feeling grateful for what you have at uncertain times and reminding yourself about the good things is a step forward to gaining some control over yourself and your situation, especially when you’re feeling anxious or uncertain about things.
This blog has been all about mindset. In the following blog I will be giving another way to manage uncertainty.
Part 4 – Manage Ambiguity