Uncertainty's A Bitch. Revel In It.
When have we ever been comfortable when we don't know what's going to happen in our lives? I mean since the start of time, we lived in caves, and all we had to do was try to figure out how we were going to stay alive, how we were going to kill that mammoth, and how we were going to eat that night. Throw relationships, and general 21st-century life into the mix, and there we go, we have the reason why anxiety levels in children are rising by the second. We make shit complicated because, I'm sorry to burst your bubble but we don't have to kill those mammoths to stay alive anymore, and we will look literally anywhere else to get that adrenalin hit.
The problem with uncertainty is you don't know what's going to happen, that's what uncertainty is, and that terrifies us because we're programmed to survive, like any other animal...so what do you do? ... You try to come up with the worst possible scenario in your imagination, in order to work out how you can survive it if it does come about.
The reality is that you will never ever, ever, come up with the exact same situation as in your head.
Yes, I'm sorry to say, you're not psychic bucko, but that's okay. In fact, that's more than okay. The great thing with not knowing what's going to happen next is that ANYTHING can happen; whether that's good, bad, amazing, or damn right terrible. The world can chew you up and spit you out, it does that with everyone, so please don't think you're alone in this. So what can you do about it in order to try and put those overwhelming thoughts that pop into our heads at rest? Well, listen up, cause I have a few ways I've kicked uncertainty in the ass.
R O U T I N E
Okay so we've established that some things we can't control, like spilling coffee down your favourite white top (yes that has been done on multiple occasions, definitely a lot more than I would like, and yes, some things vanish truly can't fix...) But the one thing we can do is create a routine. Going back to the caveman analogy, every caveman had a routine 'sleep, hunt, not die, repeat.' Cavemen, from what we know didn't have a bad life (apart from the huge mammoth & dying problem), they had a purpose, and they enjoyed that fact, they had all the adrenalin they needed, and they are really something we can aspire too (strange enough as that sounds.)
So get a routine going...
Whether it's going to a gym class every Wednesday, or if it's catching up with your girls every Saturday night. Having at least one certain plan in your life which you do every week or month without fail can be the start to dealing with the anxious thoughts that preside over you when the lights go off at night.
(My non-negotiable plan - Prosecco Mondays (because we all know Mondays are hard, and who doesn't like a celebration?)
"But B, I hate routine, and my schedule is way too busy for any structure..."
If you do in fact hate routine, or have a work schedule which is as bi-polar as the weather in Cornwall then instead start smaller, start going to bed and waking up at the same time everyday (that I promise is harder then it seems, especially if your social life is all over the place like mine), I'm always told it's all in the little things, and that quote has made its way onto many posters, so it can't be far from the truth.
D O S O M E T H I N G T H A T 'S C A R E S' Y O U E V E R Y D A Y
( O R A T L E A S T O N C E A W E E K )
Okay, so you've checked the routine off the list, but now onto the hardcore stuff. I have always believed that life begins outside of your comfort zone. (Which is probably why I make so many mistakes in life, because who knows, maybe I like being out of my comfort zone...or making mistakes?...anyway) The problem is when life gets too much, what do most of us do? Hideaway, or distract ourselves in order to bury and completely ignore the problem, so much so that we think if we do this then it will just go away with time. Problem is, this rarely happens, and I'm talking about a 2% chance, so...why let that stop you from living? Why not change the feeling of overwhelmed with uncertainty to the feeling of being overwhelmed with endless possibilities (sounds better already right?) Life is meant to scare you, why do you think rollercoasters never go of business?
Y O U C A N ' T C H A N G E T H E T H O U G H T S C O M I N G
I N T O Y O U R H E A D , B U T Y O U C A N C H A N G E H O W
Y O U D E A L W I T H T H E M . . .
Ever played the game where if you think of 'the game' you've lost the game? If you haven't, then where were you for the first century of the 2000s? ok, so maybe you had a life, or better conversation topics. The point is, the game proves that it's harder to not think of something when you're trying not to think of it all. Want an example? It's like me telling you not think of penguins, now all that's in your mind is penguins, and although penguins are a nice thought to have, I'm more thinking along the line of the thoughts which plague us when we don't know what's going to happen next in our lives, like if we've done something wrong at work, or if you go way too far into your overdaft...it's all about the consequences baby.
So how do we play?...well it all came into practice when a good friend of mine gave me a brain exercise to do when I was feeling overwhelmed, with my head in my hands, and my thoughts bursting out of my ears, I was 'done with it all' (queue the dramatics). All she said was when the next bad thought comes into my brain when I just didn't know what was going to happen next, when uncertainty takes over, just let go and let my brain play it out,
"It won't kill you, it's not an actual reality." she said.
Queue the next bad thought...the sick feeling in my stomach appeared and boom, the negative scenario switch in my brain was turned on to maximum capacity, but this time instead of trying everything I could to distract myself with Netflix, drawing, making bad decisions, or literally anything I could, I let myself think it, I didn't try and get rid of it, I just turned off the music and sat there, to my surprise it just floated away. I'm not saying it happened straight away, I'm not saying the thought didn't come back at a later date, but now when negative thought about the future comes into my head, it tends to disappear a lot sooner than normal, and my day just flows better...
W H A T H A P P E N S I F Y O U D O N ' T F A C E U N C E R T A I N T Y ?
Look, I'm going to be real with you now, I'm an emotional girl, I have always feared the thought of uncertainty, but recently the fear of uncertainty made me lose face of who I really was, and if you don't change your way of thinking soon then you could lose 'you' too. So if you feel overwhelmed by the thought of uncertainty, if you're constantly trying to control a situation, the time to act is now. You can change your thought process. Don't ever believe that you can't change, because if everyone still had the belief that people's minds couldn't be changed then the world would still be known as flat.
if you stay in the fact that uncertainty might just kill you you will lose people that mean the world to you, and you will never start living life, the life of which you imagined. You will survive, you just will, because like your ancestors before you, they bet on themselves to get you to where you are today.
P.s Still ticked off about the penguins?