Uncertainty is unavoidable in our lives, but there are many ways to cope positively with uncertainty, and it is most important for individuals to find what works for them.
Sometimes, a good cry can help you cope with the stress of uncertainty. Letting out your emotions can feel like a release. It can be helpful to acknowledge one’s helplessness in the face of overwhelming demands and uncertainty. Some people prefer to do this alone and others with the comfort of friends or family.
Many people may benefit from reading or listening to something spiritual or inspirational to help provide grounding, connection, or meaning in the face of uncertainty. This may include a favorite book, religious text, or other inspirational text. Participation in religious activity is also comforting to some as a way to connect to support during uncertain times. Other spiritual resources can be found in your community.
Positive self-talk can be used to help remember the innate strength one has. This is in the same spirit as “the little engine that could.” When we remind ourselves of our strength, it may help us to cope with the unknown. Some examples of positive self-statements are:
- I can make it through this.
- I am strong.
- I have been through hard times before and I survived.
- I can balance fear and uncertainty with problem solving and certainty.
When we are experiencing uncertainty about something big, it may be useful to break it down and analyze what areas are in our control. For example, if a person is awaiting a call from a doctor about a serious medical test, she cannot make the test results arrive sooner, but she may be able to think about what to ask when the doctor calls. Being able to gain some knowledge in the situation may help her feel more in control of the situation.
Some people benefit from “staying busy” or finding small tasks to focus on. This can be helpful to distract oneself from the overwhelming amount of worry.
Last, but certainly not least, depending upon the strength and support of others in uncertain times can be extremely valuable. Sometimes we have to admit that whatever we are coping with is too much for us to bear, and we must allow others to support us. Accepting offers of help can be difficult, but extremely valuable in times of distress.
A Message from The Jewish Board
If you live in the New York metropolitan area need help coping with stress and support in times of crisis, we can help. Call us at 1.844.ONE.CALL to speak with an intake specialist.