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Dealing with Fear and Uncertainty in Daily Life

The world is together in fighting the pandemic forced on us. A lot of us might feel like hiding in the bed, pulling the covers over the head and hoping that the fears are not elevated. Everything we watch on TV and social media gives a feeling that everything is happening outside our own front door. All we see in the media is news of schools and colleges shutting down, social gatherings being banned, financial crisis and stock markets going down, travel bans and a steady and alarming increase in death rates. It is so easy to be scared with these drastic changes in the face of unprecedented uncertainty. This is exactly the time to remain level headed, act sensibly and avoid stressing ourselves out so that the people around us also manage to live up to the day.

What is uncertainty? In simple words, it's the state when predictable outcomes are questioned. When that happens, the stress levels and response become haywire and we think about either facing it or fleeing from the situation. When uncertain, our immediate response is to create or go to a situation which has certainty and outcomes can be controlled by your own actions. In a way, we are all afraid of uncertain situations and tend to feel safe and protected when the situation is predictable. Waiting for a moment of certainty can be excruciatingly painful and assumptions can take a larger toll on your health than the fact that we are facing adversity.

These are the moments to be more calm and less agitated. The mind is always making its own judgments about what's safe and what's not. It normally assumes the worst, exaggerates the threats and makes us jump to conclusions in haste. We start to go along to over estimate the uncertainty and underestimate our ability to fight and be able to handle the odd situations. The anxious mind starts to push you to survive more than be able to thrive. It is important for us to realise that running is not the solution, standing and being able to live through something is what counts. It makes us stronger and better armed for future circumstances.

Whatever enters the mind, makes the body bear its burden for the better or the worse. Being level headed is the best option in situations where the mind keeps pulling thoughts to the worst case scenarios. When situations are beyond control due to external factors, those are the moments when your perspective, being the most powerful influencer, to be totally in your own control. When uncertainty is scary, then preparing for it doesn't get any help from fear and panic.

Things will no longer be the same as earlier. However, what scares us? Is it the news of the virus or the anticipation of drastic changes that may be beyond our control? Being calm, informed and following the right voices are our best allies in the midst of fear of the unknown. If we make the best of the opportunity, one step at a time, it will contribute to our well being and people looking up to us for strength will be a shade less worried. Fear can take over rationality, and make us think of the worse, but we need to hold on and ensure that we don’t let it carry us away. Do it for yourself, do it for the people around you.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash