17 Ways to Deal With Uncertain and Stressful Times

Style My Soul (StyleMySoul.com)
9 min readOct 28, 2022
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What is one self-development practice/strategy you apply to cope with uncertainty and stressful moments?

Asking the Important Questions

I make it a priority to ask important questions to obtain the necessary resources to alleviate any uncertainty and stress I may feel at any given moment. To maintain my peace of mind, I actively seek answers to effectively overcome obstacles to help me function my best in both my professional and personal lives. Whether I require guidance from another person or require research and reflection on my own accord, I strive to put a plan together and take action.

Asking questions builds my knowledge base and contributes to my overall development. Uncertainty and stressful moments are certainly challenging, but with a keen awareness of my situation, and the initiative to find ways to cope, I can successfully find solutions to my problems and answers to my questions.

Alex Wang, CEO, Ember Fund

Just Breathing

After years of working as an executive coach, I felt called to become certified as a breathwork facilitator to offer my clients “in the moment” techniques to calm themselves during the inevitable uncertain and stressful moments they face. The one consistent practice I train my clients in (and use myself) is 4–7–8 breathing. The way it works is this: inhale in through the nose for a count of 4, hold the breath for a count of 7, exhale through the mouth making an audible woosh out for a count of 8. Continue this breath for three or four cycles. This safe style of breathing is known to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing anxiety and feelings of stress.

Emily Golden, Founder & Executive Coach, Golden Resources, LLC

Being Kind to Yourself

Uncertainty is the common nature of life, and everyone must know how to deal with it. At times it might get worse, but self-care should be taken care of to prepare the mind to adapt and face the problem without much deep effect. Always remind yourself that it might take time for the stressful situation to resolve. Any kind of exaggerated uncertainty or stress can’t be resolved and get back in its phase in a few minutes. Good things take time, so be kind to yourself and let the situation resolve. Many people are great at dealing with uncertainty, so don’t pressure yourself if your tolerance is unpredictably lower than someone else. You have to be patient and not pressure your mind so much.

Rick Nehora, Managing Partner at California Law Firm, California Law Firm

Writing

Writing is something that I have always loved to do ever since I was a little child. There is just something about penning down my thoughts that gives me a good feeling about the things that have been happening around me, and at the end of the day, it became a coping mechanism. Writing my feelings down makes me get a good overview of them, and when I look at them carefully, I usually find out a solution on my own. If I do not have a notebook available to me, I usually type in the notes on my phone and read them through when I feel like the situation is getting out of control. It gives me a sense of understanding when I read it over and realize the things that I have been doing wrong while also understanding the fact that I was unnecessarily worrying.

Andrew Griffith, Owner, Garden Furniture.

Remembering Your Mortality

“Memento Mori” — This simple line helps me maintain a wider perspective when times get stressful. “Memento Mori” is a Latin phrase that translates roughly to “remember that you will die.” Stoic philosophers took this expression a step further by saying, “let that determine what you say and do and think.” It’s a great way to keep you accountable to what really matters in your life.

A common misconception around “Memento Mori’’ is that it’s a depressing, morbid reminder of death. It’s the complete opposite. Memento Mori reminds you that you’ve only got one life. While we will always have stressors, remembering that we might die today can help us redirect our thoughts to the moment in front of us. It can discourage ruminating on the past and anxiously forecasting the future.

Jamie Press, SEO and Content Strategist, Eurisko

Reminding Yourself of Successful Outcomes

When you’re faced with any stress-related situations, one way to get past them is to remind yourself of your most recent successful outcomes. When you’ve worked hard on any professional or personal venture, it provides you with a sense of accomplishment and pride. Plus, you can always apply some of the same processes and strategies to other challenges that arise along the way.

Victor Mathieux, Co-Founder & CEO, Miracle Brand

Accepting What You Cannot Control

We all enjoy having the upper hand. After all, nobody ever succeeds in life if they feel helpless against their environment. But when you consider everything you are unable to manage or are unaware of as a personal failure, this quest for control can backfire. Successful managers of uncertainty don’t hesitate to identify its root causes. They are aware that the only thing they actually have influence over is the decision-making process. That’s the only sane approach to the unknowable and the most effective way to maintain composure.

Guy Sharp, Relocation Advisor, Andorra Guides

Cooking and Eating Healthy Food

One of the best strategies I apply to stressful moments is cooking. Cooking and eating healthy meals is extremely important while dealing with stressful situations in life. People often overlook the importance of having a good diet, especially when going through rough times. Cooking complex meals with a lot of steps can help a lot. It requires concentration and keeps you in the present while your subconscious evaluates the problem at hand. When it’s finished, you feel accomplished and have a satisfying dinner to eat as you reflect on the problems that first agitated you. Eating junk food and being addicted to sugar almost always has a bad impact on mental health. Unhealthy habits promote mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.

Deepa Tailor, Owner and Founder of Tailor Law, Tailor Law

Meditating Each Morning

Take time to meditate. I like to start my mornings with some quiet time to reflect and get in the right headspace for the day ahead. It’s especially important to give your mind a chance to relax when you’re facing uncertainty or stress, because these are the times when you need to be sharpest. Even meditating for just 20–30 minutes a day can help your mind stay calm and ready to handle whatever difficulties arise.

Brian Munce, Managing Director, Gestalt Brand Lab

Reaching Out to a Mentor

When the situation gets overwhelming and you’re faced with uncertainty, one of the best things you can do is to reach out to someone you trust. Apart from actively trying to solve the situation, reaching out to someone can be exactly what you need to make the right decisions. A mentor will not only provide advice but also guide you to understand how you want to resolve the situation.

Asma Hafejee, Senior Marketing Executive, CMR Surgical

Connecting With Others

In order to find solace in oneself and particularly through difficult times, it is helpful to forge connections with others. Humans are social creatures by nature, so taking care of yourself requires time for friends and socializing. Life gets stressful at times, and we often forget to make time for our loved ones, which in turn reciprocates healing for ourselves. It’s crucial for you to invest in close relationships with others. It will pay dividends when you need that shoulder to lean on or valuable wisdom to receive. Take the time and effort to build upon these relationships. Everyone has different social needs. By determining your social needs and scheduling enough time to satisfy them, you can have a fulfilling social life.

Haley Wood, Founder, The Look

Practicing Somatics

I learned early on in my work career that to work effectively and efficiently, I had to learn to manage stress. Physical exercise is a great way to help manage stress, but it’s not practical to hit the gym or go for a jog half a dozen times a day. Mindful meditation became an important part of my stress management, but a colleague introduced me to somatic practice, which has been a game changer.

Somatics takes a holistic approach to stress management, so you become aware of how your stress manifests physically. There are a variety of somatic exercises and activities, but what I find useful is you can do a quick one-minute exercise between appointments if necessary. In a nutshell, somatics helps relieve cognitive stress and the physical muscle tension stress causes, and I find this holistic approach highly effective.

Mark Anderson, Owner, Consumer Consulting Group

Stepping Away from the Situation

When in a stressful situation where I am feeling overwhelmed, I step completely away from the situation — sometimes physically and sometimes metaphorically. I have found going for a long walk or run can clear my head and ease feelings of anxiety. This also prevents me from acting rashly or saying something I might regret. In instances where it is not possible to remove myself, I try taking slow, deep breaths. Sometimes switching to another project allows me to clear my head and come back to the original problem with a fresh set of eyes.

Andrew Adamo, VP, Bullion Shark

Maintaining Your Poise

Stress is part of the job, whether you’re entry-level or in a managerial position. You should always expect moments of stress. To overcome those moments, have strategies in mind to remain poised and task-oriented. One of the biggest causes of stress is office turnover — someone with institutional knowledge leaves, and you have to hire someone who is less familiar with the day-to-day job. It helps to remember two things in that situation: It’s a free country, and everyone has the right to quit a job and find employment elsewhere, so don’t take someone quitting personally.

Secondly, when you hire someone, make sure you understand that it’s a marathon and not a sprint. Don’t hire someone too quickly because you need someone in that job right away. Take your time to hire the right candidate for the job, someone you can trust. Make sure that person is willing to put the time in to learn the ropes and be a valuable employee. Be calm and thoughtful. That’s how you handle stress in the workplace.

Emily Saunders, Chief Revenue Officer, eLuxury

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

Engage in activities and hobbies that take you out of your comfort zone. Strength and confidence are like wells from which we draw water when we’re thirsty. Building up experiences in which you had to overcome discomfort can become your source of strength to draw from when moments get tough. I took an improvisation class when I was insecure about public speaking. The experience gave me the confidence to reach a new level that I was not capable of before. In challenging myself, I developed the tools to deal with uncertainty in those situations and used them to grow myself in a way I never thought possible.

Karden Rabin, Co-Founder, CFS School

Saying “No”

Learn to say “no.” Oftentimes in business, we can be distracted by shiny object syndrome. A business venture looks exciting and so we add it to our already full plate. Only say “yes” to things that will move the needle toward your biggest goal. It’s all too easy to become stressed when we’re doing too much. If we practice looking at every task through the lens of our mission, saying “no” becomes easier, and we’re better equipped to deal with things like uncertainty. Make saying “no” a regular habit!

Jeff Goodwin, Senior Director, Performance, Orgain

Unplugging Digitally

News alerts, notifications, and messages will trigger anxieties, especially during uncertainty and stressful moments. A coping mechanism that always works for me is turning off my phone. A few hours will do, and if you can swing it, go for a few days. An even simpler technique is to turn off all alerts/notifications and delete apps that might be stress-inducing. The initial act of doing this can be hard because we are hard-wired to be plugged in. Once you are able to do it, it will open up space for you to reflect, write, and meditate. Allowing ourselves to return back to a more natural state (even for a few hours) is immensely powerful. Bonus points: when unplugged, step outside and surround yourself with nature.

Carolyn Moore, Founder & Career Coach, Wildlight LLC

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