Pink Pinjra
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Pink Pinjra

How to Deal with Uncertainty

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It’s a malaise of our times… All of us are wondering — in some form or the other — what next?

While some openly voice it, others quietly internalize it, and try to make sense of it in their own way. Still many are unable to enjoy even the good times due to a prolonged feeling of uncertainty...

The constant fear that something will change, and turn adverse, or that the good will be taken away in an instant, plagues them, and prevents them from being in the present moment fully.

Such feelings are natural, and many of us don’t know how to deal with them. While everything around us is changing at a rapid pace, the coping mechanisms are not changing as quickly…

We have been given so much more to work with — in terms of technology and even conveniences — but little knowledge on how to incorporate these aspects into our life, without harming our core being.

Constant volatility in our political, social and economic environments, fear of the unknown, and extreme uncertainty of life itself, are ultimately leading to anxiety disorders, stress, and even depression in severe cases.

Recently, a front page article in The Times of India quoted Mumbai-based psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty, who showed a clear co-relation between uncertainty and anxiety. He said, ‘In this quick and uncertain world, anxiety is ubiquitous. About two-thirds would be anxious while about 10% would have some anxiety disorders.’

The issue then is how does one deal with uncertainty? How do we stop it from pervading our lives, overtaking our rational minds, emotions, and even diminishing our basic sense of well-being?

Very often we try to look outward for solutions…but more often than not, the solution comes when we look inward. No matter how many people we consult or how many strategies we use to cope with uncertainty, the essential tools come from within…

Because the blueprint of fear, worry, uncertainty and doubt all emerge from an innate need to protect status quo and resist change…to preserve our states of calm and order.

But what if we decide to embrace change instead, and equip ourselves to deal with it?

This can happen with an open mind, and a flexible one at that…with an attitude that is willing to change at all times, and willing to learn too…

A mind that has also stopped craving, and stopped the constant chase to fulfill one desire after the other.

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev said: ‘If instead of working up your desires, you enhance your capabilities, you will walk through life effortlessly, gracefully, doing very well.’

So how does one enhance capabilities?

One, by being receptive: It is only an open mind that can absorb and accept change. If you’re too stuck, too rigid, unyielding and unbending, change is going to throw you off center.

Instead, bend when needed, and listen to the voice of change, understand why you need it, and how you can improve your life with it.

Two, by being calm: An agitated mind is seldom open to reason and new thinking, it is too caught up in its own story…a story of pain, victimization, blame, shame, guilt and much more. Let go of that extra baggage…and shut those chaotic voices in your mind.

Try to be quiet and tolerant of what comes your way, and then use what resources you have to tackle the change.

Three, by being an empty vessel: The truest fact about life is that we don’t know it all yet, and we haven’t seen it all yet. It may show us many twists and turns, and many more ups and down. Moreover, what you think is the worst, may actually turn out to be the best… A bad time in your life may in fact be a learning curve in disguise, leading to the next glorious phase.

The idea is not to get stuck in any situation , or take it personally… Look it objectively, as a situation or problem to solve, and move on from it.

The mind is trained to view uncertainty as harmful, a simple shift in approach can actually help you view it as a positive, learning period of growth. All you need to do, is be firm in your intent to tide over it, and emerge triumphant.

To quote a Japanese proverb: The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists… Thus, change and uncertainty are certain, to bend or not, is in our hands…

The last, and sometimes most effective solution, is having faith… Faith in a higher force that will take care of the uncertainties that life throws your way. And trusting in this force so completely that you allow it to take you where it does…

What uncertainties do you face on a daily basis, or which life challenges have thrown you off center?

Share with readers your trials and tribulations, and how you have circumvented them. Sharing your stories can give strength and inspiration to many.

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