Managing Feelings of Uncertainty
It doesn’t take much for us to feel uncertain. It could be the result of a new symptom or doing something you’ve never before done, such as attending a telehealth appointment. Maybe the election causes you uncertainty. Perhaps current events or new medications fill you with fear about your future health. Sometimes, we don’t even realize these issues affect us.
But strangely, in an ironic twist of fate, uncertainty is one of our six basic human needs.
Think about it. If the same thing happens day after day, and you knew the outcome of every situation, how would that feel? It would start to get pretty dull, right? When things become predictable, what happens? You begin to feel depressed or down because you don’t have new stimuli keeping things exciting and fresh.
On the other hand, if everything was always super chaotic and you never knew what was happening, you would probably start to freak out and feel out of control.
How do we maintain a happy balance between boredom and chaos?
That is a good question. We’ve learned over the last few months that events can happen that are outside our control.
When these events become too much, we need to find certainty elsewhere. Some people take this to the extreme and find certainty in alcohol and drugs. Some turn to comfort food or movie marathons, and others go into extreme exercise mode. I’m not suggesting any of these things; I’m merely sharing my observations.
Is there a healthier way to obtain more certainty in your life?
Certainty requires taking control. You can start by creating a morning routine for yourself and planning out your day the night before. I do this, and it is very helpful because having a plan at night gives you certainty, allowing you to sleep better. As long as you can plan out the things that are in your power, there’s no reason to feel uncertain.
You can also try telling yourself an affirmation such as, “If something makes me feel worried tomorrow, I will evaluate whether it is in my control. If not, I will let it drift by because there’s nothing I can do about it.”
Try setting time aside every day to journal, draw, do yoga, or listen to music. These tasks give you a certain outcome. When you put a pencil to paper, for example, what happens? You create a mark. It provides a guaranteed reaction.
If you feel uncertain because you watch the news often, switch off the TV and limit yourself to a set time every day. The same goes for news apps on your cell phone. Take a break for a little while and spend some time away from everything.
Unplug and step back.
Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.