// 4 Ways To Feel Good About The Future In These Uncertain Times

It’s safe to say that you’re living through one of the most disruptive and challenging times in modern history. Not since the Second World War have people faced such huge disruption to their day-to-day lives on such a mass scale. As such, even as the gears of the world start to lurch forward once more and we start thinking about maybe going back to normal, you may not be feeling all that optimistic. After all, you’ve spent months under lockdown. You’ve done your best to use your time as productively as possible. You’ve turned your attention inwards and dedicated your energy to creating a home and garden that you can fall in love with all over again. You’ve learned to work productively from home, you’ve reacquainted yourself with old hobbies and tried to deal with your anxieties through creative outlets.


Still, with at least a few weeks more of social distancing and isolation from our friends and family to go, it’s understandable that you may not be feeling too bright and hopeful about the uncertain future that lies ahead. Nonetheless, while we can’t change the current state of affairs, we can change our outlook. 

Try to gain a better understanding of what the future holds

Possibly the greatest fear we face is that of the unknown. It’s easy to see the future as a mysterious and forbidding prospect. A mousetrap that’s just waiting to snap shut on us when we least expect it. However, while we can never completely predict the future, we can always gain a better understanding of what the future holds. 

There are lots of ways in which we can do this. We can keep more abreast of what’s going on in the present, and gain more data on which to predict our futures, or we can lean into more ancient and mystical traditions. Getting into the subtle art of major arcana tarot cards can be a fun hobby which may yield insights into what tomorrow holds for us. As tempting as it may be to bury our heads in the sand, this can only exacerbate our fear of the future. Whatever methods we choose to familiarize ourselves with it, we should learn to embrace it.

Teach yourself to accept what you can’t control

Most of us feel better about the future when we’re able to control it. That’s why we establish schedules and stick to them, even when we don’t have our bosses looking over our shoulders anymore. As such, the seemingly random and chaotic nature of the world around us can seem intimidating since it’s so beyond our ability to control. 

However, that doesn’t mean that we should live in fear of what we can’t assert our will over. 

To quote Tony Robbins, “The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with”. We gain nothing by treating uncertainty like a fickle beast that could bite us at any moment. We need to make ourselves more comfortable around it. Of course, this can’t be done overnight. But by training ourselves to think in new ways, we can become more comfortable with the aspects of our lives and our futures which are outside of our control. 

This is much easier when we...

Avoid catastrophizing

Catastrophizing is one of the less helpful survival instincts which our psyches form in order to protect ourselves from being caught out by uncertainty. We get into the habit of automatically assuming that the worst case scenario is always an inevitability. Needless to say, this can cause us an awful lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety. Fortunately, with time we can teach ourselves to kick this habit. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is an extremely useful process that conditions us to challenge negative or pessimistic thoughts and shed the cold light of reason on them. Most of our greatest anxieties tend to wither at least slightly when subject to scrutiny and logic. Take a look at this CBT worksheet to help condition yourself against catastrophizing. 

Make sure you always have something to look forward to

Finally, never underestimate the power of anticipation. The future always looks rosier when you have something nice to look forward to. So, if your circumstances aren’t providing that for you, you need to provide it for yourself. It needn’t be a big thing. Planning to watch a good movie or get stuck into a great book at the end of a long day can help. Promising yourself a long hot soak in the tub can help. Arranging a long video chat with an old friend can help. There are no wrong answers. Whatever brings you joy and happiness. 


// this contributed post was written for this charming life.

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HEY! Thanks for dropping by. xo KB