Uncertainty & Frustration
It’s frustrating when there is uncertainty and dysfunction. Furthermore, you feel like there’s nothing you can do to make them better. That frustration can lead to anger, sadness, and relationship breaking outbursts. Or you can take steps to deal with your feelings.
In the book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, he gives great exercises to address the wide range of concerns you may have in your life. There’s a big Circle of Concern that’s full of things that affect you like climate change, health, politics, family, stock markets, and inside is a smaller Circle of Influence which are the things that you can actually do something about.
When you are in fear of something, think about what aspect you control and focus on that. It takes a while but this shift in focus pulls your life back into your control and lowers your anxiety.
“I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else’s whim or to someone else’s ignorance.” – bell hooks
Here are a few options to manage emotions and build up your stress resilience:
Feel Your Temper Boiling? Start Deep Breathing – It’s not easy when the fear or anger rises but with a few deep breaths (inhale for 4 seconds, exhale for 5 seconds) you start to feel calmer and less out of control.
Negative Voice in Your Head? Talk Back – In questioning it, you can take away anxiety and uncertainty so you can focus on the people and situations that are around you. Try Byron Katie’s process of self-inquiry called “The Work”- www.thework.com
News Freaking You Out? – Your anxiety can’t go down if you’re constantly triggered. You might want to figure out a strategy to stay informed but not bathed in tragic and troubling news. Additionally, it doesn’t matter your news source – social media, television, 24-hour news, radio, or podcasts. Everyone needs boundaries. Set up a time limit of how much you’ll watch or read. Maybe create a news curfew 2-4 hours before bedtime, or turning off phone notifications.
Create your own calming practice to start or end your day – Like anything in life, you get better at acceptance with practice. Start a gratitude journal or recite a phrase, poem, or mantra that comforts you and be consistent. The goal isn’t to eliminate fear or anxiety, it’s to keep them from taking over your life
Overwhelmed by the weird new routines – Try reciting the Serenity Prayer. It was popularized by 12-step recovery programs in the mid-20th century and it’s helpful for anyone living in this era of uncertainty.
“God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
In moments of frustration and uncertainty, you might remind yourself to, “Accept what you can’t change and change what you can.”
Then breathe and be self-compassionate if you’re not completely calm.
Are You Struggling with Fear, Anxiety, or Uncertainty in Your Career?
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