A great first step to managing anxiety is accepting that anxiety is part of life. Fear is a normal emotion and we can’t always predict or control the future. When we acknowledge our feelings and sit with them instead of trying to get rid of them, we can empower ourselves to have control over our anxiety.
1. Anxiety is an especially difficult thing to manage, especially when the world feels uncertain. One thing to remember when trying to “get rid” of anxiety is that anxiety is usually just a fear of the unknown. The tricky thing about trying to get rid of anxiety is that our future is always full of the unknown and there are no guarantees in life. Knowing that, if we try to get rid of a fear of the unknown in a world where the future is always unknown, we’re fighting a losing battle already. Rather than eliminating anxiety, I support my clients in learning to accept anxiety as part of life and discovering ways to manage it and work through it. A great first step to managing anxiety is accepting that anxiety is part of life. Fear is a normal emotion and we can’t always predict or control the future. When we acknowledge our feelings and sit with them instead of trying to get rid of them, we can empower ourselves to have control over our anxiety.
Shannon Williams, LMFT
Focusing on your present self can create breakthroughs and positive changes for that uncertain future!
2. Constantly remind yourself that by thinking so far into your uncertain future, we are missing opportunities to live in the present. It is so easy for our brain to worry about "what if's" and of course, the unknown of the future is anxiety-provoking. But if we can ground ourselves through mindfulness activities and positive self-talk to focus on the present, we ease our nervous system and can build tolerance to deal with our current stressors. Who knows? Maybe focusing on your present self can create breakthroughs and positive changes for that uncertain future!
Irene Sevillano, MS, LMFT #123097
Long Beach Trauma Recovery Center
Redirect your focus to what you can do today and this week. Remember if you can't be sure about anything, at least be sure of yourself.
3. This is definitely not a one size fits all sort of thing, but when dealing with anxiety I feel that there are two parts: focusing on the here and now (yes easier said than done) & focusing on what you have control over in the present moment. I work with a variety of diagnoses, and whether a person is diagnosed with clinical anxiety or not, so much is uncertain at this moment in life which will naturally bring about feelings of anxiety. Try your best to focus on what steps you can take today, and within the week. "What do you want to do?" "What can you do?" "How can you start?" Regardless of anything life is filled with uncertainty, but uncertainty doesn't have to be a negative thing, sometimes we have to have faith in ourselves and in our journey. So when uncertainty comes knocking, redirect your focus to what you can and what you are willing to do today and this week, and remember if you can't be sure about anything, at least be sure of yourself and what you do.
Gabrielle Gomez, LMFT
Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center Therapist
& Lifestyle Blogger
Giving thanks can bring about greater awareness of who/what you have in the moment.
4. If you are anxious about the future, you are not the only one. Many people are feeling anxious these days with all that is going on in the world. Many are wondering about what the future looks like for themselves and the world.
Putting a limit: It can especially seem overwhelming if most of your time is spent consuming the news, social media, etc. So it is important to limit the amount of time spent consuming such things.
Practicing Thanksgiving: Giving thanks can bring about greater awareness of who/what you have in the moment. You could give thanks to others, to a higher power or by thanking oneself. The more you give thanks, the more you will notice things to be thankful for.
Self Care: It is important more than ever to practice things that give you a sense of hope, that give you purpose, and nurture you. For example, if you enjoy hiking, maybe you could add that to your weekly routine. By seeing your actions, you might inspire others to take better care of themselves.
Sherin Iype, LCSW (LCSW 75529)
If you are trying to fill in a blank where there is no answer, what exactly it is you are seeking?Recognize what unmet need is driving you to seek answers or assume outcomes.
5. Someone once described anxiety to me as an urge to “fill in the blanks.” Anxiety pushes us to seek answers because we feel safer when we know what to anticipate or feel resolve about a past occurrence. I have found that a helpful way to deal with anxiety regarding future uncertainty is to ask yourself if you are trying to fill in a blank where there is no answer, and what exactly it is you are seeking. Recognize what unmet need is driving you to seek answers or assume outcomes. Learning how to accept the unknowns is challenging, so always remember to be compassionate toward yourself. Remember, the present moment is always the safest place to be.
Malory Sanvidge, LAPC