Life is uncertain. Even in a civilised society leaving your home for work every day is a risk. Because of it certainty is a prized possession. The insurance industry is valued at about 5.5 trillion US dollars.
We want to have stable and predictable jobs, economies and relationships. But the universe works in mysterious ways showing the middle finger to those who thought they figured it out.
Despite the best plans, you will inevitably find yourself in the middle of chaos with changes at work, failing relationships, the housing crisis and many other less-than-ideal scenarios.
As the world around you seem to be falling apart how do you stop yourself from giving in and losing your sanity when you need it the most?
Commit to Stay Resilient and Deal with Uncertainty
Firstly you need to decide that no matter what happens you will stay focused on keeping your #$% together. The intention matters to bring you back to the grounded place when the going gets tough. Create little anchors of that intention with post-It stickers or phone reminders if you really need them.
Fear and uncertainty are close cousins that like to hang out together. Usually by kicking uncertainty out of your life, the fear walks away too. Certainty is not only the insurance policy. It can also be obtained by studying the situation. In most cases, the world is “seemingly” falling apart but in reality, it could be our perception of what’s happening.
The analogy that I like to use is little fish getting together in a school to pretend to be a huge predators. Most fish would chase the little guys but if they see a massive silver ball in a distance they prefer to stay away.
However, getting closer to the fear may reveal that the real issue is not as massive as we originally thought. Understanding the problem will provide you with the certainty that you seek. It will not fix the problem by itself but will get your thinking gear into finding a solution and taking action. And action my friend is the antidote to fear.
In some cases, we get sucked into a feeling of anxiety by watching others doing better than us. The proverbial grass appears greener with others getting bigger houses, promotions and happy relationships.
We travel different paths and there is no point trying to replicate someone’s life. It helps to be inspired by someone’s success to take action. It is the opposite of helping by feeling envy and trying to chase every shiny ball entering your attention.
Be clear on what success and happiness will look like for you. Also, consider what price you are willing to pay for that success. Are you up to sleeping in the office to meet the deadlines and not seeing your family? Putting on weight and not having time to exercise because of stress and busy work?
Build A Stronger Boat
It is easier to weather the storm in a well-equipped strong warship than a tiny little dingy. You need to look after your body at the same time. Your mental agility and resilience are dependent on what you eat and drink. Running on fumes with little sleep will not make you a better decision-maker.
Do not miss your gym days no matter how busy you are. Cut them to shorter sessions, do a mini workout at home but keep the routine going. If you are not already exercising read this.
Your body will get depleted of certain nutrients and flood itself with hormones to help you go through the stress. Consider taking supplements to support yourself through this period of your life. Please do your own research but vitamin B complex, L-Theanine and Ashawanda are something that I rely on during these times.
Having someone to speak with about what you are going through is equally important. Loneliness kills just like cigarettes and a bad diet. In a case of resilience your friends, family and social circle re-enforce the boat that we spoke about earlier. Having a crew makes navigating through the storm much easier.
Meditation – Yay or Nay?
Many authors write about meditation as a solution to stress. It is useful but how many of us will actually find time to sit down to meditate in the middle of insanity? It also does not help that we get advice from experienced meditators who use it for different reasons.
What we want from meditation is a well-developed emotional self-regulation skill and a break from the hamster wheel. Both can be achieved through other activities that have a meditative quality if you do not have time or interest in learning meditation. Walking, listening to music, and finding time to switch off can all serve this purpose.
And finally, establishing a timeline for how long you need to stay the course before making changes to the plan will prevent burnout. Stress hormones are useful but this mechanism is not the long-term answer. Living in a storm should not be a status quo unless you are prepared to pay the price down the road. Though as it was discovered the last words of dying are never “I wish I worked more and made more money”
I hope you enjoyed this writing and it inspired you to make positive changes in your daily life. Please subscribe to my mailing list if you would like to get notified of new articles and my discoveries.