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wildflower's avatar

Does uncertainty stress you?

Asked by wildflower (11142points) September 14th, 2008

When you know changes are coming, but you don’t know what they are, do you (like me) stress and try to think up all the possible outcomes – or are you able to stay calm and let things happen?
Do you have any tips on how to keep from losing your marbles and getting physically ill from the stress?

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19 Answers

Bri_L's avatar

I am the last part. I have, as I have said before, OCD and panic attacks. No one knows it, because I hide it but I have them.

My techniques are these:

Try to find at least 1 person you have who can “talk you down” so you can call the.

Try to find a place you can go to give yourself the time you need to breath through it.

Change and unknowns are scary because of the nature of them. As of late, I have found that sitting down and breaking them into a list of what are really unknowns. What are the things you have control over etc. Take a look at the “real” most likely worst case scenario. Sometimes others can help with that.

I hope this starts you off.

wildflower's avatar

I like your approach. And I have made lists – very detailed ones too – and some of the possible outcomes are considerably more attractive than others…..guess that’s one reason for the stress!
I can’t really talk to many people about it because 1) I need to reassure a lot of other people, 2) anyone I do talk to thinks I’m crazy for worrying this much, 3) if my future is uncertain, the last thing I want is to seem like I can’t handle stress.

Bri_L's avatar

ah, lemme keep thinking here. We’ll get this.

allengreen's avatar

Lost of meditiation, Kava Tea, and yoga….

wildflower's avatar

I am drinking green tea….......and smoking far more than I should….

Bri_L's avatar

you probably know this but the smoking isn’t helping, in the end.

the nicotine amplify the troubles you discribed

wildflower's avatar

Yes, that has been pointed out to me once or twice…

augustlan's avatar

…which only makes you more stressed, right?

augustlan's avatar

I am practically having a nervous breakdown right now, between my own uncertain future and the country’s uncertain future!

wildflower's avatar

No, it doesn’t. I know it’s bad for me, but I also know I don’t feel like giving them up – at least not at the moment.
You know, your response kinda reminds me how selfish I am; I’m not worried in the slightest about political climate at the moment (perhaps because I’ve given up, meh!). I’m only worried about how changes will affect me…..

Actually, you put it all in to perspective – and that does help a bit. Thanks! :)

Melonking's avatar

I think aboult if they will kill me or take away my cash, if not then it does not bother me. (If you want to know why I’m typing in this odd way it’s because I’m trying not to make wrong spellings on iphone)

marinelife's avatar

I really feel for you, wildflower. I spent more than a month waiting to hear if my husband would be laid off. I did all the lists and preparation for each possible outcome and how we would handle it, but I was a mniserable wreck.

I could think of little else, and I certainly wasn’t very productive.

May the waiting feel short if it cannot be short in fact, and may you get the outcome you prefer.

Bri_L's avatar

marina I sure hope that worked out for you!

wildflower's avatar

Thank you Marina :)

Nimis's avatar

I do make lists of all the possible outcomes I can think of, but mostly I just try to brace myself as best I can. Kind of like a mental gritting of the teeth. Strangely enough, I think the more freaked out I am on the inside, the more calm I appear on the outside.

Good luck with whatever you’re going through.

arcoarena's avatar

I actually took a philosophy class in this that completely focused on why humans are so obsessed with certainty.

Humans want to be able to control nature. The two different ways to deal with nature are to either appease it (through religious ceremony) or to try to control it (with science)

John Dewey argued that by we want security so we look for certainty in things, but that certainty can never truly be obtained.

I think this is slightly off topic from specifically what you are referring to in your question but when we only think about having certainty we lose track of the point of the task. When we are performing science experiments scientists often assume they are looking for a specific answer to a question. The truth is that there is no “truth” or answer to the question. We are just working toward new ideals and new questions and absolute truth is not necessary.

krose1223's avatar

What feels like uncertainty about life is really just an open mind considering all the amazing possibilities. Take comfort in your personal debate and enjoy your uncertanties, not as uncomfortable things to avoid, but as exciting and new expierences! This unknown change will only add to your already accumulated life’s experience and knowledge.

wildflower's avatar

Wise words, krose. Right now my biggest comfort is that I will know what happens within 5 weeks…....and trying to take it as an opportunity to trust people who reassure me my biggest fears won’t come true – even if they can’t share with me what will come true, yet.

Nullo's avatar

I stress and don’t think about possible outcomes. It’s a strategy akin to hiding under the blankets in a thunderstorm.

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