How to “not go crazy” in the face of the epidemic? |Psychological Self-Help Manual

To deal with uncertainty, it’s important to focus on what you can control. —Jasmin Merdan/Getty Images

Uncertainty is a major cause of stress, and it affects your physical and mental health.

To better deal with uncertainty, practice mindfulness and follow a routine.

Most importantly, learn to accept uncertainty because there are always things out of your control.

Research has shown that uncertainty is attractive in certain activities such as gambling or reading suspenseful novels. But the massive uncertainty that many are feeling during the coronavirus pandemic is much harder to deal with.

“The uncertainty we fear relates to our safety and the safety of our loved ones.”

Psychologist Dr. Melinda Massoff said. “We don’t know how long the COVID-19 crisis will last, and we’re not sure who will get sick, who will recover, who will need to be hospitalized. These unknowns are too scary to deal with.”


Uncertainty is the main cause of stress

Uncertainty interferes with our ability to plan for the future.

Normally, our brains make decisions for the future based on our past experiences. When the future is uncertain or we are experiencing something new, we cannot rely on past experience to guide our decisions.

Without this tool, we may be anxious about what will happen in the future, going through a variety of scenarios and worrying about it.

“Our minds like to use what we know about past experiences to plan for the future, to predict what will happen in the future.” Dr Anisha Patel Dunn said: “Fear of the unknown leads our minds to Worry about the anticipation of future threats.”

Fear of the unknown can trigger states of physical stress, says Patel-Dunn. Stress often activates our fight-or-flight response , leading to changes in the body such as hormone surges and increased heart rate. Over time, chronic stress can negatively impact your health, increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease and memory loss.

Psychologist Dr Rebecca Sclair said: “If you are constantly in a fight or flight mode because you are constantly aware of uncertainty and preparing for this and potential adverse events, you will Establish a chronic stress pattern that makes you more prone to fear and anxiety.”

Scientists have studied “uncertainty intolerance,” or people’s negative beliefs about uncertainty that can lead to unhealthy emotional or behavioral responses when uncertainty inevitably arises.

Low tolerance for uncertainty has been linked to mental health conditions such as depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. On the other hand, having a higher tolerance for uncertainty reduces stress levels because people don’t focus on uncertainty that is beyond their control.


How to deal with uncertainty

There are limits to what we can control in life. Unexpected events can happen, and when they do, there are several ways to prepare you for uncertainty:

1) Develop your endurance

We deal with uncertainty every day, like driving to work when it might not be safe to get there. Psychologist Gertrude Lyons says that acknowledging these day-to-day uncertainties that we usually cover up, and focusing on the fact that you are still living your life, can build up your awareness of more significant uncertainties tolerance.

If uncertainty is causing anxiety or depression, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can also help you build tolerance and reduce stress or worry.

2) Practice mindfulness

A 2008 study of the unemployed found that mindfulness reduced the pain of uncertainty. Lyons recommends this approach: Examine each of your five senses carefully, focusing on the three you’re experiencing.

For example, what are three things you can feel right now? Did you hear three things? When you start to worry about the uncertainty of the world, you can use these routines to interrupt your thoughts. It can help you stand firm in the present moment and the uncertainty around you.

3) Adhere to the schedule

The physical consequences of stress can change your sleeping and eating habits.

To overcome this, Patel-Dunn said, sticking to a schedule, including going to bed at the same time every day, is important during uncertain times. Having such a habit can also give you a much-needed sense of organization and control when you lack it.

4) Let go and focus on what you can control

“An unwillingness to experience anxiety or intolerance to anxiety can often lead to additional distress,” Sinclair said. “That’s what we’re seeing now where people are constantly searching, checking the news, or stockpiling supplies. It’s trying to end up increasing anxiety or The way to create a culture of fear fights uncertainty.”

Instead, take a step back and focus on the things you can control, like your work, family time, and routine.

5) Accepting uncertainty is key to mental health

It’s healthier to embrace uncertainty in the midst of big changes, as we do in our daily lives. While unexpected twists and turns in life may not always be positive, it’s important to be realistic about how much control you really have.

“Acceptance can be thought of as the opposite of rejection,” Sinclair said. “We don’t want uncertainty, but it’s part of our lives. Acceptance is saying ‘I’m willing to go through this uncertainty and accept it as a part of my life’, not saying I like it.”

Plus, Lyons emphasizes that acceptance doesn’t mean giving up, and it can even help you move forward in a dire event like the coronavirus pandemic.

“Acceptance is a positive, empowering state in which you are grounded in the present moment,” Lyons said. “We’re not denying the situation or wallowing in the emotion. In a segment Accepting the pandemic and social distancing as my current reality for an unknown period of time has allowed me to more effectively identify the options available to me.”