My way to cope with Anxiety and Uncertainty

Anxiety is a future oriented emotion, a stream of fear trickling through the mind that comes up when we want to anticipate the future. But what's the point in doing that, when the future is intrinsically uncertain?
June 6, 2021

Life is a mystery, and the past months have been particularly interesting as they have shown us that we have little control over, well, practically anything. Especially over what happens around us.

Personally, the job I loved could no longer continue as it was, and I decided to move on on my own. Life as a new entrepreneur is very exciting, and can be very scary at times. However, the things that most trigger me in my new adventure, are not exclusive to this choice of career path. We are all facing uncertainty, either with our own health, that of our loved ones, or regarding our jobs, balancing working from home and family, you name it. With so many triggers, sources of stress and unexpected events, it's been challenging to stay calm and grounded.

Be it my own experience or wherever I look around and whoever I talk with, the sensation is the same. Anxiety and the need to control everything is creeping up more than ever. So, I thought of sharing what I do whenever I want to disentangle from the habits of thinking or worrying: Returning to the present moment.

Anxiety is a future oriented emotion, a stream of fear trickling through the mind that comes up when we want to anticipate the future. But what's the point in doing that, when the future is intrinsically uncertain?

We know that attachment to things, relationships, conditions is one of the main causes for suffering. When we want to hold on to the ways things are or were, or whenever we want to control a certain outcome, it simply means we are facing our own fear and insecurities.  

Trying to control something that is not really up to us, only leads to more anxiety and frustration, because certainty is never guaranteed. Quite the opposite is certain: unpredictability, impermanence and change are the only constants in life...  

Our external reality is not good or bad, it simply is. We assign value to whatever happens based on our beliefs and desires, and on what we think is good for us. 

We have no influence in our external reality. We can only choose our attitude to any given set of circumstances. We can choose our own way. 

The opposite of fear is love, and trust that we might not get what we want, but that we are where we need to be. 

Whenever I get caught up in this anxiety loop, I remind myself that there is another way. One that makes a better use of my energy and helps me to avoid the frustration of this pointless struggle. 

I'd like to share it with you: 

I start by taking a few long, deep breaths, like the ones you do at the beginning of any meditation. And when I am calm and grounded, I ask myself the following questions:  

Honestly, how am I doing RIGHT now? Not in the past which no longer exists, nor in the future, but right here, right now.  

Can I accept and surrender to this moment?  

Can I trust that there is a bigger plan than mine, and that I am where I need to be?  

The shift is from the external world where we have no influence, to the inner world, where we do. Turning the question from what do I want, to what do I need? Moving from dreaming to awakening. 

This practice is nothing but an invitation to embrace the mystery of uncertainty and discover that true safety lives at the core of our being. We can access that place by living in the present moment, the only one we have.  

Remember, your practice is always there to turn to for refuge, no matter how difficult it may seem at times, it's within you to calm and ground yourself, so your mind is more settled and your heart, full and lighter… 

We have this 'tool' within us. Recall this simple practice whenever you feel anxiety. Sit grounded, breathe slowly, hold awareness on sensations in your body. By creating a feeling of stability in our body, we can soothe ourselves. 

I have shared this practice in a guided meditation as well. Please check it out in my YouTube Channel or in Insight Timer.

I truly hope this helps.

With love, Paula

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