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Getting Comfortable With “I Don’t Know”

Trying to control everything about your life will feed into a cycle of worrying that will not end. All the things that you don’t control can be intimidating, so it’s an understandable way to try to deal with uncertainty. However it will only lead further anxiety. We can’t control what happens with our health, how others will treat us, or what others think about us. We can fill in the blanks by trying to read others’ minds and foresee the future, but to what benefit? Others will still react the way that they are going to, what happens to us will happen, and others will think what they are going to think.

To combat this understandable reaction to what you can’t control, you can:

  • Focus on some pleasurable stimulus that is in your presence (i.e. a song you enjoy, a sound, the smell of fresh cut grass).
  • Say positive, affirming things about yourself.
  • Take slow, even, long breaths.
  • Participate in consistent cardiovascular exercise.
  • Identify what it is that you want.
  • Understand what you fear about what you can’t control.

Some of these techniques can be easily employed, while others can be more difficult. If you find that you are dealing with serious self-consciousness, fear about the future, or are worried about how others will treat you, then counseling for anxiety may be able to help. Identifying the undertones of what you want, and gaining a better understanding of what you fear and why you fear it are best employed with the outside feedback of a professional. With patience and a willingness to try different techniques, you will be able to work through anxious feelings. This will help you improve your confidence, and control the one thing that you can control–your reaction to the world outside you, rather than the world itself.

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