Those with anxiety (hello, that’s me!) often struggle with uncertainty. Not knowing what’s going to happen next or what to do to prepare is a recipe for an anxiety spiral. According to one psychologist, though, shifting your mindset is the way to manage those anxious thoughts.
Nicole Beurkens, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and board-certified nutritionist, says anxiety is split into two parts that she calls an “anxiety scale.” First, there’s how much uncertainty surrounds an event, and second is our perception of how well we can handle it.
We can’t do much about the former, but Beurkens has a recommendation for how we can handle the latter.
“We can’t control the uncertainty,” said Beurkens. “What we can control is focusing on the other part of the equation: our belief and confidence in ourselves of being able to handle it.”
This means focusing on how you’ve handled similar situations previously and building confidence based on those experiences.
“Here’s how you handled a situation like that,” said Beurkens. “That emphasis and focus is really what helps us support our mental health in the big picture, as we continue to go through this massive period of uncertainty that we don’t have control over.”
While it’s difficult to dismiss the uncertainty that triggers anxiety, you can remind yourself that you’ve handled difficult things in the past.
As you reframe your thinking, you can also try new scheduling methods to help you tackle those uncertain tasks and events.