Tips to stop worrying about the unknown
Updated: Aug 24
Life is full of worries; we’re in the midst of a global pandemic, the supermarket lines are as long as ever and the toilet paper stash might be running low. We’re always going to be faced with worries in our lives, but constantly worrying about the unknown becomes very taxing on us. These feelings might be at an all time high due to the global pandemic, which is completely normal. This post covers some tips about how to stop worrying about the unknown.
1) Accept you can’t control the future
A good starting point is accepting this is out of your hands. Everytime you’re experiencing these worried feelings about the future try to think about the fact this is entirely out of your hands. Re-iterating these thoughts to yourself should hopefully engrain them, and you’ll believe this statement more each time you stress about the future.
2) Identify your fears
Sometimes we build things up in our heads way bigger than what they need to be. If you’re worrying about the unknown try work out exactly what it is that is making you uncomfortable. Is it the fate of your job or something bigger like the world coming to a catastrophic end. Either one, you can write down all the evidence you have for and against these actually happening. Most of the time, these fears will be irrational and writing down all the evidence will let you see this easier.
3) Incorporate mindfulness into your routine
Practising mindfulness comes with a wealth of benefits. Mindfulness techniques include focussing on the present. Using deep breaths bring yourself into the present moment by using all your senses to focus on what’s around you. In moments of worry bring yourself back to the present moment by looking at what's in front of you, feeling the ground and smelling the air around you. These simple techniques can help snap you out of a whirlwind of anxious feelings about the future.
4) Start journaling
Writing down thoughts in your head can be a good way to get them out. Starting a journal could be a good strategy to reduce your worries about the future. Setting aside a few minutes each day to write down whatever is on your mind is a good start. Journaling helps with validating your feelings and removing them from your head so you avoid getting caught up with worries about the unknown. It also is a good way to spot any patterns of days you felt positive or days you felt negative.
5) Have a good bedtime routine
These thoughts about the unknown can often pester us when trying to get to sleep. To reduce the chances of this happening set up a good nighttime routine. This might include staying away from technology a few hours before bed, not drinking caffeine too late in the day, reading or some meditation before bed.
6) Practise gratitude
Adding gratitude into your day, can make you a lot more appreciative of the present and takes your thinking away from the future. When you start to get stressed or start worrying about the future ground yourself by thinking of 3 things you’re grateful for in that moment. It could be as simple as the breakfast you ate or the coffee you drank. You could complement strangers, say something nice to your barista, write positive notes and celebrate every little win. Practising gratitude should make your day a little more positive.
7) Take a break from social media
Social media can often negatively affect our mindset without us even realising it. You don’t have to delete your accounts and can re-download the apps at any time. Deleting the apps off your phone will make you less likely to scroll through Instagram or refresh your Facebook feed. If you follow news channels, these report on the doom and gloom of the world which could be adding to your stress about the future. Aim for taking a week off social media and see if your mood is affected positively.