By Stan Popovich
Almost everybody worries about what will happen in the future. The prospect of not knowing if something good or bad will happen in the near future can produce a lot of fear and anxiety.
As a result, here is a list of techniques and suggestions on how to deal with fear of the unknown.
1. No one can predict the future with 100% certainty.
Even if the thing that you feared does happen there are circumstances and factors that you can’t predict which can be used to your advantage. For instance, you are at work and you miss the deadline for a project you have been working on for the last few months. Everything you feared is coming true. Suddenly, your boss comes to your office and tells you that the deadline is extended and that he forgot to tell you the day before. This unknown factor changes everything.
2. Learn to take it one day at a time.
Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week or coming months, try to focus on today. Each day can provide us with different opportunities to learn new things and that includes learning how to deal with your problems. When the time comes, hopefully you will have learned the skills to deal with your situation.
3. Use self-visualization.
Sometimes, we can get anxious over a task that we will have to perform in the near future. When this happens, visualize yourself doing the task in your mind. For instance, you and your team have to play in the championship volleyball game in front of a large group of people in the next few days. Before the big day comes, imagine yourself playing the game in your mind. By playing the game in your mind, you will be better prepared to perform for real when the time comes. Self-visualization is a great way to reduce the fear and stress of a coming situation.
4. Remember to take a deep breath and try to find something to do to get your mind off of you anxieties and stresses.
A person could take a walk, listen to some music, read the newspaper, watch TV, play on the computer, or do an activity that will give them a fresh perspective on things. This will distract you from your current worries.
5. One of the ways to manage your fears is to challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking.
When encountering thoughts that make you fearful or depressed, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense.
6. Worrying can make the problem even worse.
All the worrying in the world will not change anything. All you can do is your best each day, hope for the best, and when something does happen take it in stride. If you still have trouble dealing with anxiety of the future then talking to a counselor or clergyman can be of great help.
Stan Popovich is a Penn State graduate and the nationally known anxiety author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear”— an easy-to-read overcoming anxiety book that’s helped thousands of people to confidently manage their persistent fears and anxieties. Stan has over 20 years of personal experience in dealing with fear and anxiety. For more free mental health advice visit Stan’s website at managingfear.com and read Stan’s articles and his blog. The above is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Mr. Popovich is not a medical professional. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here.