The discomfort of uncertainty can lead to rumination and distress, but this kind of discomfort can be lessened and overcome even before the uncertainty itself lifts. I will offer three suggestions for times when you are pondering what the next chapter (or day) of life holds:
1. Remember your past moments of uncertainty that eventually got resolved. You panicked, you stayed awake too late, but you got through it. And you will get through this too. Consider what you’ve done in the past that helped when you faced a difficult decision, problem, or period of unrest. Did you seek counsel from friends? Did you pray or meditate? Whose feedback was most helpful? Who encouraged you and supported you? How did you finally make a difficult decision? Use what has worked in the past to help you again now.
2. Practice radical contentment. Search your mind for attributes of yourself that you like right now. What is going well? What and whom do you love in your life currently? Search the content of your home for things you love that you already have. Treasure the people who you know and love that have stuck it out with you. Pick up the phone and tell them what they’ve meant to you. Keep a gratitude journal. There may still be unresolved issues, but this will help balance your perspective.
3. Focus on what you know. Ruminating about what you don’t know and may never resolve is a sure way to stay paralyzed instead of taking productive, positive action. Write down what you know to be true, what you want, and what you value. Keep coming back to these central truths when you lack clarity and your potential solutions may come into better focus for you. If you are thinking too much about something you don’t really value, look for ways to let it go and shift your focus to what does matter to you.