If we were to describe the “new normal” in one word, it could be “uncertainty.” We live in a constantly changing situation, in which the “rules of the game” vary each week. New confinements, changes in schedules, changes in what is allowed (and what is not) … we live a situation of continuous adaptation, and not everyone knows how to “acclimatize” in the same way.
Aída Rubio, coordinator of the TherapyChat group of psychologists, explains that although uncertainty is always difficult to assumeIt is the people who have intolerance to it who really find it very difficult to manage it. “Just as there are those who know how to tolerate emotions with negative nuances, such as sadness or fear, uncertainty can happen,” says the professional, who adds that we must bear in mind that this emotion we are talking about is adaptive, because it makes us decide “what tools we need to overcome a situation that we do not know how it will end.”
Intolerance of the uncontrollable?
One problem that makes uncertainty “feel” so bad is tendency that many people have to try to control everything, although we talk about things that are beyond individual or collective control. «This tendency can be more or less developed in people. It depends on our experiences in life, on how we have grown up as children and what our parents have taught us, “says Aída Rubio, who adds that, in the case that we speak, an inner feeling is generated that, if we do not control something, everything is going to go wrong.
«The first thing to do, if one detects this intolerance, is to treate focus efforts elsewhere; knowing that trying to control something that you cannot is wasting energy, “says the psychologist. What happens when we do this is that we spend a series of resources that we do not have, which causes wear and tear inside us. This has no limit, because since we did not reach the end, “it is like running a marathon but never reaching the goal.”
Tips for Coping with Uncertainty
In order to manage in the most effective way possible the anguish that uncertainty can produce, the psychologist Aída Rubio leaves various exercises and tips:
– If we see that our head turns towards catastrophic thoughts, the recommendation in focus on the present moment. “We must look at reality at the moment: I am here, with my family, in my room, and it is the only real thing there is.”
– Focus on our own breathing for a while: a present element that exists.
– Relativize negative thoughts. «If this situation distresses me, and I think the world is going to end, I should stop for a moment and say to myself:” Does what I think makes sense? ” It is important to realize that most of these thoughts do not have a logical conclusion, “says the professional.
– Listening to our feelings is essential. «We must learn to listen and accept what we feel, because all emotions have a function. We must not limit fear, sadness or uncertainty, it is a way of adapting to what we live, ”says Aída Rubio.
– The positive reinforcement. The professional comments that it is essential to mobilize ourselves, and not let apathy paralyze us. We earn more if we think about everything that we can control and do than about everything that we cannot.
– Finally, it is very important work contact with others, although now it is more complicated. “It is essential to be able to share with other people how we feel, to have a good emotional network.”