Fear of the Unknown–The Personal Side

I currently find myself in several of life’s waiting rooms. Some of the waiting rooms look hopeful and cheery. And, others, well…they are grayer, quieter–more serious. I wish I could tell you that after decades on the planet I have mastered the art of waiting and that I live without any worry of the unknown. The truth is I still worry from time to time and feel restless. However, as my mom likes to say—“my batting average is getting better.” This means that as I age and have more life experiences, I am slowly getting better at facing the unknown and coping with change.

I know you are probably wondering how this happens. How does one grow better at facing the unknown and navigating change? I wish the answer was one quick, simple task, but it is a myriad of things. However, all of the ways that I cope with stress, change and the unknown are possible for you.

When I am dealing with the unknown or a major life change, I do a few essential things that help me maintain mental, emotional and physical health. Some of these include:

  1. Physical health:  I try to eat well, drink lots of water and exercise. I aim to go to bed early each night, and I carve out time to rest whenever possible.
  2. Mental/emotional health:  I spend time with members of my support system like counselors, friends and family members. And, I use positive coping skills to help manage my stress level—things like exercise, journaling and meditation.
  3. I say “no”:  I cut out all commitments possible, so that I have time to rest and recharge.
  4. I focus on the positive and my strengths:  I try to find the positive in each situation. Also, I look back to see how I overcame past challenges. This reminds me that I will make it through my current circumstance.
  5. I take it one day at a time: This.is.vital. I take life one day at a time—literally. I only focus on doing the best I can for myself that day. Since no one can tell the future anyway, this cuts down on the stress of trying to figure everything out. All I can really do is try my best for that day–moment by moment.

Of all the things I have learned during my seasons of waiting and trials, I think the most important is this: BE KIND TO YOURSELF. I think as human beings we expect too much from ourselves and devalue the importance of rest and self-care. Investing in ourselves is always worth it and produces peace, hope and joy in our daily lives—no matter what life holds.

If you are feeling anxious or depressed or are struggling with fear of the unknown, a licensed mental health counselor can help you. She can help you identify and implement positive coping skills you can use now and over the course of your lifetime, so that you can bend and grow with the changes of time. Please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment with an Orlando psychotherapist.  


Yolanda Brailey