Fear of the Unknown–The Practical Side

Are you waiting on something? An answer? A test result? News from the bank? A new job? I think everyone is waiting for something. Whether it is big or small there are always things on our horizon we are thinking of, dreaming about and even worrying over. The only real constant in life is change. So how do we deal with the unknown? How do we keep anxiety at bay in the various waiting rooms of life? And why is learning to deal with our concern of the unknown so essential to our health?

If you lack coping skills to deal with change and the unknown it can be detrimental to your physical and mental health. You may have trouble eating or sleeping, feel anxious or depressed and/or have trouble concentrating. Over time, failing to address and cope with your worry can lead to chronic problems such as full blown depression, anxiety and numerous physical ailments.

The only real constant in life IS change. We must learn to face change and even uncertainty with a toolbox of coping skills, so we may live balanced, healthy and hopeful lives. This does not mean we will never have worry, doubt or even fear. However, we must identify and implement ways to navigate the harder seasons of life in the best ways possible.

If you are struggling with fear of the unknown or a recent change, here are some things you can do to bring peace and balance to your everyday life:

1) Find support:  Talk with a skilled and seasoned mental health counselor. Spend time with friends or family members who are empathetic and encouraging. Find a support group in your area related to your issue.

2) Enlist help:  Realize what you can and cannot do and ask for help with what you cannot do.  Ask your partner, mate or children to do more for a period of time. Let friends help you with errands and tasks and return the favor at a later date when you are able. Or, if you can afford it, pay someone to do things for you like clean until you feel less stressed.

3) Identify and implement coping skills:  Identify one or two things that reduce stress in your life and do them regularly. For example, journal, exercise or meditate.

4)   Rest more:  Cut out any and all commitments possible in an effort to reduce extra stress.

5) Have hope:  Look back on your life (maybe even journal about it) and remember all of the times you have weathered change in the past. In short, remember your strengths and successes.  Look back at how you successfully dealt with the unknown and change in the past, and do that again. And don’t worry if you don’t yet have any times like that to reminisce about. You are the author of your life, and this can be your first story of strength and perseverance.

If you are worrying about the future, afraid of the unknown or dealing with any other major life stressor, an Orlando mental health counselor can help you. She can provide the support and expertise you need to not only survive, but grow and thrive as you boldly face the future. Please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment.  


Yolanda Brailey