Humans crave stability and security. We want to have a sense of control over our lives, our futures. If we don't feel that control, it can leave us demotivated and dejected. But our desire for certainty conflicts with much of what's happening in the world right now. Whether it's inflation, high interest rates, a global pandemic, or large-scale wars between nation-states, it's not exactly been a good few years for stability and security.

This article will present you with 7 strategies to deal with uncertainty. Because no matter how helpless you feel or how little control you think you currently have over your life, you can always take steps to improve your situation.

1. Focus on What You Can Control

Too many people worry about things they cannot control. You may not be able to control a more expensive mortgage because of interest rate hikes, or higher energy bills because of a distant war, but you can control how you react to it and what you do about it.

Difficult things will happen throughout your life. This is inevitable and unavoidable. The healthy way to deal with such things is to refocus on what you can control and how you can take action to steer yourself back on track. The faster you're able to do this, the better.

2. Embrace Uncertainty

The wicked thing about worrying is that it gives you a false sense of control. If you just think about something hard enough, you'll suddenly find a way out. That's not how it works. While it's certainly not a bad idea to think things through every once in a while, don't let that be an excuse to worry about everything all the time.

Instead, it's better to take uncertainty as a part of life. Everything is built on sand, and things can change quickly and unpredictably. There's little use constantly worrying about scenarios of how things could go wrong, because all that does is rob you from enjoying the present moment.

3. Don't Seek Constant Reassurance

The need for certainty often subconsciously reflects itself in people's behaviors. Someone who micromanages, who repeatedly checks things, who constantly asks for reassurance from their loved ones. These are all behaviors that indicate a fear of uncertainty.

Such behaviors are often frustrating to others and may ironically worsen your relationship with them and make your life more uncertain. The trick is to first notice the behaviors where you're seeking for reassurance, identify what triggers them, and then take specific actions to avoid those triggers.

For example, when you feel the need to micromanage someone, ask yourself why that's the case. Do you not trust the person? Do you think they're not good at what they do? Try letting them be and see how they do.

4. Keep Things Flexible

In the second strategy, we told you to accept uncertainty as a part of life. But that doesn't mean you have to live without directions, because nothing's certain anyway. You should definitely still have goals, plans, and good habits, because you have more control over your life's direction than you may think.

But don't make your goals too rigid. Don't stick to your plan without looking at opportunities that may pop up outside of the path you're currently walking. The wonderful thing about goals and plans is that they often open up possibilities you would never have thought about before. Don't be blind to these possibilities.

5. Limit Your Exposure to Stressful Info

We take in a tremendous amount of information that will never affect us in any way, but that contributes significantly to our stress levels. Much of the news and social media relies on often negative emotions like outrage or fear to get you to read or watch something.

Such information serves little purpose to your life. Keep at most a light touch on it. Even better, practice digital minimalism for better mental and physical health and spend more time on habits that will lower your stress levels instead of increasing them.

6. Stay Present

Uncertainty and worry are almost always exclusively about the future. They're hypothetical what-ifs that rob you from enjoying the present moment, which is really the only moment you'll ever live in.

You can get better at staying present with meditation and other mindfulness techniques like mindful walking, mindful breathing, and a gratitude practice. A good book to read about this is The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.

7. Take Care of Yourself

If you're struggling right now, the best way out is to start with yourself. There is always something you can do to take better care of yourself. Do some exercise every day, get enough sleep, and eat a healthy diet. Even a simple haircut is a step in the right direction.

You don't have to do everything all at once. Step by step, take better care of yourself. You'll feel better and have more energy to take the next step. It's a virtuous cycle of better and better, until you've regained a full and powerful sense of control over your life in an uncertain world.