Living with Uncertainty
Whenever we experience stress, anxiety or fear, oftentimes it is caused by fear of the future. There are many kinds of fear, some justified, some irrational. Justified fear would be caused by a perceived threat that is imminent and physically real. An example would be testing positive for Covid19. An irrational fear would be caused totally by our thoughts with no basis in reality. An example of an irrational fear would be hypochondria, the fear of contracting a disease for no reason.
Mankind has come up with numerous strategies for dealing with uncertainty, and my favorite is controlling my thoughts. We do have the ability to control what we think about. Researchers confirm that we only have one thought at a time, and we choose which thought to have. If we focus on positive aspects of our lives, we can overcome the fear of the future. If we focus on negative aspects, we will be overcome by that fear.
The first step in controlling our thoughts is to separate our awareness from our thoughts. In other words, we have a consciousness that is separate from our thoughts. We are not our thoughts, but we can be overwhelmed by them. Simply observe your thoughts from second to second. By being an observer of your thoughts, you can avoid the emotional reaction that follows. We can catch ourselves thinking negatively by saying to ourselves, I am having negative thoughts. We can catch ourselves thinking positive thoughts by being aware that we are having positive thoughts.
Simply being aware of being separate from your thoughts will substantially reduce our irrational thinking. Sometimes our most delusional and devastating thinking will simply stop if we say to ourselves, “where did that thought come from?” One of the more interesting aspects of our psyche is that our thinking can spiral up or down, depending on whether we are having positive thoughts or negative thoughts.
When we think positive thoughts, they follow a pattern towards an emotional reaction of joy. When we think negative thoughts, they follow a pattern towards an emotional reaction of despair. A positive thought will usually follow a positive thought, while a negative thought will usually follow a negative thought. This is known as obsessive thinking. If you have ever experienced obsessive thinking, you will know this. It is difficult to change a negative thought to a positive thought, but it must be done.
Changing your thinking from negative to positive is sometimes called “raising your consciousness” or “raising your vibration.” This has nothing to do with your circumstances. You can be thinking positively no matter how dire your circumstances, just as you can think negatively after winning the lottery. The quality of your thoughts is up to you.
You can practice positive thinking at any time. When you go to sleep or wake up are excellent times to practice. A favorite of mine is “I am getting better every day in every way and everything is as it should be.” Simply thinking that over and over if I am depressed will help, especially in uncertain times.