Mental Health and Wellness Blogs by Debbie Waller

How to cope with uncertainty

uncertaintyLast month I talked about why the COVID-19 lockdown was a particularly anxiety-provoking situation and one of the issues that I raised was ‘uncertainty’.

We’re uncertain about many things at the moment; practical ones like our jobs, the future, when the lockdown will be released and how we (and our loved ones) will be affected should we have the virus. But, also, emotional ones like our own ability to adapt to the changing world around us.

Why is uncertainty a problem for so many of us?


You might think that, if we have less information and more uncertainty, we’d make decisions more carefully, but studies show the opposite is true [1]. That means we
  • Make decisions more quickly, leading to a higher likelihood of mistakes
  • Make decisions that make us feel better right now, rather than considering the long-term outcomes
  • Make riskier decisions to try to feel better more quickly


How can you cope better with uncertainty?

Suggested affirmations to improve your tolerance of uncertainty

I approach uncertainty with an open mind.

I believe in myself and my abilities to make it through challenging times.

Remembering my accomplishments gives me the confidence to tackle something unfamiliar.

My past successes prove that I can tackle the newness in front of me.

My life is filled with wonderful blessings because I take on challenges with confidence.




[1] Starcke, K. and Brand, M. (2016). Effects of Stress on Decisions Under Uncertainty: A Meta-Analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 142, 909–933. DOI:10.1037/bul0000060



Debbie's Blog

deb180.square2Debbie Waller is a professional hypnotherapist, specialising in stress, anxiety and related issues. She also offers EMDR which is used for trauma, PTSD, phobias and OCD and publishes for those interested in using hypnotherapy to relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

Debbie owns a multi-accredited hypnotherapy school, Yorkshire Hypnotherapy Training and offers further training for qualified therapists via CPD Expert. She is the author of Their Worlds, Your Words and The Hypnotherapist's Companion, editor and contributor to the online magazine Hypnotherapy Training & Practitioner, and co-author of The Hypnotherapy Handbook.

For more information on any of these services, phone 01977 678593. 

Researcher & drafter: Rae Waller.


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