Finding calm within uncertainty

Finding calm within uncertainty

By Fiona Raciti

Humans make decisions every day of their lives - what to eat, what to wear, who to interact with.


For some of us those decisions are more significant or have the potential to have serious consequences. For example doctors aim to practice evidence-based medicine where science points us in the right direction, but sometimes we don’t have a definite answer.


Some people worry about the uncertainty of their job ending, their relationship ending, people they love dying or getting sick. Meanwhile some find dealing with uncertainty around decision-making uncomfortable and experience anxiety.


It can be so uncomfortable, a lot of people try to eliminate uncertainty as a way of managing their anxiety. Unfortunately life is unpredictable and the only certainty is uncertainty! Trying to eliminate uncertainty often creates more anxiety in a vicious cycle.


The good news is that you can teach your brain to respond differently to this external stimulus and hence avoid the anxiety it can create, all without medication.


Learning to deal with and be comfortable with uncertainty is a way people can manage their anxiety, and there are a number of techniques available to assist including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT).


The concepts of these are simple – in people with anxiety, the brain interprets a possible threat/uncertain situation and triggers a cascade of further unhelpful thoughts that create the anxiety and often physical symptoms that go with it.


These techniques have been used successfully for many years to manage anxiety in the uncertain world we live in.


If you are struggling with anxiety or dealing with uncertainty there is help available. Seek out a psychologist that practices these methods, or see your GP.

Fiona Raciti

Dr Fiona Raciti is a General Practitioner with a special interest in women’s and children’s health, travel medicine and occupational medicine. She believes anyone can take charge of their own health and wellbeing with the right skills and education. Dr Raciti is a Director of Family Doctors Plus, located in Windsor, Brisbane.


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