Tell me how you deal with uncertainty and unpredictability of life?

(12 Posts)
GotAnotherQuestion Wed 18-Jun-14 10:20:40

I'm working on a paper about dealing with anxiety over long-term degenerative illnesses.

The philosophy being that all of life is uncertain, and that the perceived need for certainty should be challenged as unhelpful and unnecessary (we all know worrying doesn't change circumstances!).

So for example, someone having chemotherapy for cancer doesn't know if the outcome will be that they live or die, or someone with multiple sclerosis doesn't know if they will end up blind or in a wheelchair. Worrying won't change anything except the journey leading up to the catastrophic event if it actually happens.

Part of the discussion involves self examination and asking from others: how do you deal with uncertainty in your own life? Do such thoughts/worries only enter your head when you are inflicted with problems in life, like financial ruin or illness, or is it niggling in the background all the time?

crescentmoon Wed 18-Jun-14 11:11:54

sounds like an interesting paper, maybe this might be a relevant resource for you gotanother?

niminypiminy Wed 18-Jun-14 14:15:10

That's a really interesting link crescentmoon. Thank you for posting it!

crescentmoon Wed 18-Jun-14 14:42:48

Hello niminy love, actually I had started my previous post with that quote from Julian of Norwich you once posted. Really and truly I found it beneficial on a spiritual level. But then I thought maybe that an article would be better for OP's paper. Though Iv looked up the interviewee's books on amazon and they seem really thought provoking also.

headinhands Thu 19-Jun-14 06:43:46

Hi op

I cope with it in a range of ways. Life insurance, worry and distraction probably being then top 3 although some ways are better/healthier than others. I think it comes down to personality for the main, some
people seem to roll effortlessly with the punches don't they.

GotAnotherQuestion Thu 19-Jun-14 07:17:12

Thanks for the article. Interesting view of spirituality as an aid (or cause) for worrying. It seemed to be the only solution discussed, other than meditation. Would you say that's how you stop yourself worrying about what might befall you in life? Or do you (personally) in practise find different strategies to help?

Headinhands - you mention worry, do you have strategies to stop yourself worrying other than through distractions? And what distractions are helpful to you.

madhairday Thu 19-Jun-14 10:00:51

Hi Gotanother - have to go out now but marking place to respond later, as someone with a lifelong degenerative illness.

headinhands Thu 19-Jun-14 15:34:11

Hi Got. I find working takes my mind of all but the biggest worries. Talking with friends helps too as does exercise. No new ideas I'm afraid.

yongnian Thu 19-Jun-14 15:51:46

My philosophy bases holds the idea that change and uncertainty is inevitable and that we as human beings are conditioned to want the 'steady state' of non-change, and that this causes us suffering because it is impossible to achieve.
So how does that help me, daily? I keep reacquainting myself with the parts of my chosen philosophy that tell me this is the case...I test it out when I'm faced with uncertainty and notice when I'm struggling with that. I practice letting go when I'm really uncomfortable with something and when I become stuck or not ready, I try just to notice that I am and know that the really uncomfortable bits are where you can lean in the most and do the work.
The single most useful thing for all this for me, was to study a moving-meditation practice for a long period of time...this philosophy is built into its practice. The concentration required to practice it helps to increase your ability to stay in the moment rather than project into the future or dwell in the past...easy to say, hard to do, only regular practice has ever really helped me, tough as I have found that notion.

GotAnotherQuestion Thu 19-Jun-14 16:44:24

Only a few answers but really good ones, thanks all. Looking forward to hearing what you have to say too, madhairday

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 19-Jun-14 20:48:14

I consciously remind myself of life's uncertainties. I have a friend whose DS died after falling off a wall. She visits his grave every morning for a chat before going to work. She reminds me that although one moment can change your life, it doesn't have to ruin it. I see this in my family and neighbors too.

I also remind myself that such uncertainty can deliver happiness (such as meeting a partner or new friend or winning a competition). A long time ago I read about an aboriginal tribe who believed that before we are born, we are shown a life and chose or reject it. This idea comforts and strengthens me.

justyeh Sun 22-Jun-14 07:46:06

People are all different and deal with uncertainty in different ways, one way doesn't work for everyone, yes distractions are good and so is meditation etc but they probably only work for a short while,I find life is uncertain at all times and that is what we have to remember and really there is no way to deal with it but get through it whatever it is the best way we can, weather it is to cry, find solace in alcohol, mediate, take antidepressant's, look at happy films, or whatever else or all of them, there is really no way to easily cope with uncertainty, except to expect it will happen and if it doesn't then there's no disappointment.

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