How to function in times of uncertainty

Your brain hates uncertainty. But the good news is that you can do something to get to the other side of ambiguity -at least for a little while-.

This has been a year marred by deep and all-encompassing uncertainty. More than three-quarters of a year into a global pandemic, none of us can be sure when – or if – life will go back to normal. We don’t know how, or whether, the world’s economy will bounce back. And in the United States, after one of the most bitter political contests in memory, we’re not entirely sure who’s been elected president.

In short, there’s very little we can be certain about, and that can feed a lot of fear. The brain, after all, is designed to react negatively to uncertainty. Evolutionarily speaking, the more information we have at our disposal, the safer we feel, especially when it’s information about something that poses a threat to our wellbeing.

“We’re wired to worry,” says Margaret Cochran, a psychotherapist based in San Jose, California. “It’s a survival mechanism; our brains have not evolved much over the last 10,000 years, and we still need to remember where the tiger is more than we need to remember where the blueberries are.” >>>

 

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