We all face seasons of life filled with uncertainty. It’s a feeling of being unsure or having doubt regarding a specific situation or set of circumstances. While not inherently bad, when times of uncertainty are prolonged and go unmanaged, they can send us into a downward spiral very quickly. Thus, it is important to find ways to manage uncertainty and a great way to go about that process is by making a conscious choice to stay in the present.
One thing uncertainty does is cause us to focus on the unknown. We begin to develop fears and it can even lead to paranoia if we allow it to go on for a prolonged period of time. One benefit of staying in the present is enhanced awareness.
This awareness can be critical in quickly identifying the root of any uncertainty you might be feeling so you can address it promptly before it mounts into anything more substantial. When you can figure out what situations or circumstances might lead you down a path of uncertainty and fear you are better equipped to handle them as they arise (Raptitude, 2014).
Remaining in the present stops overthinking in its tracks. When faced with uncertainty we often spend a lot of time trying to figure out what comes next. In trying to figure out how to solve the issue or come out with more answers, we spend a significant amount of time thinking, sometimes to the point of obsessing. Being present is a great release from this pattern. Being in the present can allow you to stop worrying about what may happen and just take some time to enjoy what is happening (Edberg, 2020).
A focus on the present is a strong way to combat uncertainty because it acts as an anchor. Living in the present means staying in a place of focus on what is within one’s immediate realm of control and influence. This establishes or re-establishes an element of control that can help people feel grounded and calm, even in scenarios where there is uncertainty. This state of being grounded ensures stability and evenness that helps people make level-headed decisions even when things are going on that they don’t understand (Raptitude, 2014).
Living in the present also provides a sense of inner calm and centeredness. By focusing on what is happening right now, all the stress of what might or could happen begins to fade away. This in turn reduces any stress one might be feeling. This then becomes a cycle of wellness, as the reduced stress then helps one cope with uncertainty in a more calm and reasonable fashion (Edberg, 2020).
A focus on the present can also enhance feelings of thankfulness. Uncertainty can often make you think about so many things of the future that are far out of reach. Whereas a focus on the present reminds you of those things that exist in the here and now.
That focus can help you reflect on the many blessings and positives that presently exist, rather than focusing on the uncertainty of the future. You begin to notice more of the beauty and goodness of the world which enhances your feelings of thankfulness. Thus, gratitude is elevated and as an indirect result of that gratitude stress levels are reduced (Edberg, 2020).
Ultimately, choosing to live in the present can be a huge benefit when dealing with uncertainty. It helps bring us to a place of calm by increasing our awareness, reducing our stress, decreasing our tendency to overthink while also enhancing our gratitude.
Edberg. (2020, May 19). 7 awesome reasons to be present, and how to do it. The Positivity Blog.
Raptitude. (2014, June 23). 15 unexpected side-benefits to living in the present moment. Raptitude.com.