Thoughts on health, happiness and sustainability

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Embracing uncertainty

Life can get a bit scary at times, especially in times of uncertainty. We naturally feel fear and anxiety in response to things that we don’t understand and where our fate is affected by things that we are uncertain about.

Our stress levels rise and we consume physical, mental, and emotional energy trying to understand and control the many things in our lives. This can from time to time be a healthy and helpful response as a reaction to real danger, but all to often it becomes habitual an we react this way far too much. We struggle to see the difference between real danger and things that are simply uncertain. We start to believe that uncertainty is danger, and as life is full of uncertainty, we can grow to become overwhelmed with fear and anxiety for the infinite number of uncertain things that affect our lives.

Trying to control too many things that simply cannot be controlled is exhausting. Uncertainty in life can be scary because there is no assurance that things will end well.

However, more often than not, uncertainty is an opportunity more than it is a threat. It is an opportunity to change things for the better, to keep things interesting, to have new experiences, learn about life, and to have new adventures. Without uncertainty, life will always be the same as it is now. No better, no worse. Nothing to look forward to. No surprises. No challenge or sense of achievement. Just the certainty that things will stay the same.

Sometimes certainty can give us a sense of safety, but will not inherently fill us with delight and happiness. It means monotony at best and at worse it means that nothing will ever improve. We should embrace uncertainty as a source of hope and inspiration, as an opportunity to make things better and to truly feel alive. When we do so, we free ourselves from the distress and exhaustion of trying to fight the uncertainty of our world and can focus on enjoying what life brings our way, whatever it might be.

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