Entering adulthood is an arduous process. But it seems that in the millennial era, uncertainty, feelings of insecurity and doubt really can wreak havoc among people in their 20s and 30s.
In a very fast pace changing world (and not necessarily for the better), young people have a hard time dealing with uncertainty, more so than previous generations.
In a way, humans inherently fear the unknown, since the brain is wired to find familiar patterns and this has kept us safe across our history. Certainty gives us confidence and keeps us calm, while uncertainty makes us anxious.
The difference in our tolerance towards uncertainty and unknown is due to technological progress. We have become dependent on the reassurance that technology gives us and we have grown less tolerant to uncertainty. We’ve got used to finding answers easily and fast. And when technology cannot offer the answers we need, we become anxious and depressed.
In other words, the problem is not that we fear the unknown, it’s that we cannot handle this fear. That our low tolerance to uncertainty and unknown can create anxiety disorders, depression, and even eating disorders, which are serious and dangerous threats to our well-being.
The solution to this intolerance to the unknown is to practice “sitting in the unknown”. Observe your own thoughts and emotions every time an uncertain situation troubles you. Resist to the temptation to reach for the phone to check, to eliminate the doubts and the worry. Stay a bit longer than you are comfortable with and then get your reassurance fix.
By practicing this tolerance to uncertainty you can protect yourself from future damage to your mental health. Please, share this!