How To Navigate Uncertainty With Grace, From A Psychiatrist

mindbodygreen Editorial Assistant By Sarah Regan
mindbodygreen Editorial Assistant

Sarah Regan is a writer, registered yoga instructor, and Editorial Assistant at mindbodygreen. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

A Psychiatrist's Best Advice For Navigating Hard Times (aka December 2020)

If 2020 could be described in one word, "uncertain" would definitely be a contender. It hasn't been an easy time for anyone, but according to board-certified psychiatrist Anna Yusim, M.D., uncertainty is a part of life. And when we're able to reframe the way we approach uncertainty, she explains to mbg co-founder Jason Wachob on the mbg podcast, we can overcome much of the mental turmoil it can cause. Here's how:

1. Tap into your purpose.

Time and time again, we see that having a sense of purpose is fundamental to our overall well-being. "For so many people, their sense of purpose has been quenched or squashed," Yusim notes. Current circumstances can leave us questioning, "What kind of life is this—and how long is this going to last? But there are other ways to find purpose," she adds.

Right now, hold your purpose and intention in mind while accepting that everything comes in due time. Use it as fuel to keep you inspired in the harder moments.

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2. Lean on your community.

Next, Yusim says having "deliberate social contact with a community and with people," is super important. "There's tons of scientific evidence showing that is what helps people through the darkest of times," she says. "If it's not in person, with your mask 6 feet apart, then it should be on any kind of social network community."

This could also include a therapist or healer, she adds, but really it's just about having people that you're talking to on a regular basis. After all, we're in this together.

3. Trust the process.

And lastly, trust the process. "If you let this transform you, you're going to come out a stronger, more evolved person with higher consciousness," Yusim explains. "Sometimes you have to fall in order to be built back up." When we can learn to find happiness in the present moment, she adds, "or maybe not happy, but at least patient and present and mindful," we can mitigate a great deal of suffering. Patience is key.

The bottom line is, "We can't always be happy," Yusim notes, and that is OK. Nothing lasts forever, and on the other end of hardship is a wiser and more resilient person. "And so it's in looking within and finding that source of strength that we often didn't know existed, and tapping into that stillness—that's what helps people get through."

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