It's normal for people to develop a fear of the future, particularly if they have endured deeply traumatic experiences in the past.
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can actively cope with, and minimise, your fear. Consider the following ten methods.
1. Consider Why You're Fearful
Your trauma matters - and it can impact you before you've realised. When you're fearful of something in the future, chances are you're afraid because of something that happened in the past. Make time to uncover where the fear first rose up, and examine why it's still there.
2. Plan Positive Experiences
For example - there are plenty of people who dread the holidays because they don't want to spend time with their family members. As a result they live with a knot in their stomach for 11 months out of the year, in order to prepare for two or three days with family members.
Instead of dwelling in fear around harder times, plan positive experiences around these days. If you're spending Christmas Day with your family, plan a tropical vacation that starts on Dec. 26th. When you plan positive experiences around the upcoming negative ones, it can help to adjust your perspective.
3. Make Wise Financial Decisions
Your financial decisions truly make a difference in the quality of life you're able to experience. Don't wait until you've achieved a certain financial status in order to work on healthy financial habits. In fact, to reach a certain status, you'll need to develop great habits now.
Develop a strong investment strategy. Diversify your assets. Prioritise stock and real estate investments. When you check out DST properties for sale, you'll be able to find amazing properties that you can occupy, build equity in and eventually rent to other tenants.
4. See a Therapist
There's so much power in talking to a mental health professional. Sometimes, people think their thoughts and don't actually articulate them. It's easy to remain stuck in negative thought patterns and unhealthy life cycles because people keep everything bottled inside. A professional therapist can provide the healthy tools and the safe space to process emotions and cope with life's challenges as they arise.
5. Prioritise Physical Self-Care
Many people become afraid of the future because they think about aging, illness, and death. Instead, find ways to think about protecting your longevity instead. Learn to cultivate a clean diet, visit the gym and wear sunscreen every day. Prioritise healthy habits to help you thrive as you continue into the future.
6. Limit Your Intake of Fear-Driven Content
The national and international news stations are all about ratings. They need to capitalise on your attention in order to keep ratings up and make money. Knowing this, they'll use fear to keep you engaged. Instead, find ways to quickly get the headlines and necessary information without binge-watching the news or any other fear-driven content.
7. Develop a Positive Mindset Ritual
Consume positive messages, curate your social media feed to positivity and stick to a regimen. By journaling, meditating, and listening to motivational messages, you can jumpstart your mind's ability to bend toward the positive first.
8. Do Things Afraid
Get into the habit of learning how to do things that scare you. Whether it's public speaking, rollerblading, or asking someone out on a date, create a list of scary yet productive activities that can lead to your growth. Jumping in a cold shower, showing up to the gym, or putting yourself out there on social media can be incredibly impactful because you'll affirm yourself in your ability to do challenging things in the face of fear.
9. Cherish the Present
When you're anxious about the future, you're unable to remain grateful for the present. Start a gratitude journal to help you remain grounded and grateful for what's happening now. As you become more mindful, it's easier to remain in the present.
10. Release Stress Daily
Doctors Emily and Amelia Nagoski discovered the power of completing the stress cycle. They learned that people experience stressful situations and triggers on a daily basis. Just like an individual needs to bathe daily, they need to complete the stress cycle daily. By completing the stress cycle, you'll release the stressful situations that occurred throughout the scope of any given day.
To complete the stress cycle, engage in activities such as exercise, connection with your favorite people, or a warm bear bug. There are plenty of other activities that fall in line with closing the cycle as well.
As you begin this journey of coping with your fear, it's good to push yourself. Even though there might be some discomfort associated with pushing yourself, you can't wait until you feel like doing something in order to get it done. Extend grace and self-compassion for the times when you miss the mark. Don't give up, and you'll look back and thank yourself for facing your fear head-on.
This article was kindly written and contributed by Tracie Johnson.