Resetting your Brain to Cope During Uncertainty

Resetting your Brain to Cope During Uncertainty

It’s been a rough few months for your brain. It’s had to cope with uncertainty across almost every facet of your life and is exhausted with trying to keep up with the pace of change.

Things are opening up… but what about a second wave…

I still have my job… but what about the economy…

The kids are back at school… but for how long…

There’s a reason this uncertainty has made you feel so unhinged.

Humans need certainty

As humans, we crave certainty. I don’t mean we just like certainty. I mean it’s one of our core human needs and for those who are investing time and effort to improve themselves, it can be the number one thing that drives us.

We need to have this need met. Our desires are so primal that if we can’t meet our needs in constructive ways, we’ll settle for deconstructive ones.

So when our health, work, family, relationships and even personal movements over the last few months haven’t felt certain, we cling to what we can control.

Enter… the great toilet paper shortage of 2020.

Finding certainty in the uncertainty

One of the keys to resetting your brain after so much change is to find constructive ways to meet your need for certainty.

This will help you feel more in control, make you more focused and grounded regardless of what’s going on around you.

Here are some constructive ways to find certainty:

Your own grit and determination. You’ve just survived a pandemic! Nothing will stop you now! Know that you have the guts to stay focused on your goals and the determination to do the work.

Be intentional with what you let in. The media will always focus on hype and bad news, but if you’re not careful this will seep into all areas of your life. Instead, intentionally seek out heart-warming stories of hope and courage that remind you of what is constant in life.

Change has always been inevitable. This pandemic doesn’t change that the future has always been unknown, we’ve just lived under the illusion that we’ve had more control. Today, become certain in your own ability to navigate whatever gets thrown your way.

Triggers to watch out for

Our body and brain have become used to meeting our need for certainty in destructive ways, so it’s going to be very easy to get sucked back into old thought and behaviour patterns.

Here are some traps to become conscious of that may not be serving you:

Excessive social media consumption. There is certainty in the scroll and the mistaken belief that just one more piece of information will make me feel better. More information is not the answer, nor are more photos of your friends’ kids. See it as the time vampire it is and be intentional with how much time you spend there.

Procrastination. Is an old friend for many of us and a state our brain likes falling into. Bizarrely, when we fluff about, we know we’re not going to achieve anything, which makes our brain feel more certain.

Guilt. Another old friend which makes us feel like rubbish, but its emotional signature if very certain. Whether it’s guilt about studying instead of seeing the family, not working hard enough or investing in yourself, this emotion does not help you reach your goals in any way.

Go easy on your brain. Give yourself some grace.

It’s been through a lot but as we settle into the new normal it’s time to reset, refocus on your goals and give your brain the certainty it needs so you get the life you want.


About the author

Jo Stone is a mindset and high-performance coach who helps ambitious professionals build a better balanced life without sacrifice. To find out more visit


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