10 Tips for Coping with Fear in an Uncertain World

Avatar Gaye Levy  |  Updated: December 16, 2020
10 Tips for Coping with Fear in an Uncertain World

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fearFear.  We all experience it at some time or another.  It is that feeling of anxiety we get when the outcome of something threatens our well-being and safety.

In today’s 21st century world, there is a lot of fear.  It comes in many guises and is almost palpable:

  • Fear of a natural disaster
  • Fear of the collapse of our monetary system and the economy
  • Fear of anarchy and civil unrest
  • Fear of nuclear or chemical contamination
  • Fear of unemployment
  • Fear of getting old and death
  • Fear of a terrorist attack
  • Fear of the end of the world or TEOTWAWKI

Yes, these are uncertain times and coping with just one of these fears can be challenging if not debilitating.  So how does one cope?  How does one put up a wholesome front faced with such uncertainties and concern for the personal welfare of one’s self and one’s family?

I am not a mental health professional so what I have to offer is not professional advice.  Instead, I offer my own 10 commandments for staying sane in a world where there are more questions than answers.

SurvivalWoman’s Ten Commandments for Conquering Fear

1.  Knowledge is king

If something scares you, do your research and learn as much as you can so that you can understand the whys and wherefores.  Be curious and embrace your new found knowledge.  Here is an example:  I used to have a fear of flying in airplanes.  In order to conquer that fear, I studied the aerodynamics of planes so that, in simple terms, I realized that even in turbulent conditions, the aircraft could fly.

2.  Appreciate the moment

Many fears are based on things that you have no control over.  That is not likely to change unless you are connected in some way to a supreme being.  So, instead of fretting about things you can not control, appreciate and embrace those things you can.  Appreciate the moment and your ability to exercise free will.  And whatever you do, don’t look back and browbeat yourself over the past.  What is done is done.  Move on and live in the moment.

3.  Live with a passion

Even those on a limited budget can find something they love to do whether it is gardening, reading, hiking, watching movies or something else.  Whatever your passion, pursue it with gusto and embrace your passion whenever fear strikes you to the bone.  Hobbies can be a wonderful panacea for setting fear aside and taking your mind off the woes of the world.

4.  Communicate with nature

These are tough times for our planet and yet there is still a wondrous beauty in every sunset, in every lake and stream, and in glorious, snow-capped mountains.  Get out there and enjoy the birds singing, the rippling waves, and the smell of fresh air.  You will feel a lot better for the experience.

5.  Surround yourself with love

Coping with day to day drama is a lot easier if you have someone share your concerns and fears. Everyone needs to be hugged and to give a hug in return. Do not discount the miracle of a light touch when it comes to reducing stress.

6.  Get a pet

The great thing about pets, and especially dogs and cats, is that they love you unconditionally.  They sense your frustration and your fear and will cuddle up to you at just the right moment.  They will lick the tears from your face when you are sad and will and provide you with companionship when there is no one around.

7.  Count your blessings

When times are bad and you think they are going to get worse, count your blessings.  Yes, at the time you may think those blessings are few, but if you can come up with five or six – or heck – even one – wrap yourself it and make that blessing your focus.  Take your blessings and use them as a springboard for optimism going forward.

8.  Exercise and maintain good health

A strong and healthy body goes a long way toward making you feel positive about life, even in the face of dissension and chaos.  One of the best ways to maintain good health is to exercise and maintain the proper weight for your height and build.  Get yourself a pair of athletic shoes or hiking books and get walking.  Overweight?  Try the Dukan Diet, the The 4-Hour Body or one of the many other weight loss regimes out there.  Your self-image will improve as you get fit and a great self-image will make facing uncertainties a lot easier.

9.  Enjoy the journey

The uncertainties we face in the 21st century are truly frightening and in many respects we as individuals feel impotent and powerless to affect change.  Instead of succumbing to fear, turn the frightening event or circumstance into an adventure.  Become educated (see #1) then figure out a way to do something – anything – to proactively overcome your anxiety.  Taking even a modicum of control will alleviate fear.  And for heavens sake, as you take control, enjoy the journey!

10.  Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

You knew this was coming, right?

Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.  Hope is  the belief that circumstances in the future will be better.  Recognize that there will be times when hope may seem impossible.  When that happens, consciously work on your personal mindset for without hope, there will be no future.  Even the gloom and doom in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road ended in a message of hope.

The corollary is to be prepared.  Put together a 3-day pack with those items you will need if a disaster strikes.  Store some extra food and water.  Gather all of your important documents and make copies or put them on a flash drive for safekeeping.  By being prepared, you take back control over an uncertain future.  You will be as ready as humanly possible and if the SHTF, you will be secure in the knowledge that you have done the very best that you can to survive.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


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Sabre Family Home and Property Protection Pepper Spray (13.0-Ounce): From the company that makes bear defense sprays, this pepper spray has a range of 30 feet and can be mounted right near the door. I am a  big believer in pepper spray, especially for those not trained in the use of firearms. You just never know.

Lodge 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet: The basic standby for all types of cooking, inside or out. Don’t forget the Lodge Set of 2 Pan Scrapers, A must have to go with that skillet.

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12 Responses to “10 Tips for Coping with Fear in an Uncertain World”

  1. I like your list of fear mitigating “commandments”.

    They are much more than that though. They are life enhancement and longevety practices.

    For example: Consider parachute jumping. Some are fearfull of (or while) trying it, others totally exhilarated! The difference: #2. Appreciating the moment vs fear of possible disaster. Paying attention to (and enjoying) the moment, instead of worrying, actually makes a disasterous outcome less likely; because it enhances the presence of mind necessary to respond quickly and effectively to problems as they arise. The person living in the moment on an icy curve while driving, or upon meeting a bear while hiking, is much more likely to enjoy the remainder of their day, and be around to enjoy the rest of their life. That is true whether you compare them to a fearfull worry wart, or a more typical distracted “sleepwalker”!

  2. Great list SurvivalWoman! Some fear is beneficial. For example, when you’re about to something that may get you hurt, fear helps to heighten your sense of awareness and gives you pause. But if you let it dominate your response it can make things much, much worse.

    The same is true for the situations you described. Without any fear, without concern, we’d lack the motivation to prepare. It’s the concern for our families, for our communities, that leads us to prepare for the uncertain future. But when it’s unchecked, it can leave us paralyzed and do more harm than good.


  3. During uncertain and frightening times like these in today’s world, the best way I have found to deal with it is to take it one day at a time, one moment at a time. All I can control is me -how I react to things; how I handle things; what my mind thinks and focuses on and how I spend my energies. I cannot control the past nor can I control the future – I can’t even control the present – but I CAN control how I think/act in the present moment.

    IMHO, our MSM is all based on fear- so I stopped watching news hour after news hour. To stay informed, I will read the on-line headlines but I will not get sucked into watching the nightly ‘news’. I won’t even read the online news stories – just glance at the headlines so I am not totally out of touch when talking or listening to others. I also don’t listen to the news on the radio. If one saturates their time and mind with the ‘news’ – one will live in a perpetual state of fear.

    One can be as prepared for anything as one can possibly be- but one cannot be prepared for absolutely every situation/scenario/disaster and every derivative therein. That would take up every minute of every hour of every day. Because what ‘disaster’ might hit is not what the one/s that one thought would – for example, one might be prepared for a major earthquake, but the earthquake that disruptes one’s life in huge magnitudes might not be the earth kind – it could be a relationship one or even a medical one.

    One can only control one’s self- what you think and how you react and how you deal with what curve balls in life are thrown. It’s the way you see things – either the glass is half full or half empty. And based on all my years on this earth (quite a few past 50)- the people who have the half full vision seem to be able to deal with life better and be more happy and are definitively less fearful of everything and anything.

  4. My greatest fear is the government, and others that we’re not allowed to fight back against. I’ve yet to find a way to deal with minions that enjoy bullying, and the tyranny of too many silly laws. The logical response is illegal. This twists my gut, since effective response is not allowed. This diminishes my life and I feel that there is little left to live for.

    I obey those laws that are reasonable, and even most that are not, but those that trample my rights to be free and engage in life affirming activities, due to either prudishness or other worldview on the part of the politicians/minions/cops need to be re-examined. I’d really appreciate some useful response here.

    It’s not right to protect me from myself. Warning is OK, but that’s it.

    Dealing with nature is legitimate, since she is not about hating you – just doing what comes naturally. I can respond in any way I choose. Dealing with government is not that way – we are not allowed to make a proper response, and if we do, we are marked and tracked to the grave.

    • Geez… Mike…
      It appears that you wrote your comment before you even read Survivalwoman’s “10 Tips for Coping with Fear in an Uncertain World”. Are you O.K.?

  5. Gaye, this is a timely article, there seems to be enough fear going on, with the earthquake and now the hurricane approaching the East Coast. Just looking at the evening news tonight it seems the reporters are whipping it up into a frenzy. Thank you for a good dose of reality and common sense.

  6. I read roughly 20 blogs a day. I’ve noticed in the last week that fear , anxiety and frustration are clearly on the upswing. So is depression as a result. I can’t think why this should be, but I’d say it’s true.

  7. Your “Ten Commandments for Conquering Fear” is right-on! . . . And very timely!
    Your “Commandment #9” was my favorite.
    Too bad that mainstream “news” sources like CNN don’t have the link to your “Ten Commandments for Conquering Fear” included as a footnote to every “news” report. (smile)

    • I doubt if the MSM will ever do that but Survival Husband told me today that they should so like minds LOL. On the other hand, I am a contributing writer on activistpost.com and for that I am thrilled!

  8. Fear is something we will all deal with when we find out this information about the changing world, most of us are very happy with our lives, Its something that has to be dealt with and left behind though, be aware of the changes that are coming so when they happen you can accept and know whats going on, you will not be surprised and in fear, you will say OK its happening this is what i need to do then get on and do it.. Good luck to you all

  9. Well said, Gaye. All good points. The famous Mr Moore also (strongly) advocates ‘spiritual preparedness’ – whatever that means to the individual, of course.

    Thank you.

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