In times of uncertainty, many of us have a tendency to fear the worst. If threat or harm is one possible outcome (out of many many possibilities), a part of our brain will be drawn towards that worst possible outcome, and start believing in its certainty and obsessively planning for it. This can be especially true for people who have anxious temperaments, who were raised by parents with unhealed trauma, or people who have experienced serious negative events in their past. However, this catastrophising can also occur simply by speaking with other people who are anxious or watching the news which over-reports catastrophe and under-reports stories of healing, health, and abundance.
Since we are in a time in history right now with much uncertainty and dread in the collective, we are being invited to examine our own relationship with uncertainty, and observe how much “faith in the goodness of life” we have activated!
We have found that the most effective way to manage anxiety in the midst of uncertainty, is to lean in to the uncertainty, to trust and surrender to what you know about life—that life is a good and giving force, that our bodies are designed to ward off illness and keep us thriving, and that “we’re all in this together”, creating a sense of protection and connection to others.
Faith in the Goodness of Life is one component of the Optimism Code from The Wellbeing Codes. Faith in the Goodness of Life is about believing that life will look after you, that your immune system is highly intelligent, that your trillions of cells are all communicating with one another to create optimal health, and focusing on blessings and abundance rather than harm, illness and calamity.
People that struggle to believe in the “goodness of life” often experience anxiety and stress. The amygdala becomes overactive and becomes hypersensitive to potential danger—everywhere—even if the likelihood of danger is very low. This perpetuates anxiety, controlling behaviours, over-analysing and constant reassurance-seeking.
Three things that we can all do to start to activate more Faith in the Goodness of Life, are:
1. Go out in nature and be in awe about the regenerative aspect of life itself. Remind yourself that you are a part of nature and you are always growing towards more health.
2. Explore your willingness to surrender to life—how willing are you to trust that life will take care of you in the same way that it takes care of all living things?
3. Examine the origins of your anxiety in the face of uncertainty. Did you receive constant messages growing up about how unsafe life is? This may be something worth exploring with a counsellor or therapist.
By Dr. Tracey Hunter & Dr. Rachel Wheeler