Fear of the future is a real phobia called chronophobia. In some cases, feeling anxious about the road ahead or a little nervous about a new adventure isn’t anything to be concerned about!
However, this sort of anxiety can breed and grow and develop into a real fear that can darken your days and damage your relationships.
We all need an emotional resilience toolkit to turn to when times get tough, and here we’ll explore the five most effective ways to cope with a fear of the future.
What Is Fear of the Future and Why Do I Have It?
As I’ve mentioned, there are two clinically defined conditions that mean having fearful thoughts and physical symptoms when thinking about things that haven’t yet happened.
Chronophobia is a phobia that manifests as extreme fear, often arising from existing anxiety disorders, and can cause obsessive and debilitating behavior.
Anticipatory anxiety means being nervous about future events where the outcome is unknown and can cause mental health issues, problems eating, sleep disorders, and muscle tension.
1. Identify the worst-case scenario.
Ok, so I know what you’re thinking! I am dreading tomorrow, next week, or next year, have irrational anxiety that my life will end in disaster, and you’re asking me to visualize the worst thing that could happen!
2. Channel your stress.
Being anxious isn’t fun. It makes us cranky, irritable, sleep-deprived, and miserable. If you fear the future and it is getting you down, challenge yourself to do something new, creative, or productive.
3. Be present.
Human brains are like a rollercoaster ride, and if you become fixated on fear, or the unknown, it can spiral until you find it hard to think about anything else!
4. Meditate and focus on the positive.
Meditation is a powerful tool, and when practiced often, it can be a technique that feels like pressing a reset button on our psyche. Sometimes, fear has grown from a tiny seed of doubt to an overwhelming blanket of stress, and allowing your mind time and space to feel, wonder, and reflect can be an emotional makeover.
5. Remember how strong you are.
It’s easy to become doubtful, worry, and panic that things aren’t going to swing your way. But, of all the fights you have fought, the races you have run, the obstacles you have climbed, you are still here.