The only certainty right now is that the uncertainty is set to continue. This is unsettling news for everyone. According to Harvard professor Jerry Kagan, the desire to reduce uncertainty is one of three primary motives that drives cognitive development, alongside the urge to decrease hostility and increase mastery.

Personality makes a difference. Nicholas Carleton at the University of Regina in Canada has established a strong correlation between the inability to tolerate uncertainty and neuroticism – the tendency to become easily anxious or angry and to experience self-doubt and low mood.

What can help make the current high level of uncertainty more bearable?

Do something daily to lower anxiety: Meditate, exercise or contact friends, or anything that helps to invite a sense of calm.

Keep informed, but in a controlled way: decide each morning when you’ll check the news and stick to your plan. Access only reliable sites, and look out for stories of hope and inspiration.

Plan small: set three achievable goals a day, such as tidying a room or answering two emails. It doesn’t matter how small the goals, just ensure they’re achievable.

Prioritise attitude: the secret to happiness lies not in what happens to us, but how we react to what happens.

The Daily Telegraph

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