Quantcast
How To Handle Worries & Uncertainty About The Future
Getty Images

How To Handle Worries & Uncertainty About The Future

Anticipation for the future can come with a ton of pressure and make us feel anxious - at least it has for me.

Wellness

From the moment we are born, it seems there is a lot of anticipation for our future. As babies, our parents watch us take our first steps and wonder how we will step into the world. As children in grade school, our teachers may ask us who we want to be when we grow up before we know who we are. For most of us, as young adults, we are pressured to declare a major in college and land that job that requires years of experience before having any life experience. Anticipation for the future can come with a ton of pressure and make us feel anxious - at least it has for me.


Living with anxiety is like being in a time machine - always focused on the future or the past, and rarely present. Coming from a single mother who struggled to provide for her three children, I always felt pressured to make sure my future was bright. I constantly worry about my future because my future determines how the next generation in my family will live. The classic "breaking generational curses" has always sat heavily on my shoulders. An anxious worry most Black, brown, and first-generation young adults have on their shoulders.

The uncertainty about the future, especially in today's climate, has made me feel like I'm possibly not alone in this. Having anticipation anxiety seems to be becoming more common among young adults. While processing my anticipation anxiety, I wanted to dig further into the meaning of anticipation anxiety and how we can become more confident in our future and live more in the present. I had the pleasure of talking with mental health professionals Sierra Hillsman and Marline Francois-Madden.

Here are their thoughts.

On Defining Anticipation Anxiety And Finding Hope In Crisis:

"Anticipation anxiety falls under the category of generalized anxiety, a phobia, and can be linked to panic disorders. I like to define it as the overarching theme of all three of these categories. With anticipation anxiety, the individual is dealing with the fear of what may come out of a particular circumstance. For example, if a person is anticipating the intensity of a test or even transitioning into the workspace. They may have worries about socializing with coworkers after so long, the intensity of the office, or even what they will do about child care. These are all common with anticipation anxiety."

"If we feel like we don't meet the standard or have the necessary tools to rise to the occasion, we might shrink ourselves. It is causing us to feel like we can't get through it."

Getty Images

"I always tell my clients to look at themselves in the three selves: self-image, self-efficacy, and self-esteem. Self-image is how we see ourselves; self-efficacy is how we see ourselves in relation to our capabilities; self-esteem is how we feel about ourselves. A coping mechanism that helps is increasing self-awareness. Take time to document your triggers; what sets you off? What are some warning signs? They may manifest physically, mentally, or emotionally. After, focus on hobbies that can reduce those stressors and help you cope until you get into a safe space.

"Find what gives you a sense of meaning and hope. This mindset will help you establish a sense of resiliency to move forward beyond your anxiety."

"On top of anticipation anxiety rising among the Black and brown community, there is still a lot of social and racial injustice in this country. Historically, this country has been oppressing us for generations, but the work that we're doing today gives us a sense of hope that we can create change today and create change for the children and generations after us. What is going to cause you to rise above it? What gives you hope at this moment?"

On Seeking Proper Help And Seeking The Positive Side Of Anxiety:

"Self-diagnosing for anticipation anxiety can be dangerous, and the individual needs to seek professional help from a licensed therapist. As previously stated, there are several anxiety-related disorders, and one needs to be properly assessed by a professional. Self-diagnosing can lead one to believe their symptoms are far worse than they are and can cause higher levels of stress."

"It is important to give yourself grace when dealing with anticipation anxiety and be honest with your emotions."

Getty Images

"While anticipation anxiety may not be viewed as a good thing, there are times where it can help one to be vigilant about potential harm. Some people may experience eustress, which feels like excitement about something in the future. For example, one may experience eustress from launching a new business, throwing a day party, getting married, or starting graduate school. These are perfectly normal emotions to have, be gentle with yourself, and live in the moment. "

"Practicing mindfulness daily can help to relieve any stressors. Also, building a community that you can share how you're feeling and letting them know how they can best support you at the moment can help relieve stressors and remaining present easier."

Featured image by Getty Images

'P-Valley' & 10 Other Shows That Feature Empowered Black Characters

I vividly recall my mother implying that TV couldn’t teach me much of anything, but in reality, we know that representation teaches us a lot! It empowers us and highlights diverse ways of Black life (more so in recent television history) that vary from traditional to not so traditional – though this makes the impact no less real. Television shows like P-Valley highlight the importance of human decency over respectability politics, while other shows allow us to see the value in falling through life with our awkwardness.

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.
Halle Bailey Makes Her Red Carpet Debut With Boyfriend DDG: Here’s What We Know About Him

Halle Bailey and her boyfriend DDG are one of the cutest celebrity couples in the game right now. After confirming their relationship in March 2022, Halle, 22, and DDG, 24, made their red carpet debut as a couple over the weekend during the 2022 BET Awards. In an interview with Extra, The Little Mermaid star shared that she was “nervous” about their debut. “We’re like tryna figure out what we were going to wear. All this stuff,” she said. The couple matched each other’s fly with both wearing all-black outfits.

Keep reading...Show less
Here's Why You Should Ditch Fourth Of July And Have A Family Reunion Instead

“Who made the potato salad?” As summertime kicks off, this is the universal question that, without fail, will be asked at every barbeque and backyard kickback over the coming months. With the Fourth of July also nearing, summertime celebrations and cookouts will be in full force. However, as the tide begins to turn in this new day and age, more Black Americans are celebrating Juneteenth, instead of the Fourth of July, because, after all, there were still over 250,000 Black Americans enslaved in Galveston, Texas during this so-called Independence Day.

Keep reading...Show less
Fitness Influencer Sara Hunt Shares Her Favorite Ways To Enjoy Summer in Chicago

This post is in partnership with Toyota.

Whether it's the lazy afternoons spent laying out on the beach, or nights spent sipping cocktails at your local rooftop hangout, there are so many reasons to love and look forward to summer. It's a time for respite, fun in the sun, and adventure. But as any Chicagoan can tell you, there's something particularly special about "Summertime Chi." The vibes in the Windy City are on 100 when the temperatures rise, and the city literally comes alive in the most magical way.

Keep reading...Show less
Summer Walker Gets Honest About Motherhood And Her Child's Father: ‘I Wish I Paid More Attention’

When Summer Walker began gaining popularity with her debut album Over It, her personal life also took center stage. The “Body” singer worked on her first album with her now ex-boyfriend, producer London On Da Track, and they welcomed a daughter together, Princess Bubblegum. Their relationship was challenged by cheating rumors, and the 26-year-old found herself going back and forth with London’s exes on social media for consistently bashing the singer and the producer.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
A Black woman looks into the camera and gives a closed-mouth smile. She's wearing a black turtleneck

Miss Diddy Kicks Off BET Awards Weekend With 'A Toast To Black Hollywood'

Her annual event to celebrate the culture has a new name and more intention than ever before

Latest Posts