We're living in uncertain times. And when we overthink—ruminate about—the potentially negative or frightening outcomes of the unknown, it can be send us spiraling into debilitating anxiety and depression, even though we may know deep down that this uncertainty is beyond our control.
Rick Hanson, psychologist and bestselling author of Neurodharma and Hardwiring Happiness, understands this well. "It's hard to live with uncertainties, with all the question marks," he says. "But if we fight the fact of not knowing for sure, we just make things worse."
In his unforgettable 2016 Networker Symposium address, "How Hard Times Can Open the Heart," Hanson explained how becoming more mindful of our body, thoughts, and the linkage between the two can make us happier, more gracious, and less fearful of the unknown.
Rick Hanson, PhD, is a neuropsychologist and New York Times bestselling author. A Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, he’s been an invited speaker at Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard, and taught in meditation centers worldwide.
Over 80 percent of the information processed in the brain comes from the body, Hanson says. Like a night watchman, it calls out to the brain, saying, "In this moment, everything's alright."
If your clients have trouble processing a fear of the unknown, or just struggle with general anxiety, paying attention to the body can be a valuable tool for healing, allowing them to slow their racing mind and make peace with the inevitability of uncertainty.
Did you enjoy this video? Check out Hanson's article on psychotherapy's fascination with brain science in "The Next Big Step." You might also like "The Motherhood Marathon," in which he explains how to help clients who have been overwhelmed by motherhood and need help with the modern challenges of raising a family.