By Stanley Popovich

Almost everyone worries about what will happen in the future. The prospect of not knowing if something good or bad will happen can produce a lot of fear and anxiety. Here are seven ways to deal with fear of the unknown.

1. No one can predict the future with one hundred percent certainty. Even if the thing you fear happens, there are circumstances and factors you can’t predict that can be used to your advantage. For instance, you miss the deadline for a project you’ve been working on. Everything you feared is coming true. Suddenly, your boss tells you the deadline is extended but forgot to tell you the day before. This unknown factor changes everything.

2. Take one day at a time: Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week or coming months, try focusing on today. Each day provides us with different opportunities to learn new things, including how to deal with your problems. When the time comes, hopefully you will have learned the skills to deal with your situation.

3. Use Self-Visualization: Sometimes, we get anxious over a task that we will have to perform in the near future. When this happens, visualize yourself doing the task in your mind. For instance, you have to play in the championship volleyball game in front of a large group of people in the next few days. Before the big day comes, imagine yourself playing the game in your mind. By doing this, you will be better prepared when the time comes.

4. Take a break: Take a deep breath and try to find something to do to get your mind off of your anxieties and stresses. For example, take a walk, listen to some music, read the newspaper, watch TV, play on the computer, or do an activity that will give you a fresh perspective on things. This will distract you from your current worries.

5. Challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking: When encountering thoughts that make you fearful or depressed, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself questions that maintain objectivity and common sense. Focus on the reality of your situation and not on your thoughts.

6. Worrying can make the problem worse: All the worrying in the world will not change anything. All you can do is do your best each day, hope for the best, and when something does happen, take it in stride. If you still have trouble dealing with the fear of the future, then talking to a counselor can be of great help.

7. Get some help: Sometimes it helps to be able to talk to someone about your stressful situations, such as a trusted friend or counselor, who can provide insight into helping you deal with your current problem. With help, things can and do get better.

Stan Popovich is an award-winning contributor and author who uses his own 20 years of personal experience in managing fear, anxiety, and depression to help others. Learn more at