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10 tips of handling fear and uncertainty

Atle Dyregrov

Professor emeritus, Dr. philos
Spesialist i klinisk psykologi
Klinikk for krisepsykologi, Bergen, Norge
atle@krisepsykologi.no

War in Ukraine creates insecurity and unrest. Below are 10 tips that may be helpful in an uncertain everyday life

  1. Live life as normally as possible – do not let fear restrict your life
  2. Push worries away through distraction – a good book, a movie, or something else that locks your attention
  3. Think «strong thoughts» and repeat these for yourself even if you become anxious: «There is no reason for war to happen here», «Our police and defense are more vigilant than ever before», «I am safe», «I can calm down»
  4. Exercise, calm music and various relaxation methods can be used if your body is very tense
  5. Activities provide double benefits – you experience something and your mind is kept away from worries
  6. Accept that living will always be somewhat uncertain – you can not have control over everything
  7. Keep track of how much you read or watch news – settle for one update daily. Seek out information about the situation if that calms you down
  8. Gather your worrisome thoughts in a daily short «worry time» (10-15 min.). If they otherwise show up; repeat to yourself that «I will think of this in my worry time»
  9. Leave it to the police and military to keep watch. You get tense and restless if you go 24-hour shifts
  10. If you worry very much, e.g., because you have experienced terror or trauma in the past, seek help if it gets too bad

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