Two weeks until we leave the European Union – or is it? Will we be delaying? Will we be crashing out? Will we perhaps not leave at all? It all feels hugely uncertain and this lack of clarity is challenging for the psyche. It’s unpleasant not knowing what is going to happen and how it will affect us. Particularly so if you run a business, have a job, or are part of a family with European connections. When even our politicians seem unclear it’s hard to feel as safe as we’d like to on our shared soil.
I was thinking about this type of social anxiety over the weekend. Sometimes anxious or worried symptoms aren’t about our personal histories. They can also be responses to the fact that life is fundamentally difficult and uncertain. Worried about Brexit? Well fair enough! But how do we respond? Give up in the face of existential angst? Or hold onto the hope that humans can find comfort and a way forward in even the most challenging circumstances?
One way to begin the hope process is to face our worry head on and allow it to be there. Acknowledging uncertainty and allowing ourselves to find it difficult is a big step. Difficult feelings need our attention and it may be that if we are feeling worried there are things we can do to comfort and help ourselves. In relation to Brexit, grounding ourselves in what we actually can do and in what we actually are responsible for is a good start. David Potts, Chief Executive of the supermarket chain, Morrisons, put it well on Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme: “We’re here to run Morrisons, not to run the country.” Brexit or no Brexit, we control what happens in our own heads and hearts.