Fear of the future
Many people are concerned about the future in order to make better decisions in the present. However, in some cases, this concern becomes excessive, causing great discomfort in those who suffer and several consequences in different areas of life. It can go to the point of paralyzing life completely for fear of suffering certain consequences or the desperation of making a decision without knowing how a specific situation will turn out.
This fear of the future relates to a low tolerance for uncertainty. The fact that there is no economic and emotional stability causes many people to suffer from this fear. That’s why there are more and more people with this kind of fear every day.
Symptoms of fear of the future can be divided into three types:
- Cognitive symptoms : refers to thoughts. People afraid of the future certainly have thoughts like “What if I run out of work?”, “What if we break up?”. As we can see, these are thoughts that usually start with “What if”. It is a catastrophic anticipation of a future.
- Physiological symptoms : this type of symptoms refers to bodily sensations. Because it is a type of fear, the physiological symptoms are related to anxiety for the future. Therefore, people afraid of the future may experience symptoms such as sweating, hand tremor, tachycardia, hyperventilation, etc.
- Behavioral symptoms : they refer to the different behaviors that the person suffering the fear has. In this case, it can lead to not making decisions, apathy , not leaving the comfort zone, reviewing everything several times, etc.
Causes of fear of the future
Why am I afraid of the future? In the same way that symptoms can be divided into three types, the causes of fear of the future can be divided into two large groups:
- Genetics : having a family history of some type of fear or psychological problem increases the chances of having this type of fear. This is due to having a certain genetic heredity of psychological problems.
- Environment : the environment in which a person was raised can influence the development of a phobia or fear, that is, our parents were not able to teach us. This can occur by sending constant messages about fear of the future and uncertainty. On the other hand, if at any time you, your family or someone you know have suffered a drastic problem such as job loss, illness or any other type of instability, this can lead to an aversion to the future and instability.
Consequences of fear of the future
The consequences of fear of the uncertain future are closely related to its behavioral symptoms. If I avoid changing jobs or marrying a certain person, for fear of the consequences, I certainly end up living a life in which there is dissatisfaction with the different plans. That is, a paralysis occurs in the person’s life and an avoidance of exposure to the feared situation or to moments that could lead to such a situation.
In addition, having a constant level of stress can lead to long-term physical health problems such as irritable bowel syndrome or heart problems. Likewise, fear of the future can harm social relationships , as living with a person who is constantly worried and stressed can become a great burden for others. These may decide to distance themselves from the person fearing the future.
With regard to the relationship, if there is this obstacle, there are no advances in the relationship such as buying a house, getting married, having children for fear of what might happen. This can mean the end of the relationship, as the other person may realize that their vital expectations are not being fulfilled.
We can conclude that the consequences of fear of the future are summed up in the well-known “self-fulfilling prophecy”. Having this type of fear can cause us to sabotage ourselves and end up causing this situation that we fear so much to end up happening in the end.