Maboroshi: 4 Ways To Deal With Uncertainty


Masamune Kikuiri’s world turned upside down in a sudden event that fractured the sky and left his town trapped in time. Fear and hopelessness began to set in as people started disappearing after cracks appeared on their skin.

FOBO, the fear of being obsolete is the catch phase these days as many of us face a very uncertain future with industry retrenchments and AI taking over our jobs. While it’s normal to fear the worst case scenario it is neither healthy nor helpful for ourselves.

Here are four things to do instead:




1. Focus on the present


Live each day the best you can focusing on what you can do now. Try adding mindfulness practices to your daily routine to bring yourself back to the present. Masamune turned to his hobby of drawing, finding solace in the process of sketching.

To allay fearful thoughts, Ryan Jane Jacoby, a staff psychologist and instructor at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital recommends ‘absorbing activities’ that require all your concentration. These can be things like painting, doing puzzles or even challenging physical activities. Margaret Cochran, a psychotherapist based in San Jose, California adds that doing things with your hands such as knitting or coloring can have a hypnotic effect on our brains, calming us down.


2. Find joy in the little things


Itsumi’s sense of wonder is a beacon in the miasma of the town’s fear. She maintains a cheerful disposition and infectious laughter wherever she goes. When we are overwhelmed by uncertainty of the future, a little joy can go a long way. A good way to encourage this mindset is to practice gratitude every day. Something as simple as appreciating a home cooked meal or marveling at a beautiful blue sky can lift our mood.


3. Be kind to yourself and others


In Maboroshi, we see both adults and Masamune’s peers react in a variety of ways to the effects of the phenomenon; some wide-eyed in fear, others feeling hopeless. The unknown is scary and it’s normal to be afraid. It’s especially important in this time that you treat yourself and others kindly. Don’t push away your feelings, instead, acknowledge them and remind yourself that you will find the strength to overcome it.


4. Hold onto hope



Adopting an optimistic view of the future is key to enduring times of uncertainty. This doesn’t mean assuming only good things will happen, rather that whatever does happen, you will be okay. Cochran recommends altering your self-talk towards saying things like, “I don’t know how this will go, but one way or another I’ll find a way through”. This way, we maintain control over how we respond and build resilience for things to come.


Here are some other articles that shed light on managing the anxiety uncertainty may bring, and how to develop resilience in the long run:


That Nervous Feeling


Violet Evergarden: Resilience Through Gratitude


The Rising Of The Shield Hero: Building Resilience By Leveling Up Together\


Need help to handle your fear? Join an Otaku chat group.


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