Disclosure – this is a collaborative post.
There comes a time in life when you experience life changes that shake you to your core. Similarly, some changes leave you wondering whether there is a point to any of this. People with anxiety, depression and stress go through such strong emotions regularly, but these emotions are temporary, and there is not a significant impact on their everyday lives because of it. Simply put, their quality of life remains stable.
However, sometimes when people experience such intense feelings, they spiral and become a big ball of negative emotions. This further leads them to question their place in the universe. That is an existential crisis.
Unfortunately, most have a vague grasp on the topic of existential crisis, whether it is the coping mechanisms, how it is significantly different from anxiety and depression or even the symptoms – which includes a common thing: an upset stomach. This normalised unfamiliarity causes the spread of inaccurate information about existential crises.
Here is all the information you need to equip regarding an existential crisis as well as the healthy coping methods:
What is an Existential Crisis?
An existential crisis points to feelings of unease. This uncomfortable feeling can be about purpose, choice and privilege in life. It can affect anyone at any age. Whether it is called an existential crisis or existential anxiety, the basic idea is that, inherently, life is entirely pointless, and our existence is meaningless as there are infinite limits on it. Then, the thought of the ultimate thing we are all destined for: death. In simple words, an individual struggles to believe their life will have an impact.
It is quite common to search for meaning and your purpose in life. The existential crisis provides a negative outlook for the individual as the dilemma lies in finding satisfying answers. This apparent lack of explanation triggers an intimate dispute from within.
Sometimes, everyday problems can cause an existential crisis however, most of the time, a relatively traumatic event is the main trigger behind a brutal existential crisis. Some of the common causes of an existential crisis may include:
- Guilty conscience
- Coming to terms with a loved one’s death
- Feelings of unsatisfaction towards social life
- Pure dissatisfaction with self
- Previously bottled up emotions
- Illness (mental or physical)
- Sudden change in living circumstances (loss of a job, home etc.)
- Life change related to age
Need help breaking free of the shackles of an existential crisis? Here are a few tips to coping methods to come to terms with it:
Replacing the Pessimist
Taking control of your thoughts is the first step you should take. You might be thinking: ‘Easier said than done.’ This is a valid reaction however it is vital to replace pessimistic thoughts with positive ones. You see, telling yourself that your life has no meaning can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. You get what you put out in the universe, so you should pursue a passion and practice living a meaningful life.
Journaling the Negative Thoughts
Write down every single thing that you are grateful for in your life. This can include your relationships with people, pets, achievements, talents and more! This will help you shed some light on the fact that your life is probably more meaningful than you think.
Find a New Source of Energy
Due to the pandemic, many have realised that they were using most of their energy and time for their work. So, when this activity was taken away from them, it became a crisis. This is why you should invest time and energy in new things to restore balance among all aspects of your life. This new source can be sports, hobbies, relationships and even adopting a little furry friend.
Remember the Reasons
You can find new reasons to remind yourself of the importance and impact of your life in the world however it is important to remember the pre-existing ones as well. In addition to this, you should take the time to explore yourself. You can try new cuisines, do things you have never done before and form new bonds with people.
Some Questions Don’t Have Answers
You have to accept that no one has the answers you so desperately seek, but this also does not mean that you can not answer life’s big questions. Admittedly, it is a bit tough to keep both things in mind, however, you should try your best.
An existential crisis can happen to anyone, even your loved ones. This will lead to questioning every aspect of their lives, but anyone can get through it with the help of loved ones. Even though an existential crisis is quite serious, it is possible to overcome it by following these tips and taking medication if required.
Disclosure – this is a collaborative post.