Why am I doing this? What is the reason behind my existence? Am I even fulfilling my purpose? How do I know if this is what I want to do with my life? If all of us are going to die someday why do we have to go through so much suffering?
When you keep engaging your mind with these questions, you get exhausted because you couldn’t find a convincing answer out of all the thinking. You start to develop an iffy feeling towards your lifestyle, existence, beliefs, and thoughts.
When skepticism overtakes you, you experience Existential Crisis.
The thoughts and efforts you put into finding these answers tend to disrupt your routine life and peace. Simply, an Existential crisis is when you begin to question your reality and purpose in life while letting yourself loose.
Don’t miss the final thoughts section where I have answered one of the first questions a person asks himself when he experiences an existential crisis. I hope you find the answer convincing.
When a person is hit by an existential crisis it blunts their thinking patterns and casts a negative light on their life. Often, people search and get dissatisfied about not finding their purposes. They experience deep sorrow and encounter similar symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Everyone is in the quest of finding the meaning of their lives, but in an existential crisis, the person cannot find an answer that satisfies them. And this dissatisfaction torments the person.
Anyone can experience an existential crisis. It doesn’t come with a specific age or gender, but there are few scenarios that can trigger an existential crisis. It will be a dark cold long winter, but when it ends they will be a different person with a new mindset.
I kindly request you to read the full blog so you don’t jump out of the page in the middle with any false assumptions.
What causes an Existential crisis?
When a person is hit by this crisis, it can take anywhere from a few months to years in order to overcome, whilst some continue to live with this distress throughout their lives.
Few instances that can trigger an Existential crisis are:
- Death of dear ones. (Family, friends, or life partner)
- Severe Illness
- Taking new responsibilities in personal or professional life
- An unexpected change in routine life where you lose your job, move out to a new place or when switching your career path.
When you are hit with an existential crisis, you start questioning every activity that you have been following for a while. You are filled with a negative feeling and in the worst case, you experience suicidal thoughts.
Below are some common symptoms experienced when you undergo an existential crisis.
- You feel anxious and depressed.
- No motivation to do you day to day chore.
- Hopelessness and regretting past choices.
- Try to find meaning in everything you do.
- Repetitive thoughts reminding the meaningless in life.
9 ways to cope up deal with Existential Crisis
Most of the people come out of an existential crisis, but the time frame varies from person to person. You can use these methods as coping mechanisms, to help you overcome the crisis.
These tips focus on reducing your negative thoughts and thus, helps in creating space for new thoughts in mind.
Journal your thoughts:
Develop a habit where you transfer your thoughts into the journal. On doing so, you free your mind for positivity to penetrate.
Go through your writing; find the people, places, or instances that trigger the negative emotion, and the things that make you feel better about yourself. Stick to what makes you feel better.
You will find the answers or attain a point where you no longer need them.
Take one step at a time :
Despite being clouded with multiple questions on your mind, focus on taking one small step at a time, spend time to research and fix short term goals that you can accomplish every week.
It’s never wrong to search for the answers, but avoid getting a mental breakdown in your mind with doubts and anxieties. You might feel that compulsive need to know everything at once. But it’s okay to find your answers, one by one.
Join Volunteer work:
You get meaningful answers in places you never expected. Join volunteer work, develop your connection, and help the people around you.
You discover different meanings of life when you get to know people from different walks of life.
The way they dedicate their life for the benefit of others, can impart new wisdom and help you find the answers you seek.
Accept what you don’t know :
You have to get used to the truth that you can’t unravel all the mysteries of the world. You are an existence of unknown origin and it is true.
You may want to venture into the quest of knowing the unknown, but may end up losing everything important to you.
Never lose your circle in this tough journey of doubts. And sometimes, it’s better not to know all the answers.
Reach out to your close circle:
There is this person in your life you know you can rely on, with the whole world standing against you. Speak to them about your experiences and what you are going through.
Take suggestions, update your findings, and keep in touch with them frequently. Fighting a battle, knowing someone is covering your back, will help you to handle these uncertainties courageously.
Seek Professional Treatment:
If you feel that the people around you might find you silly on hearing the questions running on your mind the whole day or if you are hesitant to share it with your close circle, you can always seek professional help.
An experienced psychiatrist can understand you better and know what kind of therapy best suits you to fight your negative emotions.
You may be advised to undertake some common therapies like
CBT is where your negative thoughts are replaced by positive thoughts by practice. You develop a definite plan to cling on to positivity, whenever the flood of negative emotions tries to take over.
TMS: Electromagnetic pulses are passed into your skull to activate the brain cells that are suppressed by anxiety and depression. This triggers a positive response in thought and your body.
Human-Centered: This therapy helps you to focus on your true self, so you lose sight of trivial things that take your peace away.
You may also be exposed to other therapies depending on your mental state and severity.
Your life has nothing to do with how others live:-
A lot of people are still trying to figure things out like you, but their social media platforms may tell you otherwise. You can never read others minds to know the truth.
You are getting misguided and ruining your physical and mental health, just because someone claims they have found their purpose of life.
You should not be having a problem even if others have figured it out. Be open to the truth that your life has a completely different purpose and it’s not to copy or follow others.
Let your journey be unique. Have patience, wait, and have the determination to find your answers without lacerating your peace.
You can practice mindfulness to cope with the stress and anxiety caused by existential crisis.
Try practicing meditation every day to overcome this crisis. You can also participate in other forms of routine that best suits you to keep your mind off of these questions.
Start doing the little things that keep you on track. You can always engage in activities like swimming, yoga, reading a book, watching your favorite show, weight training, playing outdoor games to boost your mental health.
Travel is a cautious step into reality. It can mold your thoughts into a meaningful entity.
When you meet new people, see new places and experience new sensations, you develop a fresh perspective towards life. If you can’t deal with your problems with an old mindset, you have to create a new one.
Even though existential crisis can trigger a lot of questions, most people get caught up with one particular question,
“Who am I?”
I have tried with the best of my knowledge to satisfy you with an answer that I believe is true.
Let me begin by asking you to see the concept of life in the forms of energy.
The universe is nothing but an energy and everything that exist in the very moment is energy in different forms, the trees, the sun, the stars, the cosmos, you and me, are no different from each other but only exist in different chemical compositions.
Earth is one tiny miraculous combination of energy with nature as its higher force that makes evolution possible.
Nature created every living creature with memory in them to replicate their existence on this planet, with the ability to adapt and survive according to the ecological changes, to balance the energy cycle.
But humans are gifted with the capability to access 10% of the brain to enhance life as a whole, but they often fail to understand the concept of life and end up exploiting the creation for self-comfort.
This Chaos caused by humans not only has hindered the serenity on this earth but also within themselves by questioning the purpose of their own existence.
Now, do you understand who you are?
You are not the prime force that governs life but is the part of the prime force that exists. You are nothing more than a flawless impression of energy on the universe, set to create your own purpose.
The quest is not to find your destiny, it’s to create your own.
Stop questioning reality and start being one.
If you are still expecting others to give answers for your life, “Trust me it’s not worth it”.