How to Cope with an Existential Crisis
By Lucy Adams
By Lucy Adams
What is an Existential Crisis and How to Beat itThe desire for self-development is a natural survival mechanism; without it, humanity would never have reached the present level. However, there are a lot of problems related to the human being, and an existential crisis is one of the strongest.If you are full of internal contradictions, can’t cope with stresses or unable to overcome certain psychological issues, this article is just for you!Why Existential Crisis AppearsThe desire to justify one’s existence is natural for most people, but what makes a difference is the justification itself. Deeply religious people or those who have strong mental setup almost never face psychological crises because an existential crisis occurs at the moments of disappointment in the previous ideals and goals. That is, the person ceases to feel the satisfaction from life or loses faith in the supernatural value of one’s life. Another cause of such state is a sense of the inevitability of death.It may seem that existential thoughts are typical only for people who have too much free time. Well, this is partly true: existential problems are typical for creative professions while people engaged in physical labor are less prone to introspection.The most common reasons for the crisis are:The loss of a loved one/parting with a loved one or children.The life threat.The use of psychedelics and drugs.Prolonged isolation.While reflecting, the person faces the contradiction engendered by a collision between the sense of the value of one’s life and the realization of its futility. Failure to find a solution to this situation turns into existential despair characterized by the loss of interest in the future. The worsening of the crisis may lead to a desire to end the meaningless existence. In this case, almost no one is able to resolve the situation on one’s own; external help needed.Existential LonelinessThere are two types of loneliness – daily and existential. The first one is characterized by a sense of isolation from society, often associated with the fear of rejection or the fear to allow someone to approach too close. The second type is more depth and doesn’t rely solely on the actual absence of people around. Here the problem lies in the destruction of the inner world.The consequence of this is an existential frustration that leads to the loss of desire to identify at least some sense. The person feels apathy, boredom, and lack of motivation. However, this state is not pathological: although the individual feels the meaninglessness of existence and does not want to learn something new and grow, he has no desire to cause harm to oneself.Existential AnxietyThe experiences of this type are usually distinguished as a separate group because they are intertwined with the inner world of a person. Existential anxiety occurs in every of us, but it is not always clearly felt because of the powerful subconscious block.There are four groups of existential anxiety:The fear of the times – the fear of growing old, becoming helpless and feeling weak because of the uncertainty of the future.The fear of space – the fear of the dark, depth, open space, changes, the desire to follow the only streamlined way of life.The fear of life – reflections caused by the meaninglessness and inscrutability of existence.The fear of oneself – the fear of going mad or losing control, a lack of understanding of personal aspirations and actions.Existential GuiltThis is the most positive moment of reflecting about one’s destiny because it can cultivate a desire to move on, develop new skills and communicate with the world. Basically, existential guilt helps the individual to take his mentality to the next level.There are three main reasons for an existential guilt:The lack of self-realization.Insufficiently strong ties with family and important people.The loss of communication with the Absolute (God, for example).How to Deal with an Existential CrisisTo resolve an existential crisis, a person has to overcome the two basic steps:Recognition of the crisis. First of all, the individual who faces the crisis has to accept his state. Yes, there’s a problem that you have to solve. However, you’re absolutely free in your choice.The new meaning. Any crisis, let alone existential, is the beginning of a new stage. Since the old reasons to live are meaningless, it’s high time to find ones. The meaning can be found in getting the most out of life, bringing benefits to humanity, etc.Therapists claim that it’s possible to reduce the severity of crisis by discussing it with relatives and loved ones.(http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/static/photo/1x/Choose-Choice-Good-Positive-Bad-Decision-Opposite-1122969.jpg)Finally, each person is different in his feelings, emotions, and thoughts. The processes taking place inside the personality are not necessarily be subjected to a universal scheme or pattern. Therefore, the help of a qualified psychologist recommended.Having coped with the crisis, you’re able to open new horizons, set new goals and rethink the life and self-acceptance.