What is an existential crisis, and how do you overcome it?

An existential crisis can be best described as a period of deep reflection and questioning about the purpose and meaning of one's life. It typically entails feeling overwhelmed by the vastness and uncertainty of existence, leading to feelings of confusion, anxiety, and even despair.

Thankfully, an existential crisis is not a permanent state, and there are ways to navigate through it and come out stronger on the other side. In this article, we will explore some effective strategies to help you overcome an existential crisis and find clarity in your life.

1. Embrace the uncertainty

Existential crises often arise when we become fixated on finding absolute certainty and meaning in our lives. However, it is important to recognize that uncertainty is a fundamental part of the human experience. Instead of resisting it, try embracing the uncertainty and allowing it to be a catalyst for growth and self-discovery.

2. Reflect on your values and beliefs

Take some time for self-reflection and examine your values and beliefs. Ask yourself what truly matters to you, what gives your life meaning, and how you can align your actions with your core values. This process can help you gain clarity and regain a sense of purpose.

3. Seek support and connect with others

During an existential crisis, it can be incredibly helpful to reach out for support and connect with others who may be going through similar experiences. This can be done through seeking therapy or counseling, joining support groups, or reaching out to trusted friends and family members.

Talking to a therapist or counselor can provide you with a safe and non-judgmental space to explore your thoughts and feelings. They can guide you through the process of self-discovery and help you develop coping mechanisms to navigate the crisis.

Support groups, whether online or in person, can be an excellent source of comfort and understanding. Interacting with others who have experienced or are experiencing existential crises can help normalize your feelings and provide valuable insights and perspectives.

Connecting with trusted friends and family members can also provide support and a sounding board for your thoughts. Sometimes, simply sharing your struggles and concerns with someone who cares can provide a sense of relief and help you gain new insights into your own experiences.

4. Engage in self-care activities

Taking care of yourself is essential during an existential crisis. Engage in activities that bring you joy and help you relax. This could include pursuing hobbies, practicing mindfulness or meditation, exercising, spending time in

nature, or engaging in creative outlets. Self-care activities can help alleviate stress, reduce anxiety, and promote a sense of well-being.

Finding activities that bring you joy and fulfillment can remind you of the things that make life meaningful. It can also serve as a distraction from negative thoughts or existential doubts.

5. Challenge your thoughts and beliefs

During an existential crisis, it's common to question the meaning and purpose of life. These thoughts can lead to feelings of hopelessness and despair. However, it's important to challenge these thoughts and beliefs.

Question the assumptions and beliefs that are causing you distress. Are there any underlying fears or insecurities that are driving these thoughts? Try to approach these questions with curiosity, openness, and a willingness to explore different perspectives.

Remember that meaning is subjective and can be created and redefined throughout our lives. What may have given you a sense of purpose in the past may no longer hold true. Allow yourself the freedom to let go of old beliefs and embrace new ones.

6. Find meaning in the present moment

One way to overcome an existential crisis is to focus on finding the meaning of life in the present moment. Instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, practice mindfulness and engage fully in your current experiences. Pay attention to the small details of everyday life and find gratitude in them.

Engage in activities that bring you a sense of purpose and fulfillment. This could be volunteering, pursuing a hobby that aligns with your values, or simply spending quality time with loved ones. By finding meaning in the present moment, you can shift your focus away from existential questions and instead embrace the richness of life as it unfolds. When you begin to see and understand the meaning of life, and your role in it, you are one step closer to overcoming your existential anxiety.

7. Seek professional help if needed

If your existential crisis is causing significant distress and interfering with your daily life, don't hesitate to seek professional help. Therapists and counselors are trained to provide support and guidance during difficult times. They can help you navigate your emotions, explore your values, and find a sense of meaning and purpose.

A mental health professional can help you gain clarity and insight by providing a safe space for exploration and reflection. They can also provide tools and techniques to help you manage your thoughts and emotions more effectively.

Book an appoint today with Aaron to take the next steps to improve your life, mood and outlook on the way you live your life today!