Are You Having an Existential Crisis?
You might be having an Existential Crisis if you are questioning what is real. Given the conditions in the world these days that’s not an unrealistic question to ponder.
Our information sources often give contradictory explanations which only creates confusion and often fear.
The difficultly with going through an existential crisis is that you feel isolated, in a minority, and sometimes alienated by those you are closest to.
This can lead to feeling lost or depressed and that can also make you anxious about the future. You may feel no one understands your point of view and you may not even understand yourself.
Let’s take a look at some of the symptoms of an existential crisis and then explore what you can do about it.
Existential Crisis Symptoms
Any of these symptoms can indicate you are in an existential crisis…
1. You feel like no one really understands you
2. You aren’t sure if you understand yourself
3. You are bewildered by why you are here
4. You don’t know if you have a real purpose
5. You feel like your life hasn’t had any meaning
6. You feel alone
7. Your searching for answers leads you in circles
8. Most people seem to be superficial
9. You view society as lost
10. No place feels like home
11. You are not even sure who you are
12. You feel an emptiness and lack of meaning
13. You think there is something deeply wrong with you
14. There is an emptiness inside of you
15. You feel like your life is beyond your control
16. Life seems pointless and then you die (existential anxiety)
17. You feel like you are very different from others
Why You Might Be Having An Existential Crisis
Sometimes an existential crises happens when you are going through a major life change such as a serious illness, moving to another area, a career change, heart break, divorce, or death of a loved one, world conditions are threatening, but it can also occur when you can’t find a satisfying purpose in life.
Sometimes people are searching for spiritual understanding and go through a “dark night of the soul.” This can happen when you deeply question your religious beliefs or you have a spiritual experience or awakening that you don’t understand.
Any situation that causes prolonged stress can be a trigger for an existential crisis. Pandemics and natural disasters certainly fit in that category.
These kinds of experiences can spin your world around and undermine the philosophical beliefs you’ve based your life on.
The good news is no matter what is happening it will pass or evolve into something else. The problem is when you are in an existential crisis it is difficult to see solutions.
You certainly are not alone, as people all over the world are heavily affected by events taking place on a global scale.
You might think that with all of societies’ advancements we’d have more understanding and control but the answers and solutions aren’t appearing.
For one thing our economy requires that people work long hours and are stressed with trying to find time for what is truly meaningful. This results in there being an unfulfilled feeling inside.
For the most part the emphasis in our systems is on technology, acquiring more things, and always being busy. This keeps people distracted from seeking solutions to what they are feeling.
When people feel empty inside they seek things that are outside of them to distract them from their deep longing for answers and the distractions are a vain attempt to find satisfaction, meaning, and purpose.
When life is viewed through an intellectual, analytical, and pragmatic lens, it results in a person feeling unfulfilled, hollow, and “dry.” Yet this is the approach our educational systems and business models value.
Without realizing it everyone becomes indoctrinated and enmeshed in a system that puts people in relationships that are lacking, shallow, or empty.
The Good News if You’re Having an Existential Crisis
1. An existential crisis is your indication there is an intelligent force pushing you to awaken. The fact that you experience an existential crisis is proof that you’re not a mindless sheep under the hypnotic spell most are trapped in. It indicates you are wanting what only spiritual realizations can give.
As spiritual philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti wrote…
“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted
to a profoundly sick society.”
So if you feel out of step you are in good company. Despite your feeling alone and disconnected, you are actually part of a large population awakening to a new reality.
2. The very system that has failed you is the one that is the catalyst of your awakening.
Your confusion and uncomfortable feelings are just an indication that you are in touch with a false self or false identification and are seeking the discovery of the truth of your being.
Any feelings of being lost, anxious, or depressed are only indications that you recognize society hasn’t provided you with the proper guidance or answers. In fact, it may have even been purposely designed that way. There have been and are those in power whose interests are served by training you just the way you and the masses have been.
How to Use Your Existential Crises to Help You Evolve
When you feel like you are near rock bottom it can motivate you to resurrect yourself with new purpose. When you are down you’ll seek answers and readjust your value system to a more evolved way of living.
An existential crisis can be your reset button. You are faced with what hasn’t been working, so it’s time to engage something different.
Regardless of what you think and feel you can change. Say to yourself, “OK, so that didn’t work, let’s try something we haven’t tried and take it further than we ever have.”
1. Talk to someone who is skilled in giving you advice. You do not have to travel your life journey on your own. There are those who can coach you and support you.
If you want to excel at a sport you find a coach. If you want to perfect music, you find music teachers. If you want to evolve find someone who is evolved to guide you.
2. Write down your questions, thoughts, and beliefs. There is no better way to clarify what your mind is doing than by writing your observations and conclusions at the end of every day.
As you look back over your notes after a month or so you’ll see how your thinking has changed and evolved. If you don’t have a record you won’t realize the details of where you were in the past. You’ll tend to easily forget these important details in just a few weeks. By writing it down you’ll be able to more clearly witness your evolution.
Writing helps you clarify your own beliefs and perspectives. It enables you to be better focused. Don’t think too much about what you’re writing, just let it flow. Write about your anger and frustrations. Write about your judgments, opinions, and pain. Write about your wins for that day.
This only needs to take five or ten minutes and be one to two paragraphs. For the purpose of tracking your progress and clarifying your opinions and beliefs you only need a paragraph or two.
3. Reclaim your power. An existential crisis can be draining. It can suck the lifeforce from you which makes it more difficult to motivate yourself.
Take a deep breath and tell yourself you can do this! Affirm that you will not allow negative thoughts and programming to dominate your mind.
I have several audio programs to help you release and clear even your deep subconscious programs. Here’s the link: Release Yourself
4. Be Active. Get up and engage in an activity. Do an activity you previously thought was fun. If you can’t think of anything go for a walk in nature. Breathe deeply. Listen to the sounds. Stop and smell the plants. Hug a tree. Watch the clouds. Sit by a stream. Observe the wind in the trees.
Nature is a great way to help you reboot. It helps disengage your mind from over thinking and clarify your motivations.
If it is not easy for you to get into nature then watch some nature videos on YouTube.
5. Take time for yourself. Often people and life circumstances pull you one way or the other with demands. Set some time aside just for yourself each day to gather your thoughts and recharge.
Choose activities that are soothing, nurturing, and fun. They could be something very simple such as mindfulness or measured breathing. Open a window and take some deep breaths. Give yourself a massage or find someone to massage you. Take a soothing bath. Listen to music. Meditate.
6. Discover and minimize stress. This could mean taking a break from some people or activities. Let people know you are doing some personal work to reorganize your life and you need to set some priorities aside for the time being. Most people have had to do something like this so they’ll understand your request and possibly even offer to help in any way they can.
One way of minimizing your stress is by creating a calm and clear mind. Schedule time for guided meditations that soothe your mind and body each morning and evening. I incorporate guided meditations in all of my spiritual programs.
My In Search of Peace program has 5 guided meditations and it is only $17 but there are many other choices on my website.
7. Explore spirituality. This is where the answers ultimately lie.
Psychologist Christa Mackinnon writes in her book Shamanism and Spirituality in Therapeutic Practice, “…an in-depth study of 160 terminally ill patients in palliative care came to the conclusion that spiritual well-being provides a sense of peace and offers some protection against end-of-life despair in those for whom death is imminent.”
Now is the perfect time to start scheduling time to deepen your spiritual life. I have a chart of all of my spiritual programs so you can see how they all work in an organized study program. Here’s the link: Transform Your Life
I’m glad to be a part of your life journey. Let me know any way I can help you and support you along the way.