What Is An Existential Crisis And How Can It Be Resolved?

By Sarah Fader

Updated July 03, 2020

Reviewer Whitney White, MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC

When someone is experiencing an existential crisis, they have come to the point where they are questioning their purpose in life and the real meaning of life. We all want to feel like our life has meaning and when we start to ask the big questions about our purpose in life - an existential depression is often the result.

Well-known comedians and amateur laugh-masters alike often poke fun at an existential crisis. There's nothing wrong with that at all. Humor can be one way to deal with existential despair when nothing else works. Existential fear is such a common experience, laughing about it with others can bring us together in a positive way.

Laughter offers relief, but it's usually only temporary comfort. Eventually, you may want to find a more helpful answer to your existential question. So, how do you deal with your dilemma in a more effective and meaningful way? The first step is to understand what existential crisis means.

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Existential Crisis: What's Happening and Why

Psychologists define existential crisis as a turning point where we begin to more deeply question our meaning and purpose in life. It's a moment when you feel the need to find meaning or purpose in your life and has often been referred to as the dark night of the soul.

An existential crisis can happen when you're under any type of crisis, stress, or facing a difficult decision. It can also happen at a quiet time when life seems pointless, or you're disconnected from others around you while you struggle with understanding your own purpose in life.

There are plenty of different reasons why someone might have an existential crisis and begin suffering from existential depression. You might be at a point in your life where something needs to shift and change. Our modern world changes constantly, and so do you. You may reexamine the existential givens at any time as your way of being in the world changes. Below we'll explore different kinds of existential depression.

An Existential Crisis Can Make You Feel Alone, but You're Not

Existential crises are common, but that doesn't make them less painful when you begin struggling with an identity crisis. This is especially true if your crisis is related to a major loss in life or losing a loved one. You might not know what to do with these feelings because there doesn't seem to be a solution on the horizon.

An existential crisis is a moment where you feel uncomfortable, unsure, and unable to figure out what you're supposed to achieve on this earth. You may be having obsessive and repetitive thoughts that tell you you're living a meaningless life. An existential crisis is difficult to talk about as feelings of hopelessness can lead you to believe that no one understands what you're going through, but if you can manage to open up about it, it's helpful to confide in a loved one and open up about your thoughts and feelings.

Another thing that you can do to help improve your outlook in life is start journaling about your existential crisis. You may not initially understand your feelings of anxiety, depression, and overwhelm but if you write them down, it'll help you to clarify what you're going through and why. Therapy, whether it's online or in your local area, can also help you understand why you're feeling that your life is pointless and help you to rediscover your purpose in life by exploring these feelings.

Your therapist is there to help you work through transitions and rocky times in your life and help you understand that your life has meaning and purpose. You won't be going through an existential crisis forever, and you will get to the other side even if it's hard to see it at the moment, regardless of the type of crisis you're currently experiencing.

Existential Givens

So, what kinds of existential crises are there? Different psychology writers who focus on promoting personal growth have identified four or five aspects of life based on existential philosophy. Each instance of angst and existential despair can be a source of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues like obsessive-compulsive disorder.

By resolving these dilemmas and answering the hard questions related to human existence, you can move past your existential crisis.

1. Freedom and Responsibility

Many people think that the ultimate meaning of life is complete freedom. Freedom sounds wonderful on the face of it. After more consideration --whether inherited or borrowed, you may realize that freedom comes with responsibility.

When you mentally accept your freedom to make choices, in relation to the boundaries of religion and traditional morality you can no longer blame someone else for your what you do. You've become philosophically aware that there is actually a widespread existential crisis as the collective struggles with the common struggles of daily life and existence.

Even if you're imprisoned, you can choose psychological freedom by staying true to your faith in religion or other independent philosophy. Viktor Frankl, a 20th-century neurologist, psychiatrist, and existential theorist, wrote a book called "Man's Search for Meaning."

The book discussed how holocaust survivors chose their ways of being in the world even as they faced the hardships of the concentration camps in WWII. When they made those choices, the considered that angst was not changing the outcome of their inevitable situation.

As a result, they accepted the responsibility for their responses to the situation and created a more widespread positive emotional support system that helped them focus on the more positive aspects of life -- even in the midst of an 'existential crisis'.

You can choose not to accept your freedom and believe that life is meaningless. However, when you do, you are at the mercy of circumstances and one or more people who make those decisions for you. Regardless of the route you take it's likely that at some point an existential crisis may result. The way you are in the world depends partly on this existential choice between freedom/responsibility and limitation/dependency.

2. Death and Limitation

You can't choose whether to die or not. You can't choose to be limitless; no one is. What you can do is choose whether to acknowledge death and limitation psychologically instead of developing a crisis of meaning.

It would be too hard to be constantly plagued by racing thoughts that make you painfully aware that your life's journey will end in death. At the same time, the acknowledgment of death can help you live more fully now and develop coping skills related to the inevitable death of a loved one.

3. Isolation and Connectedness

Another existential dilemma is between isolation and connectedness, which exists on a continuum rather than as an on-off state. While complete isolation can seem comforting and easier to manage, it fails to meet crucial social needs. Hence the high levels of constant engagement on social media.

Complete connectedness, on the other hand, may be socially fulfilling but allow you little independence and an existential crisis can happen as you begin to search for your own meaning in life.

The collective nature proved by social media engagements is a testament to this concept. Too much social interaction has been tied to depression as the overwhelming nature proved to cause racing thoughts as people try to develop new ways to navigate so many ongoing social interaction.

4. Meaning and Meaninglessness

Humans seek meaning for their lives. When they can't find it, they create it. This usually occurs after a significant event that traditional morality created in someone's mind. When we can find neither meaning in our lives or the mental energy needed to create it --existential dread and existential anxiety fill their minds.

Psychological disorders like borderline personality disorder (BPD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder are commonly developed during these seeking periods. You need meaning most during times of adversity. It is in those moments that you choose between coping/surviving and growing as a person that often appear as a crisis for the philosophically challenged.

5. Emotions, Experience, and Embodiment

Existential psychology recognizes the importance of emotions. The work of existential theorist Rollo May has been considered the father of American existential psychology. May suggested that anxiety should be embraced positively. This goes along with Nietzsche's work, which encouraged the acceptance of emotional experiences.

Notice How You Are in the World

Your being-in-the-world is unique to you. Understanding who you are and what attitudes, beliefs, choices, and assumptions you hold can help you pinpoint your exact way of being recently and at the given moment.

Attitudes: Your attitudes are your evaluations about the things, people, events, and ideas in your world. You can have a positive or negative attitude about each of these things. Your attitude can be something you're aware of, or it can be an implicit attitude that resides in your unconscious.

Beliefs: Your beliefs include your religious beliefs as well as anything you think is the case, whether you have proof or not. You may practice a religion but not subscribe to its belief system. You may practice no religion but have many beliefs about spiritual things. You can have beliefs about seemingly insignificant things and beliefs about the all-encompassing meaning of the universe.

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Choices: A choice is an act of will that comes at the conclusion of a decision-making process. The result of choice might be that you act differently or that you think differently than before you made that choice. When you're dealing with an existential crisis, meaning, death, freedom, isolation, and emotion all can play a part in the decision-making process.

Assumptions: What are your assumptions? What do you assume about the things, people, events, and thoughts in your world? You may be very well aware of assumptions you hold, or you may not even realize they're a part of the equation. When you dig deep to find the hidden assumptions driving your decisions, you can make an informed choice.

Identify Your Existential Dilemma

When you're in the midst of an existential dilemma, you begin to contemplate issues surrounding existence, or the understanding of what it means to be here on earth. You may feel anxiety, fear, or even a sense of dread. You may have a feeling that everything is hopeless or pointless. A great first step is to push past this dilemma and find the source of the existential crisis.

Recognize, Embrace, and Express Your Existential Fear: For many, life seems more certain when emotions are hidden or pushed aside. Existential theory suggests that the healthiest way to deal with emotions is to experience and embrace them. Allow yourself to feel the existential dread and anxiety. Express it in words, art, music, and actions.

Actively Seek Answers: Many people can resolve their existential crises after an active search for answers. You can find possible answers in several ways.

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  • Self-Questioning: When you find the source of your existential anxiety, self-questioning can help you assess your being-in-the-world. With the answers you find, you'll know better how you experience life and what matters most to you. Once you have that answer, you can start to resolve the existential issues before you. These issues will vary from person to person; however, knowing what they are is powerful, and having a counselor to support your work through them can help. Let's say, for example; you're struggling with how to move forward with your career. You're stuck, and don't know what your next move is. A counselor can help you talk out what you don't like about your job, and help you figure out what you want to do next.
  • Research: It's an excellent time to conduct research on your problems. Research allows you to get the opinions of others as well as facts about the issues you're facing. You can read, watch videos, go to lectures and church services, take classes, explore the world, or find a mentor. By increasing your knowledge, you can find more options for resolving your existential crisis.
  • Considering Options: Once you have questioned yourself and researched your issues, you'll have a variety of options to choose from, and find the best one. Considering the possibilities is a separate task. You'll need to weigh your hopes against your beliefs about the nature of reality to find a resolution that can help you, and that makes sense to you. The solution may not be obvious, but knowing that there are options is reassuring. You're not stuck. Part of being in an existential crisis is feeling stuck. Remember that it's your life, and you have the freedom to make choices about the things you can control. For example, let's say you're unhappy about where you live. You can consider other locations you'd like to move, and make a choice based on a list of pros and cons.
  • Accept that You Can't Know Everything: Even if you spend years researching your existential issues and contemplating your way of being in the world, you can never know everything there is to know. Just accepting this limitation can significantly improve your ability to resolve your existential crisis. Relieve yourself from the pressure to know it all. Nobody knows everything, and it's okay to be confused or scared. Feel your feelings, and express them in a way that makes sense to you. Sometimes journaling can help you figure out what you want. Maybe meditation is a way you can sit with yourself and find some resolution to your problems.

Build and Maintain Connections with Others: Building and maintaining connections can be a difficult challenge, especially in times of tragedy and trauma. Those individual connections can help you resolve your crisis as you move through and beyond the adverse situation. Find people to reach out to so you can feel a sense of support. It can be people you know from work or friends you've had for a long time. If you have online friends, reach out to them. During a time of stress like having an existential crisis, you need friends and loved ones supporting you.

Speaking of building connections online, a blogger named Existential Crisis has built a community for himself. He writes about his experiences with mental illness, partly to reduce the stigma and to increase understanding of mental health issues.

Find Your Existential Meaning: In writing and publishing his blog, he has given himself a greater opportunity to find meaning. As you consider your existential crisis, think of ways you can create your meaning in life.

Look for opportunities to build meaning and connections. Find an ideology about death that makes sense to you, even if it's your invention. Allow yourself to feel your emotions more fully and find avenues for expressing them. Embrace as much freedom as you like and accept the responsibility that goes with it. When you can do this, your existential crisis will be resolved, at least for now.

What to Do When Existential Questions Become Existential Despair

You may have many feelings about your existential crisis. It may make your life even more challenging than it was before you realized something deeper was bothering you. You might be able to resolve your existential dilemma on your own. Many people have done just that. These individuals have worked hard thinking about what they're unhappy with in their lives, keeping a journal of their feelings, practicing mindfulness and accepting how they feel.

They're talking to their friends, brainstorming ways to change the things in their lives that aren't working, such as leaving a toxic relationship or changing careers. Talking out your problems with a friend can shed light on them. There are times when you need more support working through an existential crisis. However, there may be times when you want or need to seek help.

BetterHelp Wants You to Enjoy a Fulfilling Life

The online counselors at BetterHelp understand that life transitions are inevitable. We all go through periods where we're not sure what is supposed to happen next. It's not just the experience of transitioning from adolescence to adulthood; it's about questioning why you're on this earth and what you're meant to do with your life. What is your purpose? Your BetterHelp counselor cares and wants you to achieve your dreams.

They're present to help you understand who you are and what your skills are so that you can contribute to this world. You may not know where you're going, but you're going to get there with the help of a skilled online counselor who cares about your wellbeing. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors.

 

How to Recognize When You Need Immediate Help

An existential crisis might cause you anxiety, but if you can withstand the emotional pain that comes with it, you can take a longer view. Here are some reasons you might need to get help right away:

  • You have suicidal thoughts, plans, or behaviors.
  • You seriously consider finding meaning by hurting someone else and find yourself making plans to do so.
  • In either case, it's crucial that you go to a local mental health clinic or hospital immediately.

Talking to an Existential Therapist Can Help

Existential therapy can help you deal with your crisis. In this type of therapy, the counselor allows you to direct your therapy, talking about what matters to you and working out the problem for yourself.

You might feel that in your first session, you express your thoughts randomly, awkwardly, and disjointedly. That's alright. The therapist may rephrase what you say to make sure they understand. As they do, you may develop a deeper understanding of your issues.

Issues. If you're looking to work through existential matters, you'll benefit from a kind of therapy that focuses on life's deeper meaning for you. Existential therapy is an excellent form of treatment for people like you who are experiencing stagnation in life. You'll work through the roadblocks you're facing and develop a plan to make your life more fulfilling.

No matter what kind of issues you want to deal with, there's a licensed counselor who can help you at BetterHelp.com. They can help you wherever and whenever works for you, and the cost is about the same as an insurance copay. Just that easy, you can get to the work of identifying, understanding, and resolving your existential crisis.

FAQs

What triggers an existential crisis?

An existential crisis is when you start to question your existence, and there can be many ways to trigger it. Here are some triggers.

  • Age can trigger it. When you are a teen or emerging adult, you may start to question your existence and whether or not you can make an impact on the world. This can be an identity crisis of some sort. When you get older, your midlife crisis may come in the form of existential depression over your mortality. Your midlife crisis can question how much you’ve gotten done at this stage of your life.
  • A major loss can lead to an existential crisis. You may start to question your own existence or what that person’s existence was for.
  • A change in beliefs can cause this type of crisis. For example, if you no longer believe in Christianity, you may wonder what the point of life is.
  • Sometimes, an existential crisis occurs for seemingly no reason at all. You may feel angst and existential despair even if your life is going well. Human existence is weird like that.

Some people may resolve the crisis by tackling something that relates to the crisis. With that said, questioning one’s beliefs is something that many people do, not at one particular time.

What is an example of existential crisis?

You hear the word “existential crisis” be thrown around a lot, but you may not know what it means. What are existential crises? How do existential crises happen? Perhaps the best way is to give you an example.

An existential crisis can happen when something questions your existence. One example is if you lose your best friend in a sudden car crash. You may start to question if your friendship was for nothing, and what the point of life is if it can just be taken away from you. That death may start to make you question your own existence, and you may have existential despair over your own death.

What does existential really mean?

This term refers to life and existence, mainly the question of one’s existence. It’s the philosophy centered around the existential crisis, the questioning of one’s life and their purpose in a world that is meaningless and absurd. An existential crisis can happen to anyone, even someone who believes that life does have a purpose.

What are existential problems?

This is when you have a difficult time finding meaning and value in your life. It tends to involve a crisis of meaning or a crisis of existence where you start to wonder where your life is going and if there’s any point to it all. This can lead to a type of crisis known as an existential crisis.

How do you say existential crisis?

The pronunciation is ex-ah-stent-al cr-I-sis.

What is an example of existentialism?

Existential actions tend to be associated with the existential crisis. However, there can be many actions that could be an example of existentialism.

For example, leaving your comfy, but meaningless job to have a rocky career as an artist, a job that has a lot more meaning to you. Another reason why you may want to be an artist is due to the crisis of the individual. You want to believe that after you're gone, you will have something that will be remembered no matter what.

What defines an existential crisis?

The existential crisis definition is quite simple. It’s when you start to question your life and have existential depression or existential crisis anxiety because of it. We all question our existence at times, but a true crisis makes you wonder what your purpose is, and an existential crisis may result in a huge change for your life.

Who coined the term existential crisis?

The exact person who first said ‘existential crisis’ is unknown, but we do know who coined the term existentialism. It was Gabriel Marcel, a French Catholic philosopher. It happened more recently than you would think, too, with it being coined in the mid-1940s.

Who is the father of existentialism?

There are a few people who would take that title. While Gabriel Marcel coined the term “existentialism,” many philosophers came beforehand. One was Søren Kierkegaard, who questioned Christianity. Another was Friedrich Nietzsche, a name you may have heard about. He was one of the biggest questioners of human existence of our time. 

What is the opposite of existentialism?

The opposite of existentialism is anything that gives life a purpose. Some people’s faiths could be the opposite of that, or any other set of beliefs that make your life have a purpose. 

Essentialism, the idea that everything has a set of attributes, can be considered the opposite.

What is a synonym for existential?

One synonym you may use is “experiential” or “experience,” as existential relates to the existence or experience of one’s being.

What is existentialism in simple words?

It’s a philosophy that explores your existence. In other words, you may ask a question or two like “Where did we come from? Why are we here?” These couple of questions can make you start to ask other questions, and so on.

What are existential questions?

These are questions involving existence and everything that surrounds it. There are many types of existential questions, with the most common being, “Why are we here? Where did we come from? Where are we going?”

Existential questions can also come in the form of questioning one’s impact. You may ask yourself “Will I be remembered? Will I be loved?”

We all have these questions from time to time, but an existential crisis comes when you cannot stop asking those questions.

How do you use existential crisis in a sentence?

“After being fired from her job of 20 years, Mary had an existential crisis about her purpose in life.”

How do you deal with an existential angst?

When you have existential depression or anxiety, it can be challenging. Questioning what matters in the world can be a good thing, but not

the expense of your sanity. Here are several ways to survive existential angst.

First, accept that life is uncertain and out of your control. Accepting this uncertainty can be difficult, but this is the first step.

Talk about it with a therapist. There is absolutely no shame in talking to someone about your crisis, especially if you are having one due to a major life change.

Try meditation and mindfulness. Clear out your mind and try to live in the present.

Try finding a set of beliefs and values to live by. It does not have to be a religion, but having a philosophy to follow can help.

Find the things in life that can give you joy. In an uncertain life, do what makes you happy. One thing anyone can agree with is that life is too short for you to spend it doing something you don’t like.

It can be tough to deal with an existential crisis. Sometimes, it does go away, but oftentimes, it can stay for a while.

How do you use existential in a sentence?

“After a few drinks, Tom started to get existential, questioning why he was here and where he would go.”

What are existential fears?

These are your fears of your existence. They are also known as existential anxiety. They can happen for many reasons. One of the most common is the fear of death. Another example is fearing that your life will be meaningless and for nothing. Existential fears can come at any time, especially in a life-changing event such as the death of the family. You may start to have existential anxiety over your own existence when you question what you believe. Everyone has them, and they are worth talking about.

What are the theories of existentialism?

There are not different theories around the subject of existentialism. However, there are just questions and observations. For example, existential concerns occur disproportionately over people who are gifted, making one wonder if it’s a blessing or a curse. It can be a crisis for the philosophically minded person. Existentialism posits always states that the world and existence deserved to be questioned. In existentialist philosophy, the term “crisis” tends to pop up, as one faces existentialism when they begin questioning who they are and where they are going.

What are six common themes found in existentialism?

In widespread existential crisis cases, there are several themes that you can find reoccurring. Here are six of them.

The Individual

This is when a person asks themselves what being a human means. These questions about one’s self can lead to several different branching paths. You may start to wonder about the chaos of the world, and if there is any meaning or rightness in it. You may wonder how you can be yourself in a world that makes you difficult.

As such, we try to find meaning in life, a question that you cannot answer definitively. While many people have beliefs and faiths that tell them the meaning of the life, these are not definitive. Life is absurd, and trying to find a meaning in absurdity can be a challenge in of itself.

Choice

Life is all about choice. We make decisions, either consciously or unconsciously, that can determine our lives. When you start to think about existentialism, the concept of choice plays a part. We make decisions usually based in some sort of law or other system, but a part of existence is making choices that sometimes are difficult to justify. This may also make one think about the choices being you make and how much control you really have. Free will may be a part of existentialism.

This also makes one question the authenticity that is going on in the world. How many of our choices are authentic? How many people are authentic? Perhaps the person you think is themselves is just playing a part.

Anxiety

We all have anxieties over life. One of the biggest fears in existentialism is the idea of death. One day, we will no longer exist, and that concept is hard to fathom for many people.

Anxieties concern more than death, of course. Oftentimes, we may have anxieties over situations that make us realize that we are human. Everyone has anxieties.

Criticizing Society

When you realize that you live in a society that has patterns, beliefs, and laws that are absurd, you start to criticize and deconstruct the world around you. Are these practices important, or are they something you should ignore? It can sometimes be hard to figure out what the truth is.

Personal Relations

Another aspect of existentialism is the relations we have, be it friends, family, or even acquaintances. We need to have meaning in our relationships, yet you may question what it’s for. You may also wonder how many of the personal relationships you have are authentic, or which ones are simply performative. This isn’t a case of finding out who your true friends are, but instead wondering if being true is even possible.

Religion

Religion is what gives people purpose. It tells where people came from and where they are going. Existentialism tends to question religion. One question you may end up pondering is the freeness of the world. Is it all determined by God? If so, then humans have no power. However, if you believe that humans can do what they like, then you may start to question whether or not God is really all powerful.

You may believe that existentialism means you are an atheist, but this is not the case. Some people may have a more deistic approach, believing that there is a creator, but the creator is not interested in humans. Many existentialists who are believers are still critical of religion and what it represents. They may be critical of the organized side of it, but may believe.

What is modern existentialism?

The existentialist philosophy is quite modern. Even though humans have been questioning their existence since they became self-aware, the term was coined in the 1940s.

However, if you want to define existential crisis as a modern example, one good example is when you see everything bad going on in the world thanks to the Internet, and you may start to ponder whether or not life has a purpose.

What are the 5 tenets of existentialism?

There are actually six, and they are:

Existence. This is the realization that you are your own existence and nothing else.

Anxiety. Anxiety can happen to anyone, and in the context of existentialism, it means that you are afraid that human existence means nothing. Even in religion, human life can be viewed as something that’s meant for suffering.

Absurdity. When you think about it, human life can be quite absurd. When you stay absorbed and engaged with life, everything appears relevant, coordinated and sensible. However, once the engagement is gone, everything becomes absurd and loses meaning.

Nothingness. This is the sensation that life is nothing when you strip away the meaningless symbolism surrounding it.

Death. The concept of death correlates to nothingness. You were born out of nothing and your choices make you into something. The idea of what lies beyond is an incomprehensible void - a simple explanation for the nothingness that comes with death, when you are no longer able to be anything.

Alienation. You decide to strip yourself away from society and instead find your own purpose.

Is it normal to have an existential crisis?

At different times we all go through moments where we feel positive about ourselves and moments when we are overwhelmed with uncertainty and fear. While it is normal to experience the ups and downs of life, when you find it difficult to adapt to these shifts to the point where you obsess over the meaning and purpose of life, or conclude that you are living a meaningless life, then it becomes an existential crisis, especially when this triggers feelings of anxiety and depression that hinders your general well-being. A brief existential crisis does not often lead to existential depression, and could be part of a normal process towards self-discovery and intellectual enlightenment.

What is the alternative of an existential crisis?

The Greek philosopher, Socrates, once observed that the purpose of life is a life of purpose. An existential crisis questions your perceived sense of purpose and the structures and principles on which you have based your life on, but this in itself may come with the possibility of you finding a new purpose and gaining a broader understanding of the meaning of life. Since an existential crisis primarily involves the loss of meaning and purpose, its alternative is a life where meaning and purpose aren't only fundamental to how an individual interacts with the world, but when this provides a clear sense of direction and fulfillment.

Does everyone go through an existential crisis?

Everyone may experience a momentary sense of anxiety or uncertainty, but it's not in every situation that this spirals into an existential crisis or results into an existential depression. While an existential crisis is not considered a mental health disorder in itself, people who suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and depression may be more prone to experiencing an existential crisis. However, though an existential crisis may be as a result of an underlying mental health condition, it is possible to experience an existential crisis without having a prior mental health concern.

How do you stop an existential crisis?

If you suffered a major loss or survived an almost fatal accident that leads to serious injury, it is natural for you to experience a period of introspection where you come to terms with what happened and how it has impacted your life. However, instead of giving in to feelings of despair and hopeless that make you question the meaning of life, you can challenge yourself to live a more authentic life instead.

Take note of your most endearing qualities and decide on how best you can apply these positive attributes towards a more fulfilling life. You don't just want to know why your life matters, or if there is a point to your existence, you want to experience the importance of your purpose through the impact it has on others. Meditate on positive thoughts and allow the insights gained from your moments of reflection to guide you towards a more fulfilling life.

What does having an existential crisis mean?

An existential crisis usually occurs in the wake of a significant event that alters an individual's sense of purpose and direction. This could mean that the individual no longer feels that their life has meaning or is what living. While most people would normally celebrate and feel enthusiastic after a major achievement, an existential crisis overrides these positive feeling, and would make them reflecting on the futility of their achievement instead.

When you are unable to find motivation or lose interest in everything, this could be a sign that you may be grappling with an existential crisis, which often means you will no longer relate with the life you live, the activities you enjoy, and the people you care about in the way you used to. An unresolved case of existential crisis can also result into existential depression, which characterizes by chronic feelings of despair and anxiety.

What determines an existential crisis?

An existential crisis can be determined by how an individual responds to life changing situations and the decisions they make as a result of their experience. In most instances, individuals who are dealing with an existential crisis become disorientated with life and human relationships, and may lack the resolve to continue living because they believe they have no purpose in life.

The most notable aspect of an existential crisis usually involves a general lack of fulfillment, feelings of despair and uncertainty, as well as feelings of anxiety influenced by fear and responsibility, along with a loss of direction and the persistent need for clarity.


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