Existential crisis, almost everyone, at some point in adulthood, will pass (or have passed) through it. This sense of loss of meaning and constant questioning about one’s existence gives the individual tremendous anguish, which can even trigger anxiety and disrupt social interaction.
But after all, what makes us go through an existential crisis? What kind of events trigger this sense of doubt and all the internal conflicts we experience?
It is difficult to answer these questions as much as the questions arising from the crisis itself.
However, the causes that cause this process have psychological trauma, which can come from the end of a relationship, unexpected loss of employment or death of someone important, for example.
What is an Existential Crisis?
But there are innumerable factors that can result in an existential crisis, and each individual is responsible for seeking answers.
However, when you see the first signs that you are going through this troubled phase, do not attempt to self-diagnose. At this point, seeking professional help from a psychologist or psychologist is paramount!
Follow this article to better understand the existential crisis, and what ways to make this lemon a lemonade, overcoming this phase in a positive way!
Recognizing an Existential Crisis
As we have seen, an existential crisis tends to emerge from some shocking and traumatic event. However, each person feels and acts in a very particular and distinct way in these situations, and therefore the symptoms, especially the emotional ones, can vary greatly according to the experiences of each one, and in different moments of the life.
Nevertheless, certain recurrent signs point to the emergence of the existential crisis, the most common being:
- mental scam
- need for isolation
- constant discouragement
- pessimism and dissatisfaction
- changes in appetite
- deregulated sleep
- feeling of incapacity
- absence of objectives and uncertainties about the future
- doubts and questions about one’s own personality
Let’s try to understand some of these symptoms more comprehensively.
The permanent feeling of mental fatigue, also known as scam, is one of the main signs of an existential crisis.
This is because the excess of thought caused by the doubts and issues common to the problem adds up to the distress of not finding quick answers or immediate solutions.
In going through the crisis, the person’s brain does not rest, and just like the muscles that need to relax after a period of effort, the mind also needs breaks.
When this does not occur, stress and mental fatigue arise, which end up triggering other diseases, both mental and physical.
Significant events that cause some kind of trauma generate bring with it anxiety. When experiencing an existential crisis, the feeling of uncertainty about the future and having lost control of the situation motivate the appearance of this disorder, provoking suffering with excessive and often unreal concerns.
Need for isolation
With a tired and anxious mind, the quest for isolation is a fairly predictable consequence. The individual with agitated, confused, and lost thoughts looks for space and stillness to seek some level of equilibrium, and for that reason, he or she will avoid any kind of socialization.
And although this seems a good way out, isolation only increases the crisis, since it does not allow moments of fun and no distraction with other subjects.
Also, talking to people, talking about their feelings, and listening to what they have to say helps you realize different ways of looking at the world, which can make it easier to find the solutions you are looking for.
Discouragement, pessimism, and dissatisfaction
Generalized dissatisfaction is a very characteristic symptom of the existential crisis, since internal conflicts almost always revolve around questions about life, whether personal or professional, demonstrating that something needs to be changed.
Read Also: Characteristics of Pessimistic People
Unfortunately, this lack of taste for life generates discouragement, and in the face of so much negative emotional charge, it is difficult to look at any situation with optimism.
The sum of these factors increases the questioning about one’s own decisions and the sense of incapacity.
See the glass half full
Even unleashing negative and confused feelings, conflicts, and deep reflections, which shake the individual sentimentally and psychologically, an existential crisis does not need – nor should it be – regarded as a bad thing.
In going through a period of uncertainty and questioning, self-knowledge and maturation become inevitable, resulting in a significant and necessary transformation for the individual.
Therefore, when faced with this internal conflict, it is important to try to see the glass half full and understand that it is a phase, something temporary that will have positive results after it has passed.
How to overcome the existential crisis?
As we said at the beginning, the existential crisis is a natural process that many of us face throughout life, and that tends to be very beneficial, inclusively.
However, some people may have difficulty coping with the feelings that this phase arouses and the issues surrounding it.
Faced with this difficulty, it may be necessary to seek psychological support through therapy. The work of the psychologist, who is a professional trained to guide how to deal with feelings and adversities, will help solve problems that seem to have no solution.
Anyway, it is important that the person who faces the existential dilemmas understands that it will never be possible to have all the answers to all doubts and that there is no problem in that!
And that, in addition to professional help, it is necessary to take responsibility for one’s own life and to make efforts to overcome this phase. It is therefore essential to understand the reasons for all the conflicting feelings aroused in the crisis.
From then on, the first step is taken towards solving most of the questions and the reunion with the emotional balance that has been lost at some point.
Adjust the candles and continue to sail
Maybe in the face of an existential crisis, this is the sensation: of being a boat without a compass, drifting in the middle of the ocean. And often facing storms that make us believe in an imminent shipwreck.
However, we must recognize that, even amid storms, we are the captain of this boat. And that overcoming the existential crisis requires a good deal of resilience and attitude.
For this, it is essential to look for relaxing, and pleasurable alternatives, things that you enjoy doing and have abandoned for lack of courage.
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