the Existential crisis it is one of those problematic phenomena which does not seem to be related to the material conditions in which we live.
It can appear at any time in life, it also affects people with sufficient financial resources and they may even meet seemingly successful women and men with a good social image. In fact, one can have everything that Western civilization considers fundamental objectives of human life, such as wealth, love and knowledge, but the existential crisis will remain there, relentless.
When the old mental patterns no longer serve, the person suffering from an existential crisis feels that they do not know the path they should take in life, nor can they visualize the goals they must pursue for. achieve self-realization. It can be very mentally draining and lead to psychological damage if the situation is not resolved properly. Conversely, if the individual goes through this stage of life, he perceives that he has grown up as a human being and that he is now another person. stronger and better prepared to face difficulties that can be presented on a day-to-day basis.
Existential crisis: And now … what do I do with my life?
The existential crisis is manifested by intense feelings of psychological distress as the individual begins to question the reasons for their own existence. We can also say that the existential crisis is fundamentally a identity crisis. It happens when everything we thought was in control ceases to be in control. Our view of the world is unexpectedly blurred and our view of life needs to be updated as it is outdated. Then we ask ourselves: What am I doing here? O What is the meaning of my life? Something that until now seemed very clear.
Almost without realizing it, a new dawn is surrounding us, and we must step out of the comfort zone to face the new reality. Existential crises lead us to self-reflection, and this presupposes a emotional cost because the resources we have always had are no longer useful. During this period of introspection, we wondered about aspects of life that until now had not concerned us much.
On the other hand, the existential crisis also has observable consequences on our behavior. Classically, this either generates apathy and disinterest in performing activities that we are not obligated to do because of our responsibilities, or we strive to try new experiences almost desperately, with the intention. to fill our void with sensations that distract us. Both behavior patterns can go to the extreme of being harmful, because if they become the central focus of our life, they can give way to depressive disorder and / or addictions.
When we feel that we don’t have enough resources to get by existential void, Anxiety does not let us sleep until we have found the answer, that is, until we find a solution that brings us back to inner peace, and that helps us visualize again the way forward. This way forward is to rediscover one’s identity and commitment to oneself. It is about rediscovering the meaning of our lives.
Consequences of the existential crisis
The existential crisis can lead to a radical change in our lives it can be an opportunity to reinvent yourself and set new goals. But when the person suffering from an existential crisis goes into a negative spiral in which they think they don’t have enough resources to overcome it, they can end up suffering from severe depression.
Not everyone experiences seizures in the same way: some may live for a few weeks, others for a few months and others for a few years. Long and intense existential crises often require professional help. When the crisis of one’s own existence is satisfactorily resolved, a feeling that has reconnected with itself and restructures his way of thinking. In turn, you can change old dysfunctional habits for more adaptive ones and you can regain well-being.
When the person suffering from an existential crisis develops a negative image of himself, the world and the future, and recreates himself in his irrational beliefs about life; or when you have low self-esteem or lack of confidence in your own resources, it can lead to hopelessness, learned helplessness, major depression and even suicide.
When you can’t get over the existential crisis
The way to deal with the existential crisis is different for each individual, because the way to overcome it is path to personal discoverySo it takes willpower and self-knowledge. Individuals who are caught in this crisis need to change their view of the world because they have cognitive patterns that are not adaptive, at least in part. Psychologists can serve as a guide for a person to find the path on their own, but they cannot offer the answers to existential crisis, as it has to do with individual priorities.
However, a psychologist can help your patient gain a more objective view of this situation. For example, a psychologist can be effective in helping an individual restructure their expectations and come up with more realistic life plans. You can provide tools for self-acceptance and good emotional management. And it can help develop more effective and adaptive coping strategies that will not only be positive in overcoming the crisis, but also in empowering the patient on a daily basis.
Tools to focus and motivate you
There are different mobile apps in the market that can help you realize your skills and improve your approach to the future. Perhaps the most valuable is Meyo, An application created in Barcelona that acts as a 360º life coach.
With this app, you can track your well-being in eight essential aspects of your life and, through a series of challenges and activities to suit your tastes, Meyo offers you resources and tools to increase your empowerment and go moving forward with new projects and hobbies.
- You can follow Meyo on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meyoapp/
- I’m a Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Appmeyo/
- Berrios GE and Gili M. (1995) The will and its troubles. A conceptual story. History of Psychiatry 6: pages 87-104
- Paykel, ES (2007). Cognitive therapy in the prevention of relapses in depression. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology. 10 (1): pages 131 to 36.
- Yalom, ID (1980). Existential psychotherapy. New York: BasicBooks