6 Tricks For A More Enjoyable Existential Crisis


So you’re questioning everything you have ever known, done, and loved?

1. Don’t fight it

The single best way to become more anxious about something is to assume there is something wrong with it or to think you need to fix it. You ought not try to drink or drug it away, because, really, that’s fighting it. Stay close to those you trust most.

2. Get to know it

Listen to yourself. What do you hear? I personally suggest you do this with a “trusted listener” who can put you into check if you start to wallow in self-pity. Dig deep. Crises almost always center around a fear (or fears). What are you most afraid of?

3. Get grateful

This is going to sound ridiculous, but trust me, this works better than I would have guessed. Write a list of things for which you are grateful. I start with the obvious, material, things around me. Then I keep going. And going. And going. The first time I did this, I ended up with a list of 47 items, people, ideas… and a desperately needed sense of contentment.

4. Find your worth

There are hundreds of ways to do this, but I usually do something like this: Get a pen and paper. This is best done written physically. Consider things 2 (or 4 or 6 etc) years ago. What were you like? What were you afraid of then? How did you need to grow? Now consider the present, consider who you are on your best days. How have you grown? How far have you come? What are you proud of that you have done in this time?

5. Find your direction

Write or talk with a trusted friend about your dreams, hopes, and purpose. This is not trying set the rest of your life down on paper, just giving you some direction. Like a car or bike: when you veer off course, you just re-direct.

Pro-tip: think of who you want to become, not what you will do, have, or love.

Remember those fears we talked about in step 2? You can talk about them with a shrink till your face is blue, but the ONLY thing I know to alleviate a fear is to face it. This leads me to the final step:

6. Take action!

You have your direction, now find the tiniest first step, and go! Walk through your fear, for that is the meaning of courage. And we all are capable of such tremendous courage. I won’t explain this, you just have to do it.

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image –Liz Poage