Connect with us

Happiness

How to Deal with an Existential Crisis

Published

on

How to Deal with an Existential Crisis

What is an existential crisis? It’s a tough concept to describe, since every individual is different and experiences it in a very personal way. In a generalized explanation, however, an existential crisis occurs when you start questioning the value, purpose, and overall meaning of your life.

At this point of their lives, some people start thinking about whether or not they should start their own family. They think about their age, too. They wonder what happens after death. Others are very concerned about the traces they leave behind. Did they choose the right career? Have they made other people happy? Are they having a meaningful existence right now?

It’s called a crisis because it’s incredibly hard to find the answers to all those questions bothering you. The main question is “what’s the point?” It can literally leave you sleepless, tortured, and depressed.

In a nutshell, an existential crisis occurs when you realize that you’re not happy with what you’ve achieved in your life and you’re no longer sure what your purpose in this world is. You’re in total confusion and you can’t seem to find the right direction. There’s a good side to this struggle: it triggers changes. When you realize that you’re unhappy, you start searching for ways to change that fact. It’s bad when you ignore that urge for change and you stay in that place, which can no longer be called a comfort zone.

Step One: Understand What an Existential Crisis Means

Leo Tolstoy had an existential crisis shortly after he turned 50. He was in good health for his age, a lovely family around him, and a well-established literary fame. If you read A Confession, an autobiographical memoir that Tolstoy wrote during this time, you’ll see the deep signs of suffering caused by an existential crisis.

“Sooner or later my affairs, whatever they may be, will be forgotten, and I shall not exist. Then why go on making any effort? … How can man fail to see this? And how go on living?”

With these words, the writer encompassed the entire struggle of his crisis. He recognized it. Do read his Confession; it will help you understand the situation you’re dealing with. Understanding – that’s your first step towards salvation.

Here are few signs that help you acknowledge an existential crisis:

  • You don’t have an answer to the question “who are you?
  • You can’t stop thinking about the fact that you’re going to die one day, and that makes you feel like there’s no purpose in living.
  • You’re reevaluating your job, family, and your entire life.
  • Thinking about your own future makes you anxious, since you don’t know where you want to be ten years from today.

Good news: once you’re aware that you’re facing an existential crisis, you can do something about it. The only thing you can do is change! Change the things that are making you desperate and do something meaningful with your life.

How to Deal with an Existential Crisis

“I understood that if I wish to understand life and its meaning, I must not live the life of a parasite, but must live a real life, and – taking the meaning given to live by real humanity and merging myself in that life – verify it.” That was Tolstoy, again. This is a rather philosophical approach when you first think about it, but it’s extremely practical in its essence. We can easily turn the “live a real life” decision into practical tips that can really change the way you perceive your existence.

  1. Choose a Hobby

Cathy Judd, a writer for Resumes Planet, explains: “A hobby may seem like an overly innocent solution to an existential crisis. But in my case, it worked. When I started having these torturous thoughts three years ago, I turned to writing. Writing has always been a hobby of mine, but I had abandoned it because of work. When I had this daily activity, I suddenly found meaning again. I found happiness, too. I turned it into a career, so I work as a professional writer at the moment. It was the change I needed, and the hobby led me to it.”

When you face an existential crisis, it means that you’re eager for new experiences. Engage in different activities and pick your hobby. You’ll be surprised to find out how much meaning it will give to your life.

  1. Change the Things that Make You Unhappy

What’s your biggest weakness?

That’s a tough question, isn’t it? It may be food. Maybe you consider your passionate nature to be a weakness. Maybe you’re lazy and you’re wasting valuable time on a daily basis. Just be honest: whatever it is, you do have a weakness. In fact, you probably have several of them. Pick your major one and focus on it.

If it’s laziness, beat it by organizing your time in a way that makes you more productive. Take Benjamin Franklin’s daily schedule as an example. He had pretty intense arrangement that kept him productive and useful.

  1. Understand the Power of Decisions

What are you doing right now? You’re reading this article, and that was a good decision because these words will make you realize something about yourself. Every moment of your life is linked to decisions. Some of them are major, while others seem meaningless. Nothing is meaningless! Every single moment of your life is valuable, and you have the power to decide how you’ll spend it.

Stop being lazy! Create a schedule that forces you to focus on priorities. When you have free time on your hands, use it well.

Perceive the existential crisis as a calling. Something is wrong with the way you live your life at this moment, and you must make some changes. It’s not a pleasant process. It’s emotionally and mentally challenging, but it leads you to a more meaningful existence. That’s a goal worth working for!

Short bio: Justin is a blogger from Leicester, England, UK. When not teaching his little students and rooting for Leicester FC, he loves to share his thoughts and opinions about education, writing and blogging with other people on different blogs and forums. Currently, he is working as a part-time writer at Resumes Planet. Follow Justin on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Motivational Music

20 Upbeat Happy Songs to Make You Feel Good!

Published

on

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Have you ever had an experience where you’ve heard a song on the radio or at the department store and then all of a sudden you want to burst into a happy dance and afterwards you can’t get that song out of your head? Your only solution is to go with it.

What about when you hear a song, and suddenly you’re taken back to an emotionally charged moment from your past? Every single time you hear that song again you’re taken back to that very moment in time. 

The fact is, music is incredibly powerful. Music has its way to attach to our mood. If we’re relaxed, we listen to something soft. If we’re sad, we find something that takes us deep into the sadness. If we’re happy, there’s nothing better than to put on some upbeat tunes that make you wanna smile, get up and dance like nobody’s watching! 

When you’re aware of the power that music has on you—the ability to heighten your emotional experience, sadness, happiness or whatever mood you’re in, music becomes a powerful tool. 

Neale Donald Walsh

That’s why in this post I’m giving you twenty upbeat happy pop songs. Use these to put a smile on your face in the morning. Use ‘This is Me’ to embrace the authentic self, stepping into the spotlight without fear. Use ‘Happy’ when you’re feeling silly and you just want to dance for no reason. Use ‘Never Give Up’ by Sia, when you need to defy the odds and keep pushing through to your goal.

Like sunshine, music is a powerful force that can instantly and almost chemically change your entire mood.

Michael Franti

When you listen to these songs, pay careful attention to how you respond to them. Do they envoke an emotional reaction? Do they make you happy? 

1. Sia – Never Give Up

2. Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop The Feeling

3. Madonna – Express Yourself

4. Selina Gomez – Kill Em With Kindness

5. Rhianna – Diamonds

6. Sigala – Sweet Lovin’ ft. Bryn Christopher

7. Shakira – Try Everything

8. Imagine Dragons – Thunder

9. Sia – The Greatest

10. The Greatest Showman Cast – This is Me

11. Hailee Steinfeld – Love Myself

12. Sigala – Easy Love

13. Macklemore ft Skylar Grey Glorious

14. Jonas Blue – Rise ft. Jack & Jack

15. Jessie J – WILD

16. Katy Perry – Roar

17. Shakira – Waka Waka

18. Alexis Jordan – Happiness

19. Taylor Swift – ME!

20. Pharrell Williams – Happy

Now it’s your turn. Let’s expand this list and get your contributions. What upbeat song makes you smile… and maybe break into a happy dance?

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Continue Reading

Happiness

How to Reduce Anxiety and Live Happily Ever After

Published

on

“… And they lived happily ever after.”

How many of us grew up with an idea of such an ending? We were convinced that happiness was always going to be the ultimate outcome.

But where is that ending? When will it come? How long will the struggle last before we finally reach that point?

As we grew up, most of us ended up being shaped into skeptics. We started believing that the happy ending was not possible for us. Unfortunately, that mindset is one of the greatest culprits for anxiety. The mere idea of living an unhappy life with no purpose makes us afraid of death and life itself.

Let’s clarify something once and for all: you are what you attract. If fear defines you, you attract more fear and more anxiety. You attract what you feel. Ultimately, you attract what you hope from.

No; the happy ending won’t happen just because you hope for it. It will happen if you work for it. Reducing anxiety is the first step.

Let’s focus on that aspect, shall we? How can we reduce anxiety and live happily ever after?

 

  1. Understand What Anxiety Is

You know it when it kicks in. You feel hopeless, scared, and desperate. In technical terms, anxiety is an emotion characterized by worrying thoughts and feelings of tension, as well as by physical symptoms, such as increased blood pressure and shaking. An anxious person is tortured by constant concerns and negative thoughts. They are nervous and afraid even in the most common situations in life.

Severe anxiety practically affects your day-to-day living.

The statistics are devastating. This condition affects 40 million adults in the USA. The good news, however, is that we can control it when we understand it.

Regarding its physical and emotional symptoms, you might recognize the following ones:

  • Sleeping troubles
  • Inability to focus on work or study
  • Increased heart rate
  • Inability to connect with people

It’s important to realize that the things your brain identifies as threats are not actual threats. When you identify the triggers, you’ll be able to start controlling your response to them.

  1. Do Everything to Reduce the Clutter

    remove the clutter

Start with the physical clutter that surrounds you. All those items in your home… do you really need them? Do you really need ten body lotions, four shower creams, tons of cosmetics, three toothpastes, and countless objects that are making a mess out of your home? No. You don’t need them.

The physical clutter is tightly connected to the mental clutter. When you declutter your office and living space, you’ll find it easier to relax and focus. With time and effort, you’ll come to the point of mental decluttering, too.

The clutter in your mind is what’s causing anxiety. When you develop a habit of keeping things clean, you’ll translate that attitude to your thoughts, too.

  1. Practice a Thought-Decluttering Meditation

Now, onto the mental decluttering. How do you achieve it? Through meditation, of course!

Have you heard of samskaras? According to Indian philosophy, those are mental impressions, recollections, and psychological imprints. Everything you see, do, hear, think, or feel goes into your subconsciousness as a samskara. It’s no wonder why we’re so cluttered.

When suppressed samskaras start coming out to surface, you get anxious. You’re afraid and nervous without even knowing why. You can’t always identify the source of your anxiety.

Instead of suppressing samskaras and waiting for them to cause damage when different triggers bring them to surface, we can do something about them. We can “neutralize” them through meditation.

Here’s how that goes:

Take your preferred seated asana, close your eyes, and start with a positive intention. Focus on your breath. Don’t think of anything as you breathe in and you breathe out. After a while, start recreating the day. Visualize everything: you got up, you took a shower, you juiced some fruits, you went to work… It’s like a movie passing in front of your eyes. It’s important not to judge. Just see the events as they occurred. If you had a disagreement with someone, don’t think about what you should’ve said. Don’t think how much that person hurt you. Just see the event as it was. “I was hurt” is a conclusion you can make, but don’t get into details. It’s like a river that passes by. When you’re done recreating the day, focus on your breathing again. Come out of the meditation, and go to sleep. Don’t think about anything else and don’t do anything else.

Needless to say, you’ll be practicing this meditation in the evening. When you’re mindful about everything you experienced, you’re neutralizing those impressions before you send them to your subconscious levels. They won’t be potent enough to cause anxiety attacks in future.

You can only do this technique for the things you’re currently experiencing. For the samskaras that are already hiding deep inside, there’s not much you can do. Just recognize them when they are triggered and be mindful about the causes and consequences.  

  1. Achieve the State of Silence

Your mind works non-stop, doesn’t it? You decide to spend an evening alone, thinking you’ll relax, but your mind doesn’t leave you alone. It’s time to do something. Turn the phone off. Don’t check emails. Don’t watch TV and don’t access the Internet. Just be with yourself and with your thoughts. With time and effort, you’ll come down to the state of pure silence. It takes a lot of practice to get there, but it’s a goal worth achieving.

Do this for at least an hour a day. The practice of silence will help you isolate yourself from the chaos of life. That’s one of the rare moments when you can sense pure happiness.

How to Reduce Anxiety and Live Happily Ever After

When you reduce anxiety, you’ll start believing again. Suddenly, that “happily ever after” ending of the story will seem achievable. You’ll get the will to fight. You’ll get the will to live!

Photos by Rob Byengzeyu Li on Unsplash

Author’s bio:

Justin is a blogger from Leicester, England, UK. When not teaching his little students and rooting for Leicester FC, he loves to share his thoughts and opinions about education, writing and blogging with other people on different blogs and forums. Currently, he is working as a part-time writer at CareersBooster. Follow Justin on Facebook and Twitter.

Continue Reading

Happiness

13 Simple Stress-Reducing Techniques to Improve Your Life

Published

on

By

We’ve all had one of those days. Those days where our same walk to work feels a lot longer than the usual, when you don’t even have the time to grab your morning coffee, and when you’re twice as (mentally, physically and emotionally) exhausted today than you felt yesterday. You know, one of those days?

Stress lurks on us daily and we know it. The problem is we do little to nothing to conquer it; we let it get the best out of us. It has great implications both on our mental and physical health.

Photo by Kate Williams

 

Take a day off to work on you. Spend time developing new habits and routines that inspire you and drive you towards a happier life. In this post, I’m sharing with you 13 simple ways to impHere are small yet beneficial ways you can do as soon as now to improve your daily life.

Make your bed when you wake up. How hard is it really to make your bed once you get up? Fold your blanket and place your pillows—it would only take you two minutes or four to do it. Plus, fixing your bed right after you get up calls for a productive day.

Pick up a book and read. Stir away from all the digital chaos and go back to the old way of satisfying your reading needs—newspapers, magazines, and books.

You spend most of your time with your smartphone at hand, give your eyes a break from your screen, away from social media, and switch to flipping pages. When was the last time you finished a book? Take out your book haul and carry one book every day, read a page or more a day until you finish it. Do this when you’re in the subway train, waiting for a friend to arrive, or during your breaks.

Organize and declutter. Why do you need this, you ask? Because decluttering and reorganizing your space, whether at work or at home, lifts a weight on your shoulders you didn’t think you had—both figuratively and literally. Get rid of all the mess and anything you no longer use. It’s a fascinating sight—a neat workspace or kitchen—every person would want to go to work or come home to.   

Gossip less. Quite frankly, how beneficial is gossiping to you? It doesn’t help you in any way so you might as well refrain from doing it since it’s only detrimental to your well-being and relationship with other people. When something’s close to coming out of your mouth, simply pause and think of another subject.

Break a sweat. Make time for working your body out, releasing all the stress from work and improving your physical being. Whether it be through going to the gym, running, basketball, walking to/from work—make sure you stay active especially if your work restrains you to your seat 8 hours or more daily.

Complain less, find more solutions. Stop complaining, instead, find solutions. We understand that you need to let out a long rant from time to time, to let go of it all. But if you constantly complain about things for complaining’s sake, you’re not helping anyone but only instilling negativity in you and to others.

Complaining won’t fix anything. You need to find solutions for it and if there aren’t any, then it is clearly out of your control and you need to find help.

Learn something new. Learning something new or trying out things you’ve never done before—or always wanted to but never had the time—is what puts spice up in our lives. We get excited doing these things and adapting new skills and knowledge add value to our well-being.

Smile more. We know you have bad days and good days, but so does other people. Learn to handle these days and practice displaying a bright and genuine smile on your face. If you train your mind to counter the bad vibes, that feeling goes away. Smiling helps you lighten your mood and that of others.

Be optimistic. Having a positive mindset to tackle on the day can make you more healthy. Besides, optimism helps immeasurably at work and to your general well-being. So, let go of the negativity and leave it all behind.

Stop comparing yourself to others. First off, there’s no reason and basis for comparison. Second, you’re different as they are. Third, comparing yourself/your success with others makes no sense. The list goes on but the bottom line is: embrace your individuality and your own achievements.

Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep is one of the factors that leaves us low on energy and motivation. It also gives the effect of feeling constantly tired and ill.

When you don’t get enough sleep, you’d feel more irritated, annoyed, and less cheerful that you normally are. It also causes you to make decisions you’d rather not make with a clear head. If you have vacant time, take a power nap. It should help boost your alert level and peace of mind. Whenever you have the opportunity, get enough sleep. It’s what your body and spirit needs.

Take a break. Most important of all, take a break from your desk, your daily tasks, from your smartphone and laptop, and from your daily life. This “break” clears your head which helps in focusing on tasks and getting other things done.

Make time for yourself. Go and make time for the things you love doing. When you have the time and when your mind and body yearns for it: spend a day at the beach, go on a tour at a museum by yourself, go people watching, eat at a fancy restaurant—treat yourself. Enjoy learning new things, finding out new interests, and just simply making time for yourself.

What are some other small things we should do every day that will help improve our lives?

Continue Reading

Trending