The existence crises is one of those problematic phenomena that 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 ample economic resources and can even be experienced by women and men who are apparently successful and have a good social image. You can have everything that Western civilization regards as fundamental goals of human life, like wealth, love and knowledge, but the existential crisis will remain there, unrelenting. In this article we we provide you the definition of Existential crisis.
When the old mental schemes no longer work, the person suffering from an existential crisis feels that he does not know the path he must follow in life, nor can he visualize the goals he must follow in order to reach personal self-realization. This can be mentally very tiring and can cause psychological distress if the situation is not handled correctly. On the contrary, if the individual overcomes this stage of life, he realizes that he has grown as a human being and that he is now a stronger person and more prepared to face the difficulties that may arise in everyday life.
Existential Crisis: And Now… What Do I Do With My Life?
The existential crisis manifests itself with intense feelings of psychological suffering, because the individual begins to question the reasons for his own existence . It could also be said that the existential crisis is basically an identity crisis . This happens when everything we thought was under control ceases to exist. Our worldview is unexpectedly clouded and our view of life needs updating because it has expired. So we ask ourselves: what am I doing here? Or what is the meaning of my life? Something that until now we seemed to be very clear.
Almost without realizing it, a new dawn surrounds us, and we have to leave our comfort zone to face the new reality. Existential crises lead us to self-reflection and come at an emotional cost, because the resources we always had are no longer useful. During this period of introspection, we question aspects of life that until now have not concerned us much.
When we feel that we don’t have enough resources to get out of that existential emptiness , anxiety keeps us from sleeping until we find the answer, that is, until we find a solution that makes us regain inner peace and that helps us to visualize once again the path to take. follow. This path forward is about recovering one’s identity and commitment. It’s about finding meaning in our life again.
Consequences of the existential crisis
The existential crisis can cause a radical change in our life, because it can be an opportunity to reinvent ourselves and set new goals . But when the person suffering from an existential crisis enters a negative spiral in which he thinks he does not have enough resources to overcome it, he can end up suffering a serious depression
Not everyone experiences crises in the same way: some may live for a few weeks, some for a few months, and some for a few years. Long, intense existential crises often require professional help. When the crisis for his own existence is satisfactorily resolved, one feels that he has reconnected and restructures his way of thinking. In turn, you can change old dysfunctional habits for more adaptive ones and get back to wellness.
When the person suffering an existential crisis develops a negative image of himself, the world and the future, and recreates his irrational beliefs about life; or when you have low self-esteem or a lack of confidence in your own resources, you can reach despair, learned helplessness, major depression, and even suicide.
When you can’t overcome the existential crisis
The way to face the existential crisis is different for each individual, as the path to be overcome is a path to personal discovery , which is why it requires your own will and self-knowledge. Individuals who are trapped in this crisis need to change their worldview, as they have cognitive schemas that are not adaptable, at least in part. Psychologists can serve as a guide for a person to discover the path for themselves, but they cannot offer the answers to the existential crisis, since it has to do with each one’s priorities.
Even so, a psychologist can help his patient to have a more objective view of this situation. For example, a psychologist can be effective in helping an individual to restructure their expectations and create more realistic life projects. It can provide tools for self – acceptance and proper emotional management. And it can help to develop more effective and adaptable coping strategies that will be positive not only to overcome the crisis, but also to empower the patient in everyday life.