What is Existential Anxiety?
What is Existential Anxiety?
First, I had no idea that Existential Anxiety was an actual thing. I had been questioning a lot
about why we get up everyday and do the things we do. If you are often caught in the same
cycle of activities everyday, you can feel frustrated, stressed and begin questioning life.
According to the research that I did, I found out that most people undergo a problem like this and Psychologists have termed it ” Existential Anxiety”.
What does Existential Anxiety mean?
Existential anxiety refers to the feeling of uncertainty about things that pertain to human
conditions such as freedom, death, separation, loneliness and nothingness (Popovic, 2002). An individual basically tries to find meaning in a world that they deem as pointless.
What causes Existential Anxiety?
It often occurs after a major event has happened in an individual’s. The events therefore
triggers one to start thinking about their values, belief systems and goals. As a result, they endup feeling anxious about life in general.
Example of events that cause anxiety include ;
- The death of a loved one.
- Loss of a job.
- A diagnosis of terminal illness like Cancer.
- The begin of marriage or Divorce cases.
- Mid-life crisis.
Signs of an individual experiencing Existential Anxiety
It is hard for other people to clearly state that someone is going through the phase of
existential anxiety. The reason is because it is an internal struggle therefore it might not be
obvious to onlookers. So how do you know that you are going through this phase?
- One experiences a difficulty in making decisions
- One might experience panic attacks
- One might show constant worry
- Questioning belief systems
- Harboring feelings of regret
- One has Feelings of hopelessness
Ways you can Cope with Anxiety
There are simple things that you can do to deal with the anxiety on your own . However,
talking to a therapist is recommended for better treatment plans.
- Journal about your life goals
- Find things to be thankful about
- Practice mindfulness and the art of stillness
- Connect with your friends a lot more
- Break down your worries into segments that can be tackled
- Reflect on thoughts that make you worry.
There are no specified forms of treatment other than speaking to a professional therapist. In
therapy, The counselor is likely to use a method referred to as existential therapy.
Existential therapy is a form of therapy that originates from the humanistic approaches of psychotherapy.
The therapy approach focuses on the individual rather than the symptoms that they are
exhibiting. The concepts used in existential therapy include empathy, reflective listening,
encouragement of affect and acceptance of the client’s viewpoints.
Existential therapy Techniques
The therapy emphasizes that human beings have a capacity of self awareness that helps them
to determine different aspects of life. Therefore, existential therapy operates on core concepts such as;
- Finding meaning in life
- Freedom of making decisions
- Loneliness and individualism
- Existence of anxiety
It is normal to experience these feelings of anxiety. However, when not dealt with properly it
might result into harmful health issues such as major depression, suicidal ideations and anxiety