In the hustle and bustle of modern life, we can find ourselves entangled in a web of responsibilities, expectations, and the managing of others, whether it be family, coworkers, or friends. Day-to-day life can become robotic in the sense that we find ourselves barely getting through the day. In our effort to control life, our own and others, we can lose sight of who we are, what we want, and what our purpose is. This is where the transformative practice of depth therapy comes in.

At times like this, we can begin to feel a sense of existential angst, which is actually a normal part of our human existence. Existential angst or existential anxiety is a profound sense of unease or dread. It arises when individuals confront the fundamental questions and uncertainties of human existence. It can manifest when individuals grapple with questions such as the meaning of life, the inevitability of death, faith or spirituality, the concept of free will, and the responsibility of making choices in a world that may appear inherently meaningless or indifferent.

Addressing Existential Angst

I find existential angst more prevalent than ever in our world today. Many people express what they call an uneasiness or malaise that seems unconnected to any specific event. I believe this to be directly related to our collective experience of COVID-19 as well as the divisiveness that continues to permeate our culture today. The level of fear and uncertainty of the past few years has left people feeling out of sync with the world, a world that may feel indifferent and meaningless. And, validly so. It’s hard to understand a world with such tragic outcomes as we experienced with Covid.

A collective experience such as Covid is bound to leave, even the strongest of us, questioning matters of life, death, meaning, and our place in the world. Covid was definitely a shock to our system and we are still feeling the impact both personally and collectively. The uncertainty felt during that time, the tremendous loss of life, unsettling images seen, and heart-wrenching stories heard are almost more than any one person can bear. In this blog, I want to address existential angst – what it is and what you can do about it.

A man cries into his hands while sitting on a couch. Want to know if you are dealing with existential angst in Austin, TX? Speak with a depth therapist in Texas today to learn how they can help!

Key Components To Look Out For:

Fear of Death: A deep fear or discomfort related to the fact that life is finite and death is an inevitable part of the human experience.

Search for Meaning: A persistent search for meaning or purpose in life which can become overwhelming when one feels that life lacks inherent meaning.

Freedom and Responsibility: Recognizing your freedom to make choices and feeling anxious about making the “right” decisions.

Isolation and Loneliness: Feelings of isolation and loneliness, often stemming from the belief that no one can truly understand or share one’s existential concerns.

Existential Absurdity: Acknowledging the apparent absurdity of existence, where life may seem irrational or lacking in inherent purpose, and coping with this realization.

Existential Angst is a Common and Natural Aspect of the Human Condition

Even without the collective experience of COVID-19, most people experience existential angst at some point in their lives. Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology, wrote extensively about the importance of living a meaningful life. Finding meaning in life to Jung was essential.

Post World War II Jung said, “We are living undeniably in a period of the greatest restlessness, nervous tension, confusion, and disorientation of outlook. Among my patients from many countries, all of them educated persons, there is a considerable number who came to see me not because they were suffering from a neurosis but because they could find no meaning in their lives or were torturing themselves with questions which neither our philosophy nor our religion could answer.” This resonates with our post-Covid world today. We are living in a time of uncertainty, tension, and great division. Many individuals are suffering with anxiety, fear, confusion, or a lack of meaning.

How Can You Address Existential Angst?

Jung says, “Man cannot stand a meaningless life.” I agree. In my own practice, I see this as a fundamental core issue. I see a correlation between the prevalence of existential angst, the tensions of COVID-19, and the turmoil of recent years. Awareness and acknowledgment of existential anxieties is key and the first step to moving through these disorienting times. Addressing existential angst often involves philosophical reflection, personal introspection, and the search for one’s values and beliefs. Some individuals find solace in existential philosophy, literature, or religious and spiritual beliefs. Others may seek the support of a depth therapist to help navigate these feelings and develop coping strategies.

A person gets counseled by a therapist with a clipboard and notes. Is existential angst in Austin, TX bringing you down? Speak with a depth therapist in Texas today!

Seven Ways to Address Existential Angst:

Self-Awareness: The first step is to develop self-awareness. Understand and acknowledge your feelings of existential angst. What aspects of existence are causing you distress? This could be a fear of death, a lack of meaning, or a sense of isolation.

Exploration of Meaning: Explore your values, beliefs, and the things that bring meaning to your life. This often involves asking profound questions about your life’s purpose and what truly matters to you. Finding your own meaning and purpose in the face of uncertainty can be a powerful way to address existential angst.

Acceptance of Freedom and Responsibility: Recognize that you have the freedom to make choices. And, recognize this freedom also comes with the responsibility for the consequences of those choices. Embrace your freedom and take responsibility for your life and decisions.

Live Authentically: Live authentically, which means being true to yourself and your values. This can involve the discovery of core values and beliefs and making choices that align with your beliefs and desires.

Face Mortality: Acceptance of the impermanence of life can lead to a deeper appreciation of the present and a desire to make the most of your time.

Connect with Others: Existential angst can often lead to feelings of isolation. Connecting with others who share similar concerns can provide a sense of community and mutual support.

Balancing the Absurd: Embrace the concept of the “absurd” from existential philosophy, which suggests that life is inherently irrational. This addresses our need for certainty and the illusion of control. Once you can accept what is and isn’t in your control you can begin to let go and create the life you want.

Existential Angst is Complex

Existential angst is a complex and deeply personal issue. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. If depth therapy seems like a fit for you, I offer a Jung-oriented depth approach that allows you to explore the big questions of life – questions of meaning, purpose, spirituality, and what it means to live in our world today. While this angst can make you feel lost and overwhelmed it can also be a catalyst for growth and self-discovery. It’s important to remember that it’s okay to feel existential angst at times. Also, it’s important to acknowledge that the events of the past years have left a mark on all of us. Jung said, “Meaning makes a great many things endurable—perhaps everything.”

Work through your Existential Angst with Depth Therapy in Texas

A woman sits on a couch while on her laptop. Looking to understand existential angst? Speak with a depth therapist in Texas and start depth therapy today!

Feeling lost in the depths of existential angst? It’s okay. You’re not alone. Embracing the uncertainties of existence is a journey and depth therapy can be your guiding light. As a depth therapist, I specialize in navigating the complexities of existential concerns, offering a safe space for self-discovery and meaning-making. Take the first step towards understanding and transforming your existential angst. Embrace the opportunity for profound introspection and growth with depth therapy. Your journey to a more meaningful and authentic existence starts here. Follow the steps below to embark on a transformative path of self-discovery and healing with Lysle Shaw Psychotherapy:

  • Reach out to schedule a free consultation
  • Move forward from your existential angst!

Other Therapy Services Offered at Lysle Shaw Psychotherapy in Austin, Houston, and throughout Texas

I offer an array of therapeutic services tailored to guide individuals through existential angst with depth therapy. I offer individual therapy for relationship issues, walk and talk therapy, online therapy, trauma therapy, and Jungian dreamwork. If you’re seeking a path to navigate existential angst and embark on a profound journey toward self-discovery, reach out to Lysle Shaw Psychotherapy today.

A woman leans on a post while touching her hair thinking. Dealing with Existential Angst in Austin, TX? Speak with a depth therapist in Texas who can help you today!

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