Existential crises for dummies | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 04, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 04, 2019

Existential crises for dummies

Have you ever found yourself riddled with questions about your existence? Questions that orbit the general vicinity of our purpose, our significance in this seemingly never-ending universe, why we are alive at the same time as the abomination that is 4chan, and a multitude of others? It is completely human to experience existential crises, so there is no need to be alarmed. But if you are riddled with worry, this article is for you. Because I, a subpar human being with hysterically limited life experiences, have taken it upon myself to write it and share my secrets for smooth sailing in these troubled waters. You’ll be a certified professional at handling existential crises by the end (terms and conditions apply).

First and foremost, it is crucial that you don’t fall down the rabbit hole of questions. While it may seem tempting to try and unravel the meaning of our existences through questions, it is important to remember that we will not find most of the answers that we seek. If we keep chasing the trail of questions, it may lead us to dark places which can be hard to get out of. Therefore, we must practise the totally healthy art of repressing existential dread until it inevitably overflows once again.

Additionally, one may feel the desire to express their feelings of cosmic insignificance on social media. While it may seem like the ideal medium for opening a discussion to see others’ thoughts and opinions, it can also potentially backfire in a terrible way. Personally speaking, being exposed to social media in times of existential crises can only make the situation worse, as the feeling of seeing people go from talking about their political agendas to the horror that is climate change to glorifying fat cats can be a bit overwhelming.

I have only written about two of the many things that can worsen the dread. The feeling of insignificance truly is a personal experience based on a cocktail of our own personal fears, so don’t be afraid to experiment and find out what makes YOU feel awful regarding our futile existences. The more you know, the better you can handle/suppress it.

If we were to move on to things that can help ease the fear, we have lots of options. For example, when you are feeling a bit too woozy about being doomed to live on the mortal plane, it can be highly beneficial to clean your room/surroundings. This will help to make you feel grounded. You can also try writing down your feelings, and if you end up making grammatical errors absentmindedly, that’s even better. The absurdity of language will remind you what it’s like to be a human that makes mistakes but can work on them. If all of that fails, you can always chat with a friend, proceed to mutually whine about the burden of life, and eventually end up watching cat videos.

So you see, dear reader, these feelings of incomprehensible isolation are nothing to be stressed about. As long we have our unhealthy habits of suppressing feelings and a variety of cat videos, no mountain of cosmic dread is insurmountable.


Fatima Jahan Ena considers herself to be a chaotically neutral egg with feelings. Find her at mail2ena@gmail.com

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