Ideas and resources to enhance your life.
Existential angst refers to the problem humans get when life itself causes anxiety. There are 5 givens of life that contribute to existential angst. 5 things you can't get around or away from. Here they are:
1. Mortality - you are going to die one day. This ties into health anxiety and also the fear that you haven't become what you could have and now it's too late. Kind of like FOMO (fear of missing out).
2. Freedom- you are free to choose, basically anything (within physical limits). This can be scary and leads to worry about having made the wrong choice or worry you won't make a good choice. Choice is actually a large contributor to unhappiness because of this. Weird right? But true. There have been clever research experiments that showed that prize winners that could choice their prize (a poster) were less happy with their prize than those who were given one (without choice).
3. Responsibility- any action you take (or don't take) has a consequence, and you will deal with that consequence. No other way around that one. This existential given (or fact) ties directly into the freedom given. If you are free to choose, then you are also going to be responsible for that choice. Notice that I didn't say you will be held, responsible. No one is necessarily doing it to you. Life just works that way. If you choose to eat too much candy your teeth will rot. That is the consequence. That is how you are responsible.
4. You are alone - no matter how you spin it, you are alone. You experience life from only your perspective and no matter how close someone is to you, you are still separate from them and alone. Sir Francis Bacon said "For a crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love." And then Edwin says, even if there is love, you will still experience it as you, alone. Often you aren't understood fully or accepted fully. There is always that sense of isolation in life. That is not to say that relationships are useless. Absolutely not. The point is simply this; even in relationship there is a sense of isolation. That is just a fact of life.
5. Meaninglessness - life doesn't seem to mean anything in itself, by itself. It doesn't really make a lot of sense. What does it mean to live, what is the purpose, is there a purpose, how do I tell? Even those with great faith can struggle with ultimate purpose.