We have a new author to this blog space! Please meet Mrudula, who is a Chartered Accountant who decided to change careers and pursue a deeper more meaningful path. This is her journey into searching for meaning and a valuable lesson for all of us when we feel lost in the path we are apparently on. It is my pleasure to welcome her and listen and glean from her wisdom and insights.
One early January morning, about a year ago I woke up feeling gloomy. I waited for it to pass, hoping it was an occasional bad mood. Day after day the doom hung on. My blues didn’t go away. My world which was previously peaceful and uneventful, crumbled piece by piece. Work didn’t make sense. Friendships seemed worthless. Life was a mundane drama of hide and seek played on forever by the light and the dark. I began questioning the meaning of life and its purpose. I felt alone and the world seemed monochromatic. Distress began to creep over.
In my quest to restore normalcy, I tried to ignore the questions in my head. I started working harder than usual. But at the end of the day same questions haunted me. Unmotivated and zeal for life died away.
So the million dollar question…What went wrong?
Thanks to the age of internet. My condition was called Existential Crisis.
An existential crisis is a moment at which an individual questions the very foundations of their life: whether their life has any meaning, purpose, or value. This issue of the meaning and purpose of existence is the topic of the philosophical school of existentialism. Existential Crisis is considered to be a condition close to Depression. It can be triggered by a traumatic event such as death of a loved one, separation or reaching a personally significant age (turning 20 or 35 etc.)
Now what to do to snap out of an apocalyptic Existential Crisis? Here is what I did and may be this could help anyone out there as well;
- Life unfolds in moments: Changing the thinking paradigm often helps to overcome the vicious thought circle. Big picture often gives perspective. However, we have to notice the fact that big pictures are made of tiny pixels (moments). Live in the NOW. Focus on breathing, the intake and the out breath. If you are eating notice the texture, the smell of the food. See, hear and observe the world around. Live mindfully.
- Human Brain is a miniature Universe: This is one of my favourite theories. Human brain is a miniature model of the universe. Rather than asking the existential questions of life and death, peer into your own self. Ask questions. Are my basic necessities being met? Are there any unsettled or unresolved issues? Unresolved issues include unfulfilled needs, repressed memories of traumatic childhood events, guilt or dissatisfaction over your body image etc. Am I holding on to emotions that are unpleasant or unhealthy (such as anger or guilt) for too long? Knowing and understanding your own emotions can restore peace within.
- Create a healthy life style: Ditch the unhealthy. Do more of what you like. Pick up a hobby. Exercise daily and eat healthy. Know your sleep cycle and schedule your sleep accordingly.
- Don’t abandon your Family and Friends: Keep family and friends who validate you close to you for support. Explain in detail the situation and the emotions you are going through.
- Seek Help: Last but definitely not the least on the list is seeking help. Remember there are people out there who can listen to you, be non- judgemental and help you work through this crisis.
What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude toward life. We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life—daily and hourly.
– Viktor Frankl in his book Man’s search for meaning
About Mrudula: I am Mrudula Kasibhatta. I have Bachelors in Commerce. I was also at the brink of Completion of the Chartered Accountants course only to find myself interested in Psychology. The moment of enlightenment dawned on me about the career choices; I threw caution to the winds and set out on a voyage to uncover and discover my own self through Psychology. I was intrigued by human emotions and reactions from a very young age. Being an outcast at School, it was easier for me to empathise with a social misfit. Studying Psychology seemed very obvious over the period of time. I was also trained in Carnatic Classical vocal for about eight years. I have won a moderate number of prizes as an amateur. I’m introverted, introspective and spiritually inclined. I love adventure in life and also as a sport. In my free time you will find me reading books or painting or trying DIY projects. In my varied spectrum of interests writing had always been #1. I’m happy that I’m living my dream of writing through this blog. This blog space allows me to think differently and also lets me connect with my inner self through writing.