Happiness and Existential Angst

We all experience existential angst at some point – but are there ways to answer these questions in such a way that will help us to eliminate that stress and be happier?

I think the answer is yes.  According to – this page - http://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/types/existential – existential anxiety is a product of not having good answers to the big questions of life – like – who am I, why am I here, and do I have a purpose. As well as the really big question – how much control do I really have over my life?

The big problem seems to not know.  When we don’t know what the future will hold, we get nervous.  Really nervous. When we don’t feel like we can control what happens to us in the future, we get nervous too. Trying to figure out whether our actions will help us or hurt us – stresses us out.

And if we don’t figure out how to cope with that stress – it can overwhelm us.

As a Humanist – I cope with not knowing by accepting I don’t know. And I realize that may seem really strange. How can accepting something that is stressing you out – help you relax.  Well – when I accept that I can’t know – I stop trying to know. So I stop expending my mental energy on it and – that’s what relaxation is.

Who am I?  I don’t really know. I mean I know my name and who I want to be. But who am I and why am I?  I don’t have an answer to that and I’m actually totally ok with that. It doesn’t bother me. Why? Because I have accepted that those questions don’t actually have answers. And so I don’t have to ponder them anymore.

What is my purpose in life?  Well, that one is a bit more interesting and can have a really good answer.  I can’t know if I have an “ultimate” purpose or not – so I choose to not worry about that. But I can decide who I want to be and what I want to accomplish. And it turns out – that’s enough. In fact, it’s REALLY satisfying.

There is a reason this blog has as its tag – encouraging people to live ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.  That’s my life’s purpose. To help other people adopt a similar purpose. And the great thing about this – is – working towards it makes me happy.

Do I need answers to the big questions to be happy? No. I just need to do my best with the life I have to do my best to be my best. And stop worrying about things that don’t really matter. Like – whether I have an ultimate purpose in life or not. Can’t know it and if I do – I do – but clearly – not knowing is part of how I’m supposed to do this thing called life – so let’s get on with it.

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