Confronting existential anxiety: Insights from Dostoyevsky, Sartre, Camus, Nietzsche, and Kierkegaard

Existential anxiety is a common experience for many individuals today. We all get it one day. It is the feeling of being overwhelmed by the inherent meaninglessness of existence, the fear of death, and the futility of our actions. It’s a feeling that can be incredibly difficult to deal with, but it can also be a valuable opportunity for growth and self-discovery.

Many philosophers and authors have explored this theme and offered insights on how to deal with this type of anxiety. Dostoyevsky, Sartre, Camus, Nietzsche, and Kierkegaard, all have written about how to overcome this inner turmoil. Their works provide us with valuable tips on how to deal with existential anxiety in today’s world.

One of the key insights from these philosophers is the importance of confronting our own responsibility. Yes, just face it right on, damn it. Dostoyevsky suggests that true redemption can only be found by facing up to our own guilt and seeking forgiveness. This means that we should take responsibility for our actions and accept the consequences of them. In doing so, we can find a sense of purpose and meaning in our lives.

Sartre argues that the human condition is characterized by a constant state of anxiety. He suggests that this anxiety can be overcome by embracing our freedom and taking ownership of our actions. By accepting our freedom, we can take control of our lives and find a sense of purpose.

Camus presents the idea of the “absurd” as a fundamental aspect of human existence. He argues that the only way to overcome the anxiety and despair that comes with recognizing the absurdity of life is to embrace it and find meaning in the struggle itself. This means that we should accept that life is not always going to make sense and that it’s okay to not have all the answers.

Nietzsche suggests that by embracing the idea of eternal recurrence, individuals can overcome the fear of death and the futility of existence. By accepting that our lives will recur again and again, we can find solace in the knowledge that our actions will have significance in the long run. This means that we should focus on the present and make the most of the time we have.

Finally, Kierkegaard argues that the best way to deal with existential anxiety is to fully embrace one’s own individuality and accept the responsibilities that come with it. He suggests that by fully embracing our own existence, we can overcome the anxiety that comes from failing to do so. This means that we should embrace our unique selves and live authentically.

In conclusion, dealing with existential anxiety can be a challenging task, but by taking inspiration from these philosophers, we can learn to confront our own responsibility, embrace our freedom, accept the inherent meaninglessness of existence, embrace the idea of eternal recurrence, and fully embrace our own existence and responsibilities. By doing so, we can find a sense of purpose and meaning in our lives and overcome feelings of anxiety and despair.

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Categorized as Life

By Patrik Bergman

Privately: Father, husband, vegetarian, and reader of Dostoyevsky. Professionally: Works as Communications Manager at www.haldex.com

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