I've never understood the concept of existential angst. I find the concept of life having no meaning is the most liberating concept there is. To me having no meaning doesn't mean not participating or something but I am totally free to make my own meaning. And I do. I realize that a life is like a bottle rocket. You can't predict anything. You can only imagine the path you life will take and I supposed the angst is wanting to feel like you can control your path or know where it's going. Don't know. As I ride this bottle rocket of life, I don't really look or try to guess where it is going, I just pay attention to where I am right now. Life is gooood!
Never had existential angst. As to why one exists, the answer is easy:
1) against all probability you have been born
2) you are not yet dead
Now, the real questions to ask is: Seeing that you are alive, what are you going to do about it?
Cures for existential angst?
First, to be in love, to experience affection either with family members, a lover or friends. The philosopher Epicurus mentioned that friends are one of the most important ingredients for happiness, and this is true, one needs a friend with whom one can blend one's mind.
2nd, exercise releases endorphins and feel-good chemicals that excite the brain and boost the immune system. Lovemaking also does, and so does raw cacao, the stuff that chocolate is made from (the next best thing is dark chocolate). Chocolate, or rather cacao, is a natural anti-depressant.
Speaking of diet, there are other foods that are mood boosters that produce almost immediate changes in our states of mind, especially in the raw foods / superfoods movement. Yerba maté is one of them, if taken in moderation, as well as maca root. So is avocado and tomatoes, and for many people (myself included) wheatgrass juice. Raw cacao is the best, though. In the raw foods movement I learned a more scientific approach to mood regulation and a type of naturalist shamanic spirituality very much in line with Epicurean philosophy.
Well it seems that many of these responses are more opinions than advice but it varies with ones own experiences and an opinion, if well expressed can have deep meaning and in turn provide solace
As to your question. Hmmmm well there is no simple way of overcoming any type of angst....
..I guess thats why its angst
To me it all depends on the persons perception of his or her life ( by this I mean life lived so far), self worth and potential. As an atheist, I have no expectation of being reborn, placed in heaven or placed in hell so the obvious thing to do when faced with mortality is to just accept it and if need be embrace it.
So when thinking of my existence I simply remember that I have no future after death and so I had no past before birth and so the burden becomes less and less. Now this dose not answer my question of why I exist or for what purpose but it does help relax me and it lets me focus on the good I can contribute seeing as I myself have no future but the rest of humanity does.
Now as a teenager, I've had my share of existential crises and each has been dealt with in a similar fashion. I first try to envision that which has caused my anxiety, so as an example > lets just say I am reminded of the fact that everyone I love will one day die and I will inevitably be left alone. Its a simple concept yes? Well I started questioning everything as a child and I eventually came to this conclusion after coming to terms with the absence of heaven.
My solution: (Now this may seem cynical and a bit deranged but bare with me) Every night before bed, I would lay awake and imagine my parents deaths in excruciating detail...yes I imagine this may be something Hannibal Lector would do but I found it comforting because I somehow managed to desensitize myself and therefor managed to erase the panic that could arise from the actual event. The same was later applied to normal everyday problems and I slowly grew out of it..
To put it simply, enjoy the little things that make you feel genuinely happy (if you cant tell the difference between a simple pleasure and genuine happiness, it dosnt matter. Anything helps)
Remember to take a reality check and measure out the negatives by accepting there part in life. Always remind yourself that you are in control and since your an atheist, you have the potential not God. So you can improve your life and the lives of others.
I kinda just went into a little stream on consciousness there but I hope this helps
I'm just tagging along so i can find this post easier in My Discussions. So interesting.Will be back...