How Social Work Can Help You Find Meaning In Life When Facing Existential Crisis


In literature, philosophy, and psychology, the existential crisis is commonly understood as a period in life when someone questions their purpose and meaning. This is because it’s not just an abstract idea but something most people experience at some point in their life. It’s usually followed by an intense period of reflection about who you are and what your future holds.

People who face this type of challenge can feel anxious or depressed. They may even feel like they have no reason to go on living and might consider suicide. But that doesn’t mean you have to accept it as a permanent state of being: social work interventions can help you find meaning again.

The issue runs deeper than this and affects every aspect of our lives. The issue is that some people believe life has no purpose. The great sociologist Emile Durkheim referred to this sense of meaninglessness as “anomie.” To be more precise, this phrase describes a society losing its standards and principles. Out of this lack of norms, there is a disregard for and breaking of the law. Morality, standards of conduct, and religious conviction vanishes. People experience social isolation and disconnection.

This does not imply that nothing can be done. According to what positive psychology has taught us, people can create meaning in their lives. Positive psychology is the focus of a fantastic psychology website called “Greater Good.” The “science of a meaningful life” is investigated in “Greater Good.” They publish the most recent research on leading a meaningful life. For instance, one of the studies they cited revealed that kindness and compassion support the development of a moral self-concept and an innate sense of morality. In essence, being kind, giving, and compassionate makes us happy. Gratitude is part of this because it fosters closer bonds between people.

The dictionary defines an existential crisis as a “moment of sudden recognition of the isolation and absurdity of existence, often prompted by the realization of a natural catastrophe, imminent death, or other circumstances that highlight the fragility and briefness of human life.” It means that you have a deeper understanding of who you are as an individual right now. How can social work help with your existential crisis? Keep reading to find out!

What causes an existential crisis?

There are a variety of different factors that can cause an existential crisis. You may have experienced a significant life event that made you question your purpose in life, or maybe you just had a long, hard think about your life and where you want to go from here. It’s normal to feel like you’re struggling to find meaning in your life from time to time. However, if you find that your existential crisis is lasting for a long time and is significantly impacting your life, you may want to speak to a professional. An existential crisis can happen at any point in your life, regardless of age, gender, race, religion, or any other factors. Most of the time, an existential crisis is a result of “overcoming existential anxiety.” This type of anxiety occurs in situations where you’re faced with the idea that you’re going nowhere and have no path in life. It can come from a variety of different situations, including those listed above.

How to cope with an existential crisis

The first thing that you need to do is let yourself feel what you feel. It’s okay to cry and be angry. You need to acknowledge and let go of these emotions so that you can move on.

-Try journaling: Writing down all of your thoughts, emotions, and questions can help you to move through your existential crisis and find clarity.

-Exercise: Physical activity releases endorphins, which help to calm your mind and quiet your thoughts.

Talk to someone: Reach out to a friend that you trust and let them know what you’re going through.

-Get more sleep: Exhaustion will only make everything seem worse, so try to get all of the sleep that you possibly can.

How social work can help during an existential crisis

There has always been a basic need in humans to believe that life is meaningful, which results from the conviction that one’s existence has value. However, the pandemic’s prolonged feelings of fear, uncertainty, loneliness, and grief have led many people to reevaluate the significance of their own lives. Numerous studies demonstrate that people focus more on what makes their lives feel meaningful when thinking about death and other difficult existential issues because meaning helps people feel like they’re a part of something bigger and more lasting than their brief, mortal lives. Meaning also helps people feel less existential anxiety. This quest for meaning may have an impact on how people behave and make decisions at work, including where they choose to work.

Increase the purpose of the work

This is not to say that work has no bearing on the meaning. The exact opposite. People can support the families they cherish and give back to their communities by working. Additionally, studies show that individuals who feel their work is meaningful are more likely to report high levels of job satisfaction and commitment. Therefore, managers should make an effort to make sure that every employee, regardless of position, feels like their work has value.

Write job descriptions that express precisely how each position contributes to the organization’s overarching mission. Giving employees the chance to define their job responsibilities and how they go about doing them can help them derive more meaning from their work.

Social workers are trained to explore emotions, and life experiences, and provide support. During an existential crisis, your social worker can help you to explore your feelings and come to terms with any significant life events that are triggering your crisis. They can also help you to explore your values and future goals, and see how you can use your past to inform your future. Social workers are trained to be non-judgmental. They are there to listen to you and provide you with a safe space to explore your emotions. They will also help you to set goals and figure out the steps needed to achieve them.


An existential crisis is something that almost everyone experiences at some point in their life, and it’s completely normal. It’s a result of questioning one’s purpose in life and finding a deeper meaning. While it can be scary, it’s an important part of growing as a person. If you’re experiencing an existential crisis, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. There are plenty of ways to cope with an existential crisis, and there are trained professionals who can help you.

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