Death is one of the only things in life we can depend on. Nevertheless, the thought of death can be a frightening one. Thinking about it causes many people to experience anxiety and depression, sometimes instantaneously when the thought of death crosses their mind. For some, it is a fleeting feeling that still causes a deep sadness. For others, it is persistent, leading to changes in behavior that can negatively affect their life.
But no amount of fear or worry is going to change the inevitability of death. There is no alternative in which we live forever, so the goal must be to do everything you want within your lifetime and not let the concerns around death distract.
Focusing on Life Instead of Death
It can be easy for death to occupy your thoughts. The idea is one that raises a lot of questions and emotions. With anxiety as an evolutionary response that helps keep us alive, it is understandable that your anxiety will kick in about your death in the future.
But like many cases of anxiety, worrying about death, which you can do nothing about, will take up much of your energy and leave you feeling drained and unhappy. Instead, it is more helpful to reprogram the way you think about death and focus on what you can do in life:
- Set Goals – When you have goals that you need to accomplish in life, you will have less time to spend worrying about your final days.
- Practice Gratitude – Take time each day to note what moments you are thankful with. By seeing the fullness of your life, the idea of leaving it behind can be less frightening.
- Think About Your Legacy – What you are leaving in terms of family, successes, and memories will continue to live on, so focus on performing the actions and saying the words now that you want to be remembered for.
- Talk About It – Because death is a fraught topic, people will often avoid talking about it. But speaking with family or a therapist, and handling tasks like making a will, can desensitize you to the thought.
Death is an alarming concept, but no amount of worrying will lead to a longer life and living in fear of the natural cycle of life and death will only cost you the life that you do have and your power to make that fulfilling. It is better to address these concerns head-on, and focus on what you can do to maximize your life now.