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Being Well Podcast: Existential Dread, and Overcoming an Existential Crisis
November 29, 2021

It’s natural to have moments – even in the course of a generally happy, mostly fulfilling life – where we question our meaning, value, and purpose. This “existential dread” sometimes culminates in an “existential crisis.” Today Dr. Rick and Forrest Hanson consider how we can confront these basic questions with acceptance and curiosity, and find the meaning and purpose that can help us live good lives.

Key Topics:

  • 0:00: Introduction
  • 2:35: Meaning and purpose as the basis for Existentialism
  • 5:20: Four basic issues of existence
  • 7:00: Practical reasons for exploring Existentialism
  • 10:50: Forrest’s childhood acceptance of death
  • 12:00: Four approaches to confronting existential frailty
  • 13:45: Rick’s orientation to existential dread and its three psychological challenges
  • 15:45: Rick’s personal experience confronting ambivalence and asking the point of living
  • 20:25: Confronting an existential crisis as a catapult into a meaningful life
  • 22:45: Morbid preoccupation as avoidance and selfing
  • 23:45: The three major whys of living: pleasure, service, and learning
  • 26:10: What death can teach us about living a good life
  • 31:30: Waves and water – resting in gratitude for life and it’s inevitable ending
  • 36:15: Humor in the space of emptiness between living things
  • 39:10: Natural fear vs. anticipatory dread
  • 43:10: Finding your why when familiar structures break down
  • 48:35: Recap, and “front porch” meditation

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Join Dr. Rick and Forrest Hanson every week on the Being Well Podcast for lively and thought-provoking conversation and practical tips for being happier, building inner strengths, and getting the most out of life.

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