For some lucky folks, existential, quarter-life and mid-life crises come naturally. You may not be one of them, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fun. Below is a step-by-step guide full of suggestions to get you started having your very own emotional crises. With enough practice, you can train yourself to have a breakdown at any time!
1. For the fastest results, make sure you haven’t eaten in several hours and, if possible, are bordering on dehydration.
2. Check your posture. Is enough air getting to your lungs? If so, do something to change that. Many find slumping down in a chair with head in hands to be effective. Fetal position, preferably on a hard surface, will also get the job done.
3. How are you feeling? Comfortable in your own skin? Content with how your life is unfolding? Not anymore. Something is horribly wrong. With YOU. Probably every aspect of your life, actually. And it’s been clear to your peers for some time now. Give yourself a moment to let this sink in while you begin to hyperventilate.
4. If there are regrets you may have from your past, now’s the time to drag those carcasses out of the dusty corners of your mind. The truly proficient never let these thoughts stray too far from the surface. Going forward, always keep them at the ready. You may find the best topics to focus on to be the following:
- mistakes made in younger days
- all the time wasted while not living your best life
- words that should have been said to a loved one before it was too late
- missed opportunities, particularly if they would have been life-changing
5. DON’T attempt to soothe yourself. DO question your spirituality.
6. Have you thought about your own mortality recently? Fact: someday, you will die. And then who knows what?! Get uncomfortable with that for a moment. Now close your eyes and visualize the cold grip of death grasping at your throat.
7. You are definitely the only person who has ever experienced what you are feeling right now. Before moving on, allow that fact to chip away at your sanity until you feel less like a human and more like a fragile husk of one.
8. Now turn your attention toward the cold and distant future. You should be feeling a wave of frantic hopelessness washing over you. If not, imagine yourself carrying on with the same unsatisfying existence until the end of your days. Not there yet? Don’t forget that you’ll most likely die alone, and not surrounded by those who care about you.
9. Remember: everything is NOT going to be okay.
10. Congratulations! You just had an emotional crisis. Now keep in mind that there is no hope for the future and it is not in your power to do anything about that. Use this time to wind down by screaming into a pillow or crying yourself to sleep in bitter anguish. In a few days or weeks you may notice a feeling of positivity creeping back, which is normal. Don’t worry! Simply repeat these steps from the beginning.