At some point in our lives, we all come face to face with our own mortality, and we ponder about life, death, and everything in between. When we face death, it is an unknown, and generally, this is what works on our minds and causes us to approach it with some trepidation. But if we are constantly thinking about death and the thoughts are not healthy, then it is time to strategize a plan to get rid of those bad thoughts about death.
Death anxiety can be a debilitating condition. Try these 5 ways to get rid of bad thoughts about death and save yourself!
- Speak to a sympathetic friend.
- Find Faith.
- Practice relaxation techniques.
- Try cognitive-behavioral therapy.
- Consult a psychologist.
The main thing to realize if you are having bad thoughts about death is that you are not alone. This happens to more people than you reallize, and you should not feel bad that you need some help in this area of your thought-life. We will give you some ideas here to get you started on your journey to master these thoughts and claim back your happiness.
Why Do I Keep Having Bad Thoughts About Death?
Continually thinking bad thoughts about death is nothing new to humans, and it is an affliction that has plagued people since time immemorial. Often, the bad thoughts about death are not a problem on their own but are a symptom of other problems such as depression or other anxiety disorders.
Bad thoughts about death are often referred to as death anxiety, so where you see this term mentioned, they are talking about being plagued by bad thoughts about death.
Other anxiety disorders that can result in death anxiety include PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), illness anxiety, and even panic attacks, which can make you feel like you are dying and thus lead to death anxiety as a sub-symptom.
The key to remember when you are having bad thoughts about death is that it is a symptom of a problem, and your mind is over-reacting to the stresses that are already placed on it. This leads to further anxiety and stress, and it becomes a vicious cycle that we need to find a means to break out of.
Our anxiety about death can be related to fear about our own death and the uncertainty and unknown factor that that represents, or the fear about the process of dying. Our anxiety can also be related to our concern for those that we will leave behind, and anxiety about separation, and the fear of loss.
Death anxiety can lead to other anxieties as well, such as germaphobia and not wanting to leave your home for fear that something bad will happen.
When these thoughts become the predominant thoughts in your mind, and you think about them all the time, they keep you up at night and interfere with your daily life, then it has developed into a problem that needs to be addressed.
But how do we get rid of these bad thoughts about death and find some relief from the paralyzing anxiety that it brings? These are the steps that we are going to cover now to give you some practical measures that you can take to begin recovering your mental health and getting on with a normal life.
How Do You Get Rid Of Death Thoughts?
Mental health problems often come with an associated stigma, and people think that it is all in your head and that you are being silly. Well, yes, it is kind of all in your head because it is part of your thought life, but when these thought patterns become debilitating, medical science treats it as an illness.
What you need to remember when dealing with anxiety is that it is real to you, even though people around you may not understand what you are going through and how it can affect you so deeply.
Taking the decision to get better and take control of your own mental health is the first step. Then take some practical steps to help you start your road to recovery to overcome bad thoughts about death.
1. Speak To A Sympathetic Friend
Talking about a problem is a much-underrated activity that many of us neglect to see as a beneficial part of our daily routine. The major trap with an anxiety disorder is that it tends to make the sufferer want to isolate themselves and avoid people because of the fear of ridicule that they may experience when expressing their fears.
Our human social nature needs other people and interaction with them, which is why we feel better when we speak to others about our problems. If you can find a friend who will be prepared to listen to you while you voice your concerns and your fears without judging you, this can be a great asset. It is even better if that person is in the same home as you!
Talking about your fears will often have the effect of diminishing them in your own mind, and once you voice your concerns out loud, they seem to have less power over your mind, and they seem to pale into insignificance.
2. Find Faith
For some people, finding Faith helps them to overcome their fears about death, and it gives them a feeling of hope that is stronger than their fears about the uncertainty of death. For many, the realization of a life-after-death gives them the peace of mind that releases them from the anxiety about death.
This dispels their fear and anxiety that came with thoughts about their demise, and they find relief in this mindset that sets them free from the hold that the anxiety had over their minds.
For other people, Faith or religion has the opposite effect and intensifies their anxiety over death. They feel like they may not qualify for a life beyond the death experience, and this makes the burden of their anxiety about death even greater.
3. Relaxation Techniques
Often, the bad thoughts about death are intensified at night, especially when the person is trying to go to sleep. Key components that should not be neglected include a good diet, exercise and practicing healthy sleeping habits are essential to having a healthy mind.
Caffeine and alcohol are major contributors to broken sleep cycles and overstimulating the mind when it is time to wind down with your bed time routine and prepare for sleep. Avoid these substances and try to incorporate some relaxation techniques into your bedtime routine.
The relaxation techniques can include deep breathing exercises, meditation, focusing on positive thoughts, body scan relaxation techniques, and even guided imagery, which helps you focus on calming scenes that relax your mind and body.
4. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is often abbreviated to CBT. This is another form of therapy that involves talking, but instead of talking to a friend, you talk to a psychotherapist. This is a structured session that raises your awareness of negative thinking and gives you the tools to change the way you react to negative or bad thoughts.
During these sessions, you will be taught coping mechanisms, relaxation techniques, and practical stress management tools that you can use when your feel your anxiety coming on.
These tools will help you to stay calm and in control when thoughts about death come to mind and will help to prevent the trigger that sets off the anxiety around these thoughts.
5. Consult A Psychologist
If you have tried some of these options and you have not made progress towards overcoming your bad thoughts about death, then it may be time to seek the help of a psychologist.
A psychologist can treat you with various forms of therapy that have been shown to be effective in treating death anxiety. If the psychologist deems it necessary, they may prescribe medication to help with the root cause of the bad thoughts about death.
They may feel that the best course of action for your particular case is a two-pronged strategy of anti-depressant medication in conjunction with various forms of therapy that can help you overcome this problem.
Can’t Stop Thinking About Loved One’s Death?
Sometimes, the anxiety people feel is not about their own death but about rather the death of a loved one, such as a close friend, a parent, a sibling, a child, or a spouse.
These thoughts about the death of a loved one are often rooted in separation anxiety or concern about what will happen to you when the loved one passes on.
This type of death anxiety is focused not on your own death but the death of someone who is close to you.
The general cause of this type of anxiety is often rooted in the same causes as those where the anxiety is about your own demise. The remedy for treating these pervading thoughts is often not in addressing the thoughts but the underlying cause.
The same course of action that we have proposed for death anxiety can be followed as a path of treatment for this kind of death anxiety as well.
While our steps on how to get rid of bad thoughts about death are practical and can some can be pursued by yourself, it is often difficult to attempt them alone. Support on your journey to regain your mental health and overcome death anxiety is crucial.
Sometimes this support can be in the form of a supportive spouse, family member, or friend, but sometimes you need someone with professional training to help you.
Seeking professional help for a mental health condition is no different from seeking the professional help of a doctor for a physical ailment. Remember, the life goal of people like these is to help people who have these conditions. So make the decision to take charge of your mental health and save yourself by taking steps to rid yourself of those bad thoughts about death! You will be glad you started the journey!