We are all afraid of death to some degree. The fear of not knowing what comes next and whether it will be good or bad can be daunting. However, the degree of fear that we have about death is dependent on perspective. Psychologically you can teach your mind how not to be scared of death by practicing the items highlighted below:
According to Stoic principles; the best way to live a fulfilling life starts with embracing our mortality. We are not infinite beings and instead have a limited time on earth to achieve what we set out to. By reminding ourselves of this on a regular basis; it forces us to live each day in accordance with our values and goals. Accepting our immortality teaches us how not to be scared of death by preparing us for it. As stupid as it sounds, if you don’t remind yourself that you are going to die some day – it can come as a blow when you are reaching old age and realize it is inevitable.
Live Each Day To The Fullest
If you want to learn how not to be scared of death, just look at children. They go through life each day playing and enjoying themselves. Do you think death ever crosses their minds? Surely not – they are too busy having fun. As we get older we lose sight of this fundamental truth i.e. happiness is not a destination but a series of joyous moments. If you are living your life to the fullest – you will have no time for thoughts about death. Don’t spend the little time you have worrying about death when you can spend it living.
We Don’t Know What Death Is Like – So Stop Stressing
Many people fear death because they are uncertain about what’s in store for them. Sure there is religion and spirituality that that talks about reincarnation or heaven and hell. But no one knows with certainty what death is really like. Hence if you spend your days worrying about the afterlife – you are actually worrying about something you have no control over. Learn to let go. Realize you can’t stop yourself from dying but you can control how you respond to death. If you do fear the concept of heaven and hell – then live a life you can be proud of and be good to everyone around you. You may never be a saint – however you can rest assured knowing you tried your best to be a kind soul. In your mind that goes a long way.
Desensitize Yourself Towards It
Imagine your own funeral. Who is there? What are they saying about you? This type of exercise often teaches you to put things into perspective. By living out the experience in your head – you will realize the root causes of why you fear death in the first place. For e.g. if you couldn’t imagine anyone at your funeral; perhaps this means you fear death because you haven’t established enough relationships in your life. Or maybe the people at your funeral don’t have anything nice to say about you. Does this mean that to get more comfortable with death you need to revise your value system?
Look At It From A Scientific Perspective
Look at the bigger picture. See it as it is…. you are a cog in a bigger machine. And as much as you hate to admit it- death is a part of life. A person will be born, then they die and are forgotten. The odd few get remembered for a longer time; however they too will eventually be erased from the memories of people. Ask yourself the question: Do you really want to live forever? Imagine what an endless life would feel like. Would you still feel the urge to achieve things when you have all the time in the world? or would you procrastinate and live a meaningless existence knowing that you have enough time to eventually get to it. Remember the microeconomics principle of supply and demand. The more something is in demand; the greater it’s value. This can be applied to most things in life – including your life. If you have too much time, it will never be valued. It’s the precise reason of knowing that you could die at any time that makes life worth living. It is a gift which is in high demand.
Leave Your Mark
In the book: The subtle art of not giving a fuck, written by Mark Manson; a way of overcoming the fear of death is to leave your mark. People are often more accepting of death when they know they won’t be forgotten. In other words they live through the legacy they leave behind. Ask yourself: “What is my legacy?” “How do I get remembered?” This could be your research work if you are a scientist, or the good memories you leave behind with friends and family. Whatever it is; leaving your mark is one of the best methods for how not to be scared of death.
What are your thoughts about death? Leave your comments below; we would love to hear about it.
To learn how to live life consciously and with a clear perspective; read this ultimate guide: A Mindful Approach To Self Actualization