Fearing Death

How to cope with the inevitable end in a positive way.

As people age, go through life changes, or experience illness (either themselves or the illness of loved ones) the topic of death is often brought up. The idea of death is so different for so many people; it’s hard to agree on a universal definition of death. As far as we know, it can be as simple as no longer existing, or as complicated as moving from one plane of existence to the next. One thing about death can be universally agreed upon though and that is the fact that no one knows exactly what happens when you shuffle off this mortal coil. The knowledge of the unknown is scary to many people which leads to people fearing death. Some fear the act if dying: will it be painful? Others fear what happens after you die: do you move on, or just cease to be? Others fear what will happen to their loved ones once they’ve passed. Wherever your fear of dying originates from it can be lessened and controlled in many ways. Read through the list below to learn more about how to conquer your fear of death so you can get back to living your best life.

Plan what you can:
If you’re worried about how your family and friends will deal with your passing, planning the practical aspects of it while you’re able may put you at ease. Even if you have decades of healthy years ahead of you, the simple act of planning may be enough to help you cope with the reality of death. Create a will, purchase life insurance if you’re able and make your final wishes known to your loved ones. As a more emotional practice, tell your friends and family that you love and appreciate them whenever you get the chance, so you’re never worried about something being left unsaid.

Focus on living your best life:
Why fear death when you can be busy with life? Changing your focus from worrying about the end of your life to enjoying what’s happening in the present can be fulfilling and refreshing. Even if you’re close to the end of your life, having a positive outlook can be incredibly useful. Enjoy nature, make a bucket list, take up a new hobby. If you’re busy living, you won’t have time to worry about dying.

Talk to a professional:
Perhaps the above tips are far from useful. Maybe your fear of death is all-consuming, making it difficult to live your daily life. If the idea of death is overwhelming and makes it hard to enjoy your day to day life, talking to a therapist may be your best option. You may have underlying issues such as phobias, anxiety, depression or PSTD that make it hard to cope with the finality of death. If that’s the case, speaking to a professional will be an incredibly useful exercise that can help you work through these feelings to have a better, more positive outlook on life and death.

Mollie Busino, LCSW, Director of Mindful Power, counseling Hoboken. Mollie has had extensive training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Rational Emotive Therapy, and Mindfulness. Her work focuses on Anxiety, Depression, Anger Management, Career Changes, OCD, Relationship, Dating Challenges, Insomnia, & Postpartum Depression and Anxiety.