What is existential dread
Existential dread arises when one faces the absurdity of life and the indifference of the universe. The fear and panic that can arise can be overwhelming to the person in an existential crisis. Sadly, the more intelligent and gifted the individual, the more likely they are to experience existential dread. This is because one must be able to penetrate the conditioning of society and see through the illusions it presents to begin to be able to begin to seriously process these concepts. The more one is able to pierce the veil, the more one looks into the void. And as Nietzsche said, when one does that, the void looks back. One way of interpreting that is to recognize that to confront the void is also to be consumed by the void--a void that consumes all meaning, even our identities.
How to deal with existential dread
First, even if nothing really matters, your experience of your own life matters to you. If it doesn't, then make it start mattering now in this moment. When we make the scope of our singular existence equivalent with the scope of the universe, we get lost in the process. We just need to look at the scope of our singular lifetime.
My experience as I sit here matters to me. It doesn't matter what happens after I die. It matters to me what experiences I create within this body. It matters to me what I do to take care of my body. I have the ability to relax my body using my own body's power. I can guide my attention to my muscles and relax the tension found there. I can accept my frailty and smallness and not move to despair that I'm a tiny creature with no power or significance other than to myself and maybe a few others.
I have consciousness.
I am not alone for I'm part of the universe.
It's within me and it created me.
I'm within the womb of the earth that produced me.
It constantly nourishes me.
My body is the product of billions of years of changes on the earth.
It is meant to be here if only as the smallest drop of being in an infinite sea of existence. That's ok.
I'm small. I'm dumb. That's ok.
I don't have to be so serious.
I can make fun of myself and my situation.
Life is full of paradoxes. That also is ok.
Life is full of contradictions. Yep, it's ok.
Let go of needing to be somebody and just be in a body.
Let your body take over and quit giving your mind all of your attention.
Love your body and prioritize it.
Your mind isn't the best thing about you. It's along for the ride.
Be a human.
Being a human is a trip.
Ask somebody for a hug.
Ask someone if they need a hug.
Take it easy.
Don't give up.