The fear of death is something that almost all of us share, and in some ways it can be helpful; for example, it helps to ensure that we keep ourselves out of dangerous situations. If your fear of dying starts to get in the way of enjoying your day-to-day life, though, you may need to seek out advice on how to stop fearing death.

There’s no simple, guaranteed method for how to stop being afraid of death, unfortunately, but we have a few suggestions that may help to ease your anxiety.


Allow yourself to focus on other things

For many people, dealing with the fear of death is a matter of finding ways to focus on other things, such as the love and pleasure in our lives.

This can feel like strange advice, because we’re used to thinking of avoidance as a bad strategy for dealing with problems. If you need work, for example, it’s better to build skills or apply for jobs than to distract yourself from your situation.

However, dying isn’t a problem to be solved or rehearsed for. You can’t make plans to avoid it completely, and you don’t need to prepare in order to do it well – you can’t be bad at dying – so you won’t achieve anything by trying to picture it or run through it in your head.

On an absolutely practical level, this is why you shouldn’t fear death. Fear can be useful if it helps us avoid a bad outcome, but there’s no point in worrying about something that ultimately can’t be avoided. Your life is the area where you can take action, so give yourself permission to focus on questions of living instead.


Express yourself

When you can’t avoid the thoughts, tackle them head-on.

If unwanted thoughts or fears are haunting you, it can help to find a way to express them, pushing them out of your head and into the world around you. You could do this by talking to an understanding friend, by writing your thoughts down, or by creating art; many people find it helpful to channel their fears into stories, paintings or music. When you feel that your fear is trapped inside you, find a way to set it free.


Recognise the role death has played in bringing you here

In a way, everyone who’s alive today owes a lot to death. If people never died, there wouldn’t be space on this planet for new people to be born. Without the cycle of the generations, you and the people you love would never have existed.

We can daydream about a world where people are immortal, but we wouldn’t be there; it’s only because of death that we can live. It can be easier to accept death in the knowledge that it’s a large part of the reason we exist at all.


Entrust your death to another version of yourself

We all change over time; if you look back at a younger version of yourself, you may barely recognise them as the same person. It’s likely that you’ll be a different person in many ways by the time your life ends, especially if you’re currently young and healthy.

You may find it helps to think of the person you’ll be when you die as, in a way, a different person from the one you are right now. Leave the future in their hands, and focus on enjoying your life now.


When the fear is worst, remember that it will ebb

Your fear may be worse at some times than others. For example, you may often find yourself worrying when you’re lying in bed, without anything else to focus on, but you may be fine in the light of day. In that case, when the fear comes, remind yourself that it’s a temporary thing, and that you’ll feel better in the morning.


Sort out the necessary arrangements for your death

There may be plans you intend to make for your death but haven’t got around to yet: making a will, registering for organ donation, recording your wishes for a funeral. Sometimes you’ll remember that you need to do these things, which may push you into worrying about death.

If you get those responsibilities out of the way, you’ll no longer have them constantly at the back of your mind. We can help; take a look at our simple will creation service.


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