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Published on August 3, 2020

7 Reasons Why a Life Without Purpose is Unfulfilling

7 Reasons Why a Life Without Purpose is Unfulfilling

Every motivational speaker preaches the importance of having a purpose in life. They all tell you that a life without purpose is not the right way to go.

None of them are wrong. In fact, what they say is 100% true. But it’s not the easiest when you’re struggling to find the motivation that you need to find a purpose. It takes a lot to take a step out of your life without purpose to change the way you live and think.

What bigger motivation can there be than to tell you all the reasons why a life without purpose is hurting you?

Here are 7 fundamental reasons that will give you just enough motivation to get on with the search of your life’s purpose because living without one is affecting you beyond your imagination!

1. A Life Without Purpose Has No Meaning

Have you ever dreaded living a lifeless life? If not, you probably don’t know how excruciating such an existence is.

Imagine not wanting to wake up every morning but also not wanting to go to sleep at night. No will to work, no excitement to spend, no friends’ company to enjoy, and no reason to continue living. A blank mind with nothing to think about. The lack of emotions—negative and positive. Nothing to look forward to.

Yes, it’s clearly a depressing life. That’s exactly what you end up feeling without a purpose in life.

A lack of purpose means a lack of goals. This means nothing is leading you to an imaginary final destination. You literally have nowhere to go, you find it absolutely torturous to be on the way, and you don’t even like the route.

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Why even would you want to go on such a journey?

Even if you have goals, they are very haphazard. One goal contradicts the other. You’re all over the place with no sense of direction at all. A life without purpose is as meaningless as this.

However, once you have a clear idea of why you’re living, you get an idea of the bigger outcome that you can look forward to. Every step of the way is meaningful. Your journey is not just a wander around without an aim. Instead, even the strolls become enjoyable because you know they’re leading you to where you’re supposed to be.

2. You’re Full of Anxiety

Do you find yourself stuck in a cycle of an anxious life? Well, there’s a high chance it’s because of your lack of purpose.

A life without purpose is senseless. Nothing you do in life is connected. Since nothing seems to be coherent, your mind is unable to comprehend why everything is happening.

Anxiety is triggered when a person’s mind thinks their life is in danger. So, in the case of a purposeless life, your brain translates the lack of connection to be a threat to your life. Anything that doesn’t seem to be a fit is automatically a danger as per your brain.

On the contrary, if your mind can link your doings with a coherent purpose, everything tends to make more sense. Hence, you feel more at peace and less anxious. Your mind is at ease because the path to the final purpose isn’t pointless anymore.

3. Motivation Is a Long-Lost Dream

One thing that pretty much every human who wants to be successful needs is a lot of motivation.

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For a clearer picture, look at it from the perspective that you do have a defined purpose in life. You trust in every way that life leads you to. What does that do? It boosts your brain to work harder. Every step of the way makes you feel closer to your final destination. This automatically encourages you to perform better.

Without a purpose, you can never scale your achievements. Since you don’t know what it’s leading you to, you consider it to be meaningless. But when you’re well-aware of the expected results, the smallest progress is a motivation booster too.

You can try out all the motivation boosting tips but the one that will work the best is to find your life’s purpose and live by it.

4. Lack of Focus Keeps You From Growing

Every field, career, part of life, and relationship requires growth. Human life is ultimately the name of progress—if nothing else, at least your mental capacity and knowledge grow.

Where does this growth come from? You could have access to the best knowledge sources. Yet, you won’t learn a word unless your mind is in a state to absorb that information. Similarly, if you’re focused, you can learn something valuable even from the most non-happening events.

Basically, the way this works is that a life purpose keeps you working in one direction. You may take a few turns here and there, but the ultimate output is known. So, all the hard work you’re putting in is intended for your life’s purpose in the bigger picture.

This focus is unachievable any other way. With a purpose, you’ll choose a career path, people around you, relationships, friends, living space, and even your daily commute accordingly. So everywhere you go, your focus remains undisturbed. The end goal in mind is consistent.

With a clear focus on the right things, you can easily get past the minor inconveniences. The important things are always in your focus no matter how small they are. So, overall, it gets way easier for a person with a defined life purpose to work well, harder, and more effectively.

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5. Success Seems Unachievable in a Life Without Purpose

Everything that you’ve read so far directly contributes to your success or failure. So, mental peace, motivation, and focus are all important to be successful in any part of your life. But there’s more to the picture.

You may have a vision in mind even if you don’t have a life purpose. You might even push yourself to the maximum to stay focused in the direction that you think is right for you.

Look at it this way:

You head out for New York but you got on the wrong road. You’re welcomed with a narrow road that is too dark to even see around—but you keep going. Your car breaks down and there’s no workshop nearby. Yet, you push the car as far as possible. You can go for as long you want but you’ll never reach New York.

So, without even knowing what your life’s purpose is—no matter how hard you work—it will be useless. If you know the right path for you, you might not even have to work half as hard to get to your desired results.

6. Affects Physical Health

A life without purpose affects more than just your mental health. It can impact your physical wellbeing too.[1]

First of all, the strain on your mind automatically translates to your physical body. Continuous stress is likely to cause hair loss, acne, weight loss, weight gain, etc. But there can be more serious consequences as well.

Studies have proven that people with a clear sense of purpose in life live longer than those who continue with a life without purpose. People with their life purpose well-defined were able to tolerate more pain and also had a lesser risk of heart diseases.

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What’s more astonishing is that people without a purpose in life are 2.4 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, too.

The reason may possibly be that people who don’t have a life purpose lose hope and don’t have anything to look forward to. So, the psychological effect gets to their physical wellbeing. Whatever the case, if a defined life purpose can save you from all this hassle, why wouldn’t want to have one?

7. Nothing in Life Is Enjoyable

Social inclusion is a huge part of one’s purpose in life.[2] People who are living a purposeless life tend to be more lonely. Even if they join social gatherings, they are lesser likely to enjoy it.

Since such people do not have mental clarity, they just cannot enjoy the fun things around them. Their brain is unable to comprehend emotions. This doesn’t necessarily mean that their circumstances aren’t good enough. The same environment and people can be enjoyable for a person who feels content mentally.

Conclusion

Every single one of these reasons is proven to be a result of a purposeless life. Every single reason leads to a chaotic lifestyle. Nobody would purposely want to live a life like that.

We’ve been given a very short time to live in this world. So instead of wasting it living a life without purpose, it’s time you start making an effort to improve it.

Getting out of this hurtful life is right within your hands. Go through the hassle and short-term struggle to live a worthy life till eternity!

More Tips on Living a Life With Purpose

Featured photo credit: Maria Teneva via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] University of Minnesota: Why is Life Purpose Important?
[2] NCBI: Alone and Without Purpose

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Published on September 25, 2020

5 Powerful Self-Care Ideas for When Life Is Stressful

5 Powerful Self-Care Ideas for When Life Is Stressful

Stress doesn’t discriminate. It affects everyone, invariably in different ways. Regardless of how stress shows up in your life, I think we can all agree that it’s present. When it does show up, it takes over the show. It then becomes difficult to stay in the present moment or show gratitude for what and who we have in our life. In the eye of the stress storm, everything is tossed around into oblivion. This is probably when self-care finally comes to our mind.

How Does Stress Show Up?

On a physical scale, stress tends to be behind many of our typical ailments, such as headaches, insomnia, muscle tension, or body aches and pain.[1] When we’re in stressful situations, our body activates our fight-or-flight response. According to the American Institute of Stress, when the body is in this mode due to stress, “the body’s sympathetic nervous system is activated due to the sudden release of hormones. The sympathetic nervous system stimulates the adrenal glands, triggering the release of catecholamines, which include adrenaline and noradrenaline. This results in an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate.”[2]

Why is this important? While our fight-or-flight response is extremely helpful when we’re in situations that risk our survival, not every situation is that dire. However, the body doesn’t know how to differentiate between such scenarios. Rather, we become accustomed to seeing every stressful situation as dire, and essentially locked into this fight-or-flight response automatically. This causes us to burn out because our body is constantly fighting or fleeing from threats that are not causing us any real harm.

On a mental and emotional scale, according to the Mayo Clinic, “Stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior.” Everything is interconnected. When our physical body takes a toll due to stress, this has a domino effect on how we process our thoughts and feelings. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see correlations between depression and anxiety when it comes to dealing with stress.

How to Combat Stress?

Below are five self-care ideas for combating stress in your life. Consider implementing them into your daily routine for the best results.

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1. Start a Brain Dump Writing Exercise

When you’re overwhelmed with thoughts, it can become very difficult to stay present and focused. This could affect you at work, in school, or in your relationships. It’s as if your mind were filled to the brim with thoughts that are constantly competing for your attention. If left unattended, this can affect your performance or your state of being. Stress is just brewing!

One exercise to get this under control is called a Brain Dump, and it’s exactly how it sounds. Start by getting comfortable with a pen and paper or your favorite journal. Without any special formatting or introduction, just start writing any and all thoughts that come up. Consider your paper a blank canvas onto which you’re going to spill every thought, no matter how small or unimportant. This can look like a laundry list, a jumble of words, or a paragraph. Don’t think too much of how it looks. The idea is to give your thoughts an exit. Once they’re on paper, they’re no longer swimming in your head for attention.

Once you have them written down, leave them as they are. We have a tendency to want to fix our thoughts. Instead, allow them to simply exist as they are — they’re not right or wrong. Consider coming back to this exercise daily or whenever you feel like you have a lot on your mind.

2. Sweat It Out

There is nothing more therapeutic than moving the physical body when it feels the weight of stress. Energetically, we carry our day in our body! If we’ve had a particularly difficult day, that energy is going to feel tense and unsettling. This is why it’s so important to move and really break a sweat!

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America,[3]

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“Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem.”

Find what exercise regimen works for you, and commit to it for a few days per week. Scientists have also found that even 10-15 minutes of aerobic exercise can have a tremendous effect on your body. Go for a run, take a spin class or a power yoga class, or dance the stress away in Zumba. Whatever gets your heart rate up and breaks a sweat is one of the perfect self-care ideas to keep the stress away.

3. Seek the Care of a Therapist

Sometimes writing out our thoughts and feelings doesn’t seem quite enough. This is common and to be expected. After all, we are complex human beings who want to understand and process our emotions on a deeper level. This is why having a regular therapy session is so beneficial!

In the presence of a professional, we can open up about what stressful situations we’re going through. We don’t have to keep our emotions bottled up, and we know that our honesty will be protected and safeguarded.

Additionally, when we’re feeling stressed, we often want to simply vent and get things off of our chest. Having someone on the receiving end who will simply listen and hold space is a truly healing gift. We can often leave the session feeling more empowered, seen, and offloaded of the stress we brought in.

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Lastly, we may be able to receive guidance from our therapist on a particular situation we’re struggling with. Having someone else’s perspective on something we’re too emotionally close to can be just the right solution.

Here are more self-care ideas from a therapist: Self Care Tips During Difficult Times (A Therapist’s Advice).

4. Interrupt Your Day

This may seem like a derailing technique, but give it a shot! Interrupting your day means introducing something entirely new or random into a routine that is very monotonous or typical.

If your work or school day is the same sequence of events every single day, bringing in an interruption can be quite conducive to your productivity and creativity. This can look like pausing in the middle of the day for a yoga stretch at your desk or in your office. It could be playing your favorite playlist in-between meetings or taking a walk outside for lunch. Not only does this stir up new energy for your day, but it can also de-stress your day.

As I said in the earlier tip, when we’re too close to a situation or conflict, we have a harder time breaking away. We’re so emotionally and mentally invested that we don’t see how that proximity is affecting our health. So, interrupt yourself when you’re feeling stress coming on, and do something fun, random, and refreshing.

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5. Get Some Energy Work Done

Energy work is anything that is being done to improve the circulation and energetic flow of the body. This could be a massage, Reiki session, chiropractic adjustment, or acupuncture. As I said in a previous tip, moving the body helps move the energy that is blocked or stuck. This is why exercise is so important. However, sometimes we need a session where that work is done for us by a licensed professional. In such treatments, we have the luxury to relax and receive the benefits of the treatment. It’s a beautiful way to self-care!

Final Thoughts

Stress is unfortunately a common part of our life. It affects everyone, but to what extent it affects you is personal. One thing is for sure, and that is that stress has a tremendous effect on our physical, mental, and emotional state. This is why regular exercise is so important, as well as mental stimulation and emotional release. These self-care ideas won’t necessarily guard you from ever feeling stressed, but they will help you manage it better.

More Self-Care Ideas

Featured photo credit: Alisa Anton via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Mayo Clinic: Stress Management
[2] The American Institute of Stress: How the Fight or Flight Response Works
[3] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Physical Activity Reduces Stress

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