"What is the meaning of life?": Why you might feel this way (2023)

It's normal for everyone to wonder about their purpose. However, sometimes you doubt existence until you ask yourself, "What is the meaning of life?" When such feelings are accompanied by feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, sadness, and disinterest, it may indicate a mental health condition such as mental illnessDepression.

If you are wondering if life has meaning, remember that meaning is different for each person. For some people, the purpose of life may be to make the world a better place. Others may believe that the purpose of life is to find and achieve personal fulfillment. And some might think that the meaning of life is simply to enjoy it as much as possible.

Finding meaning in life can be difficult for anyone, but it can be especially challenging when dealing with low mood and feelings of depression. when you find yourselfStruggling to find meaning in your lifeand its purpose, it can be helpful to learn more about why you feel this way and what you can do to give your life meaning.

What is nihilism?

Signs that life is meaningless

There are a number of signs that you may be struggling to find meaning in life. Sometimes you may be thinking "what's the point," but other times these feelings may be less obvious:

  • You may feel that nothing you do matters
  • You may have stopped caring about the outcome of events
  • Things that used to bring you joy may ring hollow or seem empty
  • You may have a feeling ofhopelessness
  • You may feel that none of your efforts will help you achieve your goals andaspirations

Why you might feel this way

Everyone has times in their life when they feel unsure of their destiny. You might feel lost. You may not be sure who you are. Or they may be wondering if there's a greater purpose in life that they just can't seem to see.

There are many different reasons why someone might feel like they don't know the meaning of life.

  • You may be going through something stressful or difficult right now that makes you wonder what it all means.
  • Maybe you're feeling unfulfilled in your work, school, relationships, or hobbies and wondering if there's anything you're missing.
  • It might feel like your accomplishments don't really matter or don't have much of an impact.
  • Perhaps you are feeling unsure of what to do with your life or what steps to take next.
  • You may find it difficult to set goals because you are not sure what you really want.
  • you may have a mood disorder such as major depressive disorder,Dysthymie, orbipolar disorder

Whatever the reason, it is important to remember that you are not alone with these feelings. Taking steps to find out what is meaningful to you is an important first step.

Depression and feelings of meaninglessness

People with depression often experience feelings of meaninglessness. For many, everything seems meaningless. After all, they might think, what's the point of life if you're not happy?

According to some research, the loss of this ability to see meaning and purpose in life may actually play a role in the onset of depression. Recognizing this feeling and taking action against it can improve your mood and help you find greater meaning.

In a 2019 study published in the journalQualitative Psychology, researchers found that many people with depression felt that their depressive symptoms were related to life changes that affected the things they believed gave meaning to their lives.

As people lost their sense of purpose, they also began to experience other symptoms, such as: B. Declining energy levels and physical activity. Despite negative effects on their physical and psychological experiences, they remained focused on threats to their goals, values, and goals.

It appears that experiencing events that affect your sense of purpose is linked to the onset of depression. Whether this plays a role in the development of depression is a question that researchers need to investigate further.

Many other factors are known to play a role in depression, including genetics, experiences, brain chemistry, and lifestyle factors. In many cases, negative life experiences can trigger the onset of depression in people who are predisposed to this condition.

If other symptoms accompany this sense of meaninglessness, it could be a sign that you are actually experiencing depression. Other signs to look out for are:

  • A persistent low mood marked by sadness or emptiness
  • irritability
  • Feeling guilty, hopeless, or helpless
  • Lose interest in things you used to enjoy
  • tiredness or lack of energy
  • Decreased physical activity
  • concentration problems
  • sleep disturbance
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Physical ailments that have no clear cause
  • thoughts of death or suicide

If you have suicidal thoughts, contact theNational Suicide Prevention Lifelineat988for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one is in immediate danger, call 911.

For more mental health resources, visit ourNational Helpline Database.

What gives meaning to life?

Many different things can give meaning to life, and these vary from person to person. For some people, their relationships with family and friends are what give them meaning and purpose.

Others might find meaning in their work, hobbies, or creative passions. And for others, theirsspiritualityor religious beliefs help them find the meaning of life.

What matters most is what you believe matters most to you. Everyone has different values ​​and beliefs that give meaning to their lives. There is no wrong answer. What gives someone else a sense of purpose, purpose, and fulfillment may not be helpful to you — and that's okay.

When you're feeling lost or unsure of the meaning of life, it can help to reflect on what matters most to you. What are your values ​​and beliefs? What do you like to do? What makes you happy and fulfilled?

Taking time to think about what matters most to you can help you find meaning in your life. And it can also help you figure out what you want to do with your time and energy.

Strategies that can help

Finding meaning in life can be difficult when dealing with depression. It's important to treat yourself with kindness and compassion, even when you're feeling unmotivated or unmotivatedapathetic.

Even if it's youDifficulty finding interest in anything, you can take steps to gradually improve your mood and find your purpose. It takes time, support, and often professional intervention in the form of therapy and medication, but over time, you can rediscover your purpose.

There are many different ways to find meaning in life. These strategies can help you find ways to make your life more meaningful.

Press play for advice on creating your best life

This episode of is hosted by Editor-in-Chief and Therapist Amy Morin, LCSWThe Verywell Mind Podcast, starring best-selling author Lewis Howes, shows what you can do to live your best life. Click below to listen now.

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Help others

voluntary workYour time to help others can be a source of purpose. Research has shown that people who get involvedaltruistic behaviorsPeople who are concerned with helping other people feel more connected to other people and tend to have a stronger sense of purpose in their lives.

Examples ofprosocial actionYou could volunteer for a cause close to your heart, donate money to charities, or offer to help a friend in need. Contributing to something that feels bigger than yourself can make you feel like your efforts matter and that you're making a difference in the world.

maintain relationships

Spending time with friends and family. Healthy and supportive interpersonal relationships are essential for both physical and mental health. Research has found that these relationships help reduce the risk of heart disease, make us more resilient to stress, and reduce the risk of depression and suicide.

Support from friends, family, partners, and others can help you feel more motivated, inspired, to take care of yourself, and to be interested in the world around you. And investing your energy in these relationships can be helpful when you're searching for meaning or purpose.

pursuit of your interests

Pursuing hobbies or activities that you enjoy can be an effective way to find meaning in your life. Focus on work that matters to you, whether it's pursuing a career you love, developing your creative skills, or just enjoying your pastimes.

Being creative can be a tool of self-expression and can also help you develop new interests. Consider trying a new hobby or activity you haven't tried before, such as B. to learn to bake, paint, dance or sculpt.

Build your awareness

Becoming more aware of your own thoughts, interests, and connections to the world around you can also be helpful when questioning the meaning of life.

PracticeMeditationormindfulnessare ways to become more aware of your own thoughts and your feelings in the present moment. Spend some time in reflection and focus on living in the present moment instead of worrying about the past or future.

Practice gratitude

Practicegratitude, or the act of feeling and expressing gratitude for the things you value in life, has been shown to have a number of benefits. It can strengthen relationships, improve happiness, increase resilience, and improve overall health.

It can also help you find more meaning in life. Research has shown that gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions.This can also encourage people to enjoy the moment and enjoy the joys that life can bring.

Whether you're taking a few moments each day to mentally focus on grateful thoughts or writing in a , make an effort to practice gratitude on a regular basisJournal of Gratitude, can help you become more aware of the good things in life. Over time, this practice can help change your perspective. Instead of feeling that life is meaningless, you will start seeing all the simple joys that give life meaning.

Other ways to find meaning in life

  • Connect with nature
  • Try new things
  • Embrace your imperfections
  • Be yourself
  • Accept that life is uncertain
  • Enjoy the simple things in life
  • Take time for yourself
  • Find humor in life and be willing to laugh at yourself

It's important to remember that it may take time to find what works for you.

How to get help

Don't be afraid of itto ask for help. If you are struggling to find meaning in your life, there are many resources and people who can help you. Talk to a trusted friend or family member, a counselor or therapist, or a religious leader. They can offer support and guidance when you are looking for meaning.

Remember that everyone goes through times when they wonder what the meaning of life is. But there is no right or wrong answer. What matters most is how you choose to live your life and what you think matters most to you.

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