Lack of purpose

WHAT IS LACK OF PURPOSE?

If you feel like your life has no meaning and direction, you may be struggling with a lack of purpose. Lack of purpose can affect all aspects of your life, and can cause you to ruminate on anxious thoughts that cause you distress.

Having a purpose in life is important for your mental wellbeing and can help you live a more fulfilled and content life.

On this page, you can find out more about what lack of purpose may feel like, why you might be struggling, and how psychotherapy can help you find your purpose in life.

WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE TO LACK PURPOSE?

If you are experiencing a lack of purpose in your life, you may feel constantly bored, dissatisfied or empty, like life has no meaning. You may feel unfulfilled in your relationships with others, disaffected at home and at work, and find yourself anxiously ruminating on what the point of life is.

You may feel hopeless, desperate or simply numb, and unable to find enjoyment in the things that used to bring you pleasure. Feeling a lack of purpose can also contribute to depression and anxiety, especially when you feel unable to see a way out of your empty feelings.

Experiencing a lack purpose in life can also isolate you from your friends and loved ones, leaving you feeling lonely and cut off, and unable to participate in social activities.

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WHY MIGHT WE STRUGGLE WITH LACK OF PURPOSE?

There are different reasons why we might struggle with a lack of purpose, some of which are explored below.

CONFUSION AND LACK OF DIRECTION

Sometimes it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly when you started feeling unfulfilled or why you may be struggling with a lack of purpose.

Feeling like you have little direction in life may have slowly built up over time, and you may find it difficult to identify a specific reason for these experiences. This can be confusing and upsetting, especially if you feel that everything in your life is how you envisioned and planned.

Because of this lack of clarity, you may feel inclined to avoid sharing your feelings with others, and fear that you will be misunderstood. This can cause you to isolate yourself and bury yourself deeper into your thoughts.

CHANGING SITUATION

When our circumstances change, we may struggle with redefining our purpose and can feel unfulfilled as a result.

You may be starting a new career or a new family, and your old ideas about your purpose in life may have changed. Our purpose is closely linked with our identity, values and sense of self. If our situation changes, our identity role may shift with it, leaving us feeling confused and lost.

You may feel a tendency to downplay these feelings, especially if the change in circumstances are positive. You may feel more frustrated and confused about why you are struggling to adapt, further adding to your distress.

INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS

Sometimes when we place our purpose in other people, we become reliant on these people to give us a sense of fulfillment.

We may find ourselves feeling lost and disconnected from our sense of self. This feeling can be hard to understand, and we may resort to giving more of ourselves to others in order to fill this emptiness.

Placing our purpose and self-worth in our relationships can cause us to feel inadequate, helpless and feel fearful of rejection.

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LACK OF PURPOSE TREATMENT

Psychotherapy can help you find meaning and purpose in life. Our experienced psychotherapists will support you in gaining a better understanding of who you are, so you can discover your strengths and find a way to move forwards.

Psychotherapy for lack of purpose can include:

  • Understanding your values and goals in life, and exploring ways to align your life with these values to help you feel more fulfilled
  • Exploring your true unique identity and improving your self-awareness so you feel more connected to your identity
  • Supporting you in a journey of self-discovery, where you can explore your needs and desires, your fears and the obstacles that keep you from reaching your potential
  • Learning to acknowledge and accept what you cannot change and engage your energies in things which can give you a sense of effectiveness in life
  • Accessing your inner creativity 
  • Healing past wounds and stepping forward with courage

Psychotherapy will help you make sense of what is happening for you right now in your life, what has happened to you in the past, and help you integrate new healthier ways of managing your life moving forwards.

Learn more about lack of purpose

Lack Of Purpose Self Help

You may not be ready to talk to us yet, so here are some self-help strategies that can help you reduce your anxiety symptoms:

  1. Opening up to someone you trust can be a relief and help you better understand your worries and anxiety.
  2. Look after your physical health by getting enough sleep and following a balanced diet that can stabilise your mood and energy levels.
  3. Regular exercise will help you battle stress and release tension, as your brain releases endorphins which will improve your mood.
  4. Breathing exercises, mindfulness and relaxation techniques will help calm your mind.
  5. Keep a diary of the situations that make you feel anxious and note how you’ve reacted in each situation. This will help you identify potential triggers for your anxiety.
  6. Avoid things that can exacerbate your anxiety, such as smoking, caffeine and alcohol.