Do you ever feel like your life is meaningless? What to do?

My lifecoach suggested the cause might be down to too much stress from work, I have taken his advice without any improvement. I have been having more down time than up and it just feels like there's no way out.
I will (try to) keep it brief. I had lived abroad for several years before settling down in Asia to be close to my family. I'm the oldest child so my parents want me back to help them with the family's business (which I don't really like). I have been back for over 4 years now but still cannot get used to the life in my home country. Currently I have a great job (I work for someone else, not family) which comes with a lot of stress but manageable (to a certain degree). I just don't see myself living here and have been trying to move around. But every time i moved, my mother fell sick and i had to return. I live alone but still receive constant pressure from my family, relatives, even complete strangers for being single at 27. I date but I don't want to settle until I am ready. I don't like children either.
Sometimes I just feel like dropping everything and moving to some unknown places and avoid all contacts with my family, but then it's selfish to do such thing.
I have constant panic attacks when the stress is too high, I smoke and drink quite a lot to calm myself down. I feel like I'm always at the edge of bursting into tears and I have suicidal thoughts.
I don't have many friends because I don't get on well with people in my city, their way of thinking is very different from mine. And even those friends I think that are close don't understand my problems. They always joke about "first world problems", say my life is great with a good job, good family background, decent pay and big inheritance. I feel trapped. What should i do?


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Do you have counselors in your area... it would help to talk through your feelings and try to come up with solutions.

    It is possible to be very rich and miserable. What is happening is the way you are living, which is controlled by external forces in your family, doesn't align with your value system and what you really want. So you are living in conflict with what you desire. That or the people you are around are really not very nice and it isn't a supportive but stressful environment.

    For example, your family values getting married (which translates as being only possible at a young age in Asia) and you don't value it. p. s. in other countries you can get married at much higher ages.

    those are initial thoughts.

    you can also read "Change your life in 7 days" to get some ideas on how to discover your values and ways to destress in your environment on your own. It should help as an escape and de-stress.

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    • I have a lifecoach to talk to but he only gives advice and I need to figure out the way to get myself out of the mess. I once decided to leave everything behind and move, but when everything was in place, I chickened out and stayed. I didn't want to disappoint my family. The lifecoach did say it's not because of the place, but how I deal with the situation. I find that very difficult, sometimes escaping would be an easier route. I will have a look at the book, thank you for your advice.

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    • Hehe, thanks! I grew out of listening to Rock music. Did music once, but only electro, dance etc. If i manage to get myself out of this shitty situation, will let you know :)

    • cool, you'll do it, you are on a mission.

Most Helpful Girl

  • I know how you feel, I feel trapped too. I have cerebral palsy, aspergers & psoriasis, I also have depression, bad mood swings, anxiety & sometimes I hyperventilate, I find things to do to make me happy like listening to music, doing my art, singing & other stuff. If you want to talk, you can message me.

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    • I tried quite a lot of things. I do kickboxing 4-5 times a week after work, travel when i can but I don't have a life purpose, I have no idea what I would do in the next few years. Every time i plan to do something (like moving to another city) I get other things holding me up. At the end, nothing happens.

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    • You have to make people listen to you that what I'm trying to do, people don't understand me, cuz of my aspergers. And life can be overwhelming to me, I'm mostly taking things day by day

    • I don't want to live by. You know, it's nicer to have a goal to work and try to achieve it. At the moment, i'm surviving day by day

What Guys Said 13

  • In the end, life has the meaning you want it to have. To me, this cookie-cutter life: school, education, job and then you die is bullshit. And what have you done for yourself? You can exist, but not live. You have to figure out what YOU want to do, not what everybody else want you to do. I personally apply no value what so ever to education, having a job, earning money and all that normal stuff. I could not care less about the things everyone else cares so much about. I've found out (I'm 20) at this young age that while I am on this earth, I will do whatever I feel like doing, whether that's staying up all night playing computer dance in the middle of the street or travel the world, skip classes if I don't feel like going or whatever it may be and I won't be dictated by a schedule or people around me. I've found that this mentality doesn't stress me out so much. You choose what to apply meaning and value to and once you figure out what's worth worrying or stressing about and what isn't, only then you'll be able to live fully.
    (in my case, I don't worry or stress about money or society, because hey, everything's gonna be alright no matter how things turn out)

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  • First of all... relax. You are not trapped. You have done a lot in your life. You have so much to offer people with your experience in life. I would try seeing if someone can benefit from such knowledge and help some people out. Always ask yourself what is the worst that can happen? Usually when you figure out the answer.. . it's never that bad. Help others and your problems will seem meaningless. @consultantisback has the right answer below!

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    • I do help people, problems still remain. My mother is quite similar, she does a lot of charity and people around her love her, yet she said her life is meaningless (mostly because of marriage problems). My situation, it seems like I have a great life but I don't feel living it, I'm in the circle of "study, work, retire, die" with a few highlights. I want to have like a purpose to live and to enjoy every moment of it. It's quite complicated :(

    • Do you have a purpose? If so great. If not find one. Once you find one.. devise a plan on how to go after it. This will give you something to look forward too. I am a dating coach but I still work a full time job. I found my passion and my purpose.. now just executing my plan so I can coach full time. I'm still working on it. Life happens and stuff changes but my purpose and plan are in place and I am attacking it at all angles. One day soon I will wake up and be a coach full time. I live for that day. You can do the same!

  • You need to find something that you are passionate about. Find adventure in something that you would really enjoy. Unfortunately your family are holding you back and you need time just for you. Go travel, explore and do things that you always wanted to do. You'll find things out there that will excite you and things about yourself that you never knew about. You need something new in your life. YOLO so take that risk and reap the rewards.

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    • I have tried a lot of things. I used to travel a lot before, still do now depending on my work. I did so many things (I'm just repeating myself here, hehe), like rock climbing, mountain hiking, scuba diving, skydiving, kickboxing, dj. I did several road trips. I travel to learn a new language, learn about wine etc. On my list of things to do before 30, there's only the shark diving thingy in Australia I haven't done. I am always busy and on the go (apart from some lazy weekend enjoying my "me-time"), yet I don't see what can excite me. Tough case i reckon

  • Help others, lift other people up, motivate encourage and support people, it's the best feeling and it'll add value and meaning in your life :D

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    • I do. Charity or simple nice gestures. It does light up my days when I do some good deeds, not for long though.

  • I did for a while... I actually quit my job and sold my house and (as a secondary consequence) ended a LTR because of that feeling. I felt like I had accomplished everything society expected of me, and there was nothing left to do except work for another 30 years and then retire and wait to die.

    I shook it all up, I started from scratch, and while it's been hard, I'm happy and feel like I have something of a purpose again.

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    • I love my job, it's the only thing keeping me going now so if I quit, i probably be even more depressed. I have achieved certain things which can be considered good at my age. However none was in my parents' list. They want me to settle for a less demanding job, a local man and have kids which is so not me. The thought of starting from the scratch actually scared me...

    • I loved the job, but it was the only good thing, and even then I knew I would quite happily let myself slip into the rut of doing it forever. I was not in a good place. I was buying myself toys (motorcycles, games, gadgets) and self medicating with alcohol to distract myself from the emptiness and unhappiness.

    • I work in the wine industry so i have great supplies lol. Don't wanna change yet since it's the only thing makes me happy right now. And hey, wine is good for your health :D

  • I just recognize the fact that my life IS meaningless. There are almost 7.5 billion people on Earth. I really don't offer anything that can't be replaced. The universe is massive and ever expanding outwards filled with millions of billions of trillions of stars and planets. My life doesn't matter at all.

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    • Your life matters to people who care about you and yourself.

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    • Wouldn't you want to be remembered when you're gone? I would.

    • It would be nice, but it will not happen. Far greater people have done extraordinary things and are already forgotten. I don't see myself ever being able to accomplish anything that would be remembered for any length of time.

  • Everything is selfish. There is no way out. And life is ultimately meaningless. Might as well do what feels good and avoid what does not. That would be my philosophy.

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    • Lol, I am jealous looking at those who have such a simple life and be happy. I have a seem-to-be-a-good-life and I am not happy. I need a way out!

    • Adapt or die. Those are your ways out.

  • I think most people feel that way. Its just an awkward situation.

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    • It does feel a bit better knowing i'm not the only one. But how to not feel that way :(

  • My life is meaningless!

    I embrace this fact. For what greater freedom is there than knowing that you are not important?

    No one needs me.
    No one wants me.
    No one misses me.

    I am an agent to myself and cannot even fathom returning to "purpose". I also cannot imagine what it must be like to be stressed by that which just doesn't matter. A "career" is but a job you like. It's still just a job.

    You're so serious.

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    • So what matters to you? I cannot embrace a life without a meaning, a purpose.

      You can be stressed if you work so hard for something, put a lot of effort in and there are problems on the way of achieving desired results. A career is not just a job, it's doing something you love with passion.

    • The better question is why should anything matter?

      Can I not do good without a banner or cause? Must i worry needlessly about things that do not really matter? If I brood on whether anyone listens to me does it make many words any less audible?

      I cannot stress because nothing is gained or lost. If I am not the hero someone else will be. If I am then someone else doesn't have to be. That's all. It still gets done with or without me.

      Because passion is a myth to get you to work harder without paying you and if it was something you truly loved you'd do it without expectation of recompense.

      A dollar is a dollar. A job is a job. In the end if not you someone else.

  • Everyday. Since life is meaningless. What to do? Quit pretending, deal with it and enjoy the limited time you have on this planet. There's literally an unlimited amount of things you can experience in this lifetime.

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    • I don't know how to deal with it. I work, i travel, i do all the stuff like climbing mountain, skydiving, scuba diving... yet life doesn't have any meaning to me, like I would not regret or be scared if I die tomorrow.

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    • I think people who are scared of death would be those who have so much to live for and their lives would be more meaningful than mine...

    • Except that there is nothing to live for except the experience of living. People who think otherwise are just deluding themselves.

  • Yeah all the time

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  • Yes I keep working and never quit

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  • There comes a time in most people's lives when they ask this question. Your mind is going through some changes, and you probably have a lot questions... here is a book that may help

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Myth_of_Sisyphus

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    • Wow, seems pretty deep from what i see on wiki. Will read it properly. Thanks.

    • Well, it's a deep question a shallow response wouldn't be appropriate.

      Don't worry, it's actually a quick read. You're welcome

What Girls Said 7

  • This is what you need to do. It's really easy, too! Make daily gratitude lists (even if you don't feel like it), pray daily (to any God or a higher presence - even if it's just your "higher self") and help others in some way. Big or small. From smiling at a homeless person to volunteering at your nearby shelter.

    It will take a small amount of time but you'll have had strengthened your spiritual self. This will give you meaning to life.

    Flowers will be brighter, relationships will get easier, and you'll feel.. well... at peace.

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    • I'm not religious so I don't pray. I do help other people and am very generous. Relationships do not get any easier as I don't understand the people here, they have a completely different way of thinking and behaving. I do have a good social life due to my job (in marketing) but it's just an image you build to support with your work. I don't trust people in general enough to friend with them in deeper levels.

    • I am also not religious. I am borderline atheist, honestly. What i pray to is really just myself. It's something that people neglect - especially if they don't believe in a higher power. It truly works. I guarantee it. When I started off doing it, it felt weird. As I continued I noticed I felt better. Just try it for a week or two. Personal challenge.

    • I go to a fortune teller normally to up my belief lmao

  • Day in and day out I wonder what the fuck is the point? Some are fortunate enough to feel a burning passion for something... I feel nothing. In a state of constant what the fuck is the point? Unless rich I really don't get the day to day thing work, school, repeat... I have come to understand life has the meaning I give it. Life speaks to me in all of my initial thoughts. My beliefs shape my purpose. I refuse to LIVE to work. I prefer to work to live, so I go by that. I LOVE pleasing others.. So maybe social work fits. Life is given meaning by what I chose to do with it. What make ME feel good? Do you honey.. However that is. All life's choices are "selfish" in the pursuit of happiness

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    • I live to work because it's the thing keeping me going everyday. I thought just being good at my job would be enough but other aspects affect too. Would be perfect to be in the right place, with the right people and doing what i love. At the moment I only have the last part.

  • Try accepting the fact that life itself is meaningless and we can make of it whatever the fuck we want.

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    • does that mean I can leave my terrible miserable life w the ugly guy I had kids with and just leave 45 miles away and have my kids half the timeand live happily ever after and never get married ever again.

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    • please don't. At least don't marry it's just plain sucks Especailly after true dull colors come out ... Your suffocated trapped and I'm getting out.!

    • @Iloveasianfood1 Great advice lmao

  • I feel like that today! I don't have my life pull together like you though!

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    • I think feeling down once in a while is fine, but not all the time. It sucks to have a "perfect" life and can't be satisfy with what you have and unable to be happy with life.

  • I guess you feel meaningless because you don't feel good at work due to stress and people making you feel less and less... until the inevitable happens.

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    • Not quite, i'm valued at my work and got several promotions already. I started at the department 2 years ago and built everything from scratch. It's a lot of stress but it's rewarding at the same time, to watch the results and how the organisation grows. Can never avoid disagreements at work but I think it's just a part of any job, depending on your position in the firm. My work is the highlight of my life right now, if I didn't have it, i would have imagined myself much more miserable. I just don't feel happy in general and I don't know how to change it.

  • Life got you down? Here, have a kitty😺

    Pets can be so therapeutic for wounded hearts and sad eyes, they're soft and snuggly and they pur and lick your face😊

    I know that's sappy as hell, but nonetheless true. Get a shelter pet and let it love you🐱🐶🐻🐰🐸

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    • I have two cats :) cat ladyyyyy!

  • Sometimes, but you got to find a goal and start working to make it happen. Find what you're passionate about, dig deep in yourself, it might be hard to dig deep, but try, the harder you try the more you'll find what things matters to you.

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    • I had a goal after my graduation 4 years ago. I reached it within 10 months of graduation. Now i don't know what's next. Though I love my current job and my wage is growing the way i like it. Not sure what to aim for now

    • You should keep having goals on personal and professional level. And these are two types of goals. Long term and short term goals. The short term allows you to achieve the long one. Don't be settled for where you are. Or feel satisfied, because you sound that kind of person who feels down when everything is okay. I'm that type of person too. Take RISKS, don't be afraid. Move around, travel and learn about other cultures. Expand your horizons and knowledge and try to teach others. Then you'll feel that you're having an impact on the society and on people around you.

    • I've been thinking about moving around. Did twice and mum always fell sick then i had to move back to take care of her. It's not that they can't afford a private nurse but in Asia, the oldest child will always be expected to take care of the parents. I'm kinda stuck between moving and staying because of that...

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