Feeling Empty and Bored with Life? Here’s What You Can Do
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From the age of 12 to 18, I thought my life was the most unexciting, most depressing, and most boring place ever to be living in. Today, I would slap my younger self in the face and say, “Open your eyes!”
Life is anything but boring, anything but uninteresting. There’s an unlimited number of things to do, see, and learn. There are mysteries to discover, landscapes to witness, beauty and love to experience.
But why was I bored? Why had I felt this vacuum of emptiness towards life during those times? Why are YOU feeling it right now? I can tell you, and even show you, what to do about it – the way I learned to deal with that feeling in my own experience.
Can I promise you this will be THE article with THE answers you’ve been looking for all along? Is this THE article that will change your life? I don’t know, but it may very well be if you pursue the actionable words that follow.
Why Did I Feel Empty and Bored with Life?
I think it’s fair to start with an explanation of my misunderstanding of life and why I saw life through the glasses of boredom.
Yes, misunderstanding. Loneliness, depression, and suicide are in fact side effects rising out of the misinterpretation of beliefs – beliefs that are created by the places we are in, the people we are surrounded by, and ourselves. Misunderstanding stops us from seeing further, causing emptiness, and making life seem uninteresting, limited – and consequently, boring.
For me, high school was the main cause of that. Those high school years felt like what I could only guess being in prison would feel like. I was told what to do, when to wake up and when to go to bed, what to learn, where to go, what was real and what was not.
I was limited and restricted to what was possible, and everything else was impossible. I was a terrible student for the simple reason that I had no interest at all in the only likely “reality” in my future – which included but a few professions to choose from, and a narrow view of the world that school had shown me.
When I turned 18, feelings of loneliness and thoughts of suicide had become considerable parts of my life. I lived and suffered with these thoughts and feelings EVERY single day throughout those six dark years.
Eventually, a deep internal calling – call it my survival instinct – forced me to make a choice: either give up or break out of my prison cell.
And so, I did. But it wasn’t an easy choice. Honestly, it was a tough decision to make at that time. I have to say, suicide welcomed me with warmer arms than the world, or anyone in it, did.
I feel sad now writing these words, as I know they are true for many others as well – maybe even for you. What disturbs me the most about all this is the fact that some people do fall over that thin edge between life and death, and do choose suicide. All because of a misunderstanding.
But let me tell you something, and you can take my word for it: If someone like me – crippled and beaten by a belief that I hated, so much so that I almost left for a better world – if someone like me can come to see the greater beauty and the significant truth of what this life and this world holds for everyone, then you can, too.
Now let me tell you what helped me and set me free from those feelings of emptiness and boredom; it may very well help you turn your life around.
Read/Listen to Books, Learn More About Yourself
Do NOT underestimate the life-changing potential that books have. Especially if you have never reached for one. I know, not everyone likes to read books. That’s okay. Audiobooks are a beautiful solution. Understand that just a few of the right books can have a significant impact on your life, the kind of impact you cannot even imagine.
Why and how? Because books contain a power that has brought down whole nations, caused wars and destruction.
But a force that has also mended wounds, brought peace, revolutionized ideas, and changed the entire world and the lives of many for the better. Yes, that’s right, I am talking about the very power you are reading now – the power of written words.
A single word has the power to bring someone down or lift someone up, to imprison and enslave, or to set free and let go. Words contain limitless power.
The words that you are surrounded by, the words either you cast towards others or others cast towards you, can determine your whole outlook on life.
Just like school had for me, words can determine how big or small the world becomes for you. It can set the boundaries for how rich or poor, how boring or exciting, how empty or fulfilling, life will turn out to be.
There are books out there holding potential words that can entirely shift everything inside you, and set you free from any prison.
When I was feeling empty and bored with life and had no interest in life or my own part in it, books freed me from the limited knowledge of two things – my emotions and my mind.
Two fundamentals that have caused great pain and emptiness for me, for countless of others, and very likely, for you right now.
It’s only when you start to learn more about yourself, your heart, your mind, and your emotions, and how they all work together in the most magnificent ways, that you can bring some sense to the potential emptiness in you.
Understanding yourself, and the complexities of the human mind and emotions we are equipped with, will produce a clarity about yourself and the many pain points that you may be holding on to for no other reason than the lack of information.
There is so much more to you than you can ever imagine. If you can zoom in closer to everything, closer to yourself, you can grab hold of the extraordinary powers you have waiting. Many times, however, we need someone, or something, to be that magnifying glass for us.
Books can be very much that.
Of course, because The IPS Project is an educational platform on life, built to provide you with the necessary tools and resources, we have created a dedicated book library filled with some of the most life-changing books on discovering and understanding yourself better.
Oh, and guess what, you can find a link to any available audio version of a book in our library in the in-depth description for each book!
Do browse through the Book Library of IPS. Through its categories, you can easily find a book that’s right for you, in the areas you’d be most interested to explore.
To get you started, let me share two books that have had magnificent power and impact on altering my whole life.
Watch Documentaries, Learn More About This World
Learning more about yourself is one thing that can help when you’re feeling empty and bored with life. Along with that, learning more about our planet, the one you are a part of as much as it is a part of you, is just as healing.
If you think the world is not exciting, there are marvelous documentaries to prove you wrong..
When you learn more about our cosmos, wildlife, the ocean and its marine life, the little insects that are all around us, plant life, etc., you’d be stunned and blown away by the complexity and marvel of it all.
Your jaws will drop with the thought of how much – and yet how little – we know about our planet and its vast universe.
Just give it a try. Maybe you’re just like me some years ago, thinking that documentaries are plainly dull and not enjoyable. I promise you, I can prove you wrong on that.
The following two documentaries did so for me. I’m quite confident that if you give them a try, they can work as well for you, and broaden your views and interests about this world in ways you cannot imagine.
The Final Step: Travel
The reason why I started with books and documentaries first is because they are a great and easily accessible way for anyone to begin breaking out of the prison cells that have trapped them into seeing and feeling that life is a dull and empty place.
Books and documentaries are literally a fingertip away from unlocking many of the prison cells you are stuck in, altering and presenting a whole new reality of yourself and the immersive world that is around you – a world that’s waiting out there for you to explore and witness.
But the final step that I need to add, the last stage that can completely settle it all, is travel.
Because to travel is to embark on a journey. Not just alone and out in the world, but inward. No, I am not talking about a beach vacation or an all-inclusive hotel stay.
I am, in fact, talking about moving – venturing to a strange new land, either for a few months or any time you can spare, with a backpack as your home, and preferably all by yourself.
What travel, especially a solo trip, does is: it will force you to turn inward. You’ll have to take the lessons you have learned from those books and apply them in one of the best real-life practice grounds – the unknown.
No other place can enforce the theoretical lessons you’ve learned and put them into practice more than unfamiliar territory, where you do not know anyone.
While venturing through those unexplored parts of this world, you’ll also get to taste the vast beauty that was previously only seen as images on your screen.
While documentaries can leave an impact, nothing beats the experience of seeing it with your own eyes.
But what if you have no idea where to travel to? Or, what if it is too much of a stretch to venture off alone? To that I say: Volunteer abroad. Yes, you can still choose from numerous countries.
However, there are fewer places instead of a whole continent. The world is a big place; having fewer options will let you make more comfortable choices and make this trip happen.
Along with that, volunteering is almost always done in a group. You won’t feel too much like you are a strand hanging out there all by yourself. Taking it a bit further, the benefits of happiness that volunteering brings to a person are enormous. Just read through the following article to get a brief sense of it.
Best Volunteering Options
Websites such as HelpX offer a wide variety of choices around the whole world for as little as 20 euros a year. Or have a look through the following article that lists some of the best volunteering organizations.
Question about this article: Why are you feeling empty and bored with life? Share your story in the comments so we can all join in and be of service to one another. Also, what are your thoughts on the given solutions?
Ryan Biddulph says
I love the 4 Agreements Jellis. What a fascinating read toward self-discovery, reading that one. Agreed wholly on travel too after circling the globe for 7 years. We leave for Thailand and NZ in a week and I cannot wait to see what I learn about me as I hit the road again. If you are bored with life, leave your comfort zone. All growth is there and no time to feel empty or bored when sprinting outside of your comfort zone.
Jellis Vaes says
Hey Ryan! The Four Agreements is indeed a fantastic book.
Entirely agree with your comment. If you feel stuck in life, you need change. Travel brings changes to a person in the most dramatic ways.
Best of luck to you and you’re significant other on your journey through Thailand and New Zealand ;)! They are both stunning countries.
Hi..my friend started to talking about suicide recently….And he is telling that is life is very boring ..he feels he is very lonely..Nothing to do..he is a loser..suicide thoughts will always come in his thoughts when he is alone…he gets mad of all the thoughts…he is 19.. These thoughts started when he failed in a board exam and stuck in house with nothing to do 1 and half year ago…he is alone in home…no neighborhood friends..His dad is working in another country..mom also goes to work in morning…his sister got married…hence he is alone in morning time…He is saying that he won’t make 2019…what to do?…
Jellis Vaes says
First of all, lots of respect for you Jabs for caring about your friend and seeking information on how to help him. It’s complex to give a defining answer what he should do as everyone’s situation is vastly different.
And even more so, it’s not easy to make someone change and act. That is, in the end, something they alone can do.
The best advice I can tell you is for him to seek professional help. A psychologist or a therapist. Or, possibly even better in his case, a good life coach. Generally, they tend to be more focused on practical advice.
Why seek professional help?
Because they can follow him up and see his progress. That’s crucial.
If you can, it would be an incredible help to your friend if you could look for a good life coach, therapist or psychologist. Please make an appointment and see from the standpoint of a professional how to help him.
That would be the number one advice I would give.
Besides that, this article itself does provide solutions that potentially could change and improve his life. Either link the article to him or provide the information that was written here.
Jabs, if you can, keep me posted on this. You can reply to this message or email Inner Picture Stories on the contact form.
As well, if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask me. I will try to help.
I really appreciate your post about the power of written word. I can see how reading books on happiness would naturally make you a little happier considering how that would be what your brain would be thinking about the majority of the time. I’ll have to make sure that I look for uplifting books so that I can stay happy.
Jellis Vaes says
Hey Bob, thank you for the comment. Glad you found something in the article. Words are powerful. The right words can have a magnificent impact on a person’s life. Therefore books indeed can be a huge source of not alone inspiration, but change as well. Just to provide this to you, we have at Inner Picture Stories also a book library containing many worthwhile books. If you are looking for some new insightful books, have a look through it https://www.theipsproject.com/the-ips-book-library/ :).
Someone Not Important says
This article is useless if you are deep into depression and bored of life. Maybe there is a lot to see but thats not new to anyone… I am sick of living because of society. Society built those “pretty” things, why would this help me?
Jellis Vaes says
It likely will be useless to some. Yet, at the same time, this article might prove to be extremely helpful to others. It’s impossible to write the ideal article that withholds the perfect answer and solution for everyone. I wish I could write such an article, but I can’t.
It’s too bad to read this article didn’t do much for you.
When you are completely sucked into this darkness of depression, life indeed becomes grey. And you can start to truly believe life will always be this way.
What I personally would advise you, and I know this might be advice you’ve heard before, is to seek professional help.
It’s a challenging step. But it can change everything.
The problem often is that there is a stigma around the word psychologist. Sounding like there is something wrong with you if you go to one.
Rather, see them as mind mechanics. Just as you go to a mechanic for your car, sometimes we need to go to a mechanic as well to check our mind. A therapist could help you give a checkup and a roadmap to slowly but steadily get you out of this darkness.
I can only but give you this piece of advice; ultimately, it’s up to you to do something with it.
After reading this whole article I think I’m ready to pull myself together and go explore the world.
Thanks a lot .
Jellis Vaes says
Hey Sia, very glad to read you found the article helpful :).