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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

Why You’re Feeling Empty and How to Fill the Void

Why You’re Feeling Empty and How to Fill the Void

Let’s imagine the situation where you struggle with ignoring and escaping the feeling of extreme purposelessness and emptiness. Although you know a little about what you enjoy and want from life and what you want to achieve in future, you are still feeling empty and find yourself tortured by episodes of loneliness.

If you’re asking yourself, “Why do I feel empty,” keep reading and learn what these feelings of emptiness mean and how you can begin to overcome them.

What It Means When You’re Feeling Empty

Inner emptiness is caused by a lack of love, according to psychology expert Dr. Margaret Paul.[1] When you don’t love yourself, ignore your feelings, and always try to get attention and approval from others, you can experience feeling empty

All people are creative and full of potential, but not all of them use this potential and, thus, feel as though they’re wasting their time and energy. We try to fill the void with food, relationships, work, and things that are supposed to distract our attention.

Emptiness can be caused by an unfulfilling job, a lack of close friendships, a toxic relationship, or a simple lack of self-love and compassion. Whatever the cause, emptiness can be overcome if you’re willing to make some key changes to your routine and thought processes.

Symptoms of Emptiness and Void

In order to find the solution to the problem, we should learn how to tell whether we’re feeling empty inside. Understanding emptiness calls us to learn more about our inner feelings.

Let’s have a look at the most common symptoms of emptiness and void:

  • You don’t understand who you are and your purpose in life.
  • You are full of negative thoughts.
  • You always seek for approval from family and friends.
  • You don’t know how to explain your feelings.

Sometimes, emptiness feels like an inner void or emotional numbness

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. It may manifest as anxiety or depression if it has become a long-term feeling. If you feel as though you’ve lost a sense of direction, you may be experiencing emptiness.

Why Do I Feel Empty?

The most important thing to realize is that emptiness is a state of lack.

Some people who struggle with a chronic sense of emptiness had parents who were incapable of intimate relationships with them. When you do not get enough love and attention in childhood, you start to believe that you are not good enough. That means that the real cause of inner emptiness is a lack of emotional connection and demonstration of love.[2]

As a result, this feeling can travel through our lives like baggage. The lack of belonging becomes a traumatic imprint that becomes so acutely uncomfortable that we are willing to do anything we can to get away from that particular feeling.

Although this feeling is not uncommon for many people, if left unattended, it can result in a mental illness, such as depression, or substance use disorders. Furthermore, people tend to get out of this feeling with unhealthy habits, which increases the chance of alcohol and drug addiction.

For these reasons, having a clue about what is really important to you will help to identify the cause of your feelings of emptiness.

How to Deal With Emptiness

The key to fighting emptiness is to find out what you are missing. Is it a sense of belonging, meaning, or interpersonal connection? Here are several suggestions from leading experts on how to recognize and deal with inner emptiness.

1. Refocus and Rebalance Yourself

According to Kaitlyn Slight, a marriage and family therapist in Raleigh, N.C., we should focus on ourselves and spend more time thinking about our desires.[3]

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In order to be in a positive state of body and mind, you can spend several minutes meditating or exercising.

The easiest way to rebalance yourself emotionally and physically is to take a warm bath.[4] Many researches have shown that bathing has many benefits, including pain relief, enhanced mobility, and improved psychological well-being.[5]

While it’s easy to get distracted by all the negative emotions you’re feeling, it’s important to re-center yourself by practicing self-care through exercise, healthy eating, meditation, and other healthy habits.

Try to pick up some of these 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit.

2. Discover Your Needs With the Help of Others

Everybody has needs, and it’s important to realize that we can’t always achieve them without help from others. We think that we have to meet them by ourselves, but sometimes, it is important to ask for help.

Asking for help can resolve many life issues and can be a first step towards meeting your needs. For example, if you’re lacking interpersonal connection, ask a family member to introduce you to some new people. Just one introduction can lead to many new connections.

If you’re having trouble motivating yourself to get to the gym to exercise, find a friend who also wants to start so that you can act as accountability partners. Whatever you may be lacking, there’s likely someone out there who can help you if you’re willing to reach out.

If you find it difficult to ask for help, check out these tips: How to Ask for Help When You Feel Silly to Do So

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3. Appreciate and Treasure What You Have

Another way to stop feeling empty is through gratitude. Research suggests that feeling grateful is a very important positive emotion that allows people to expand their worldview and the view of themselves, which later leads to building better social relations and skills.[6] It is a sort of spiritual practice that helps you tap into a constant inner smile. 

This means that individuals who are thankful are also more satisfied with their relationships with friends and family. They are also less stressed and much happier overall(The Wellnest: 5 CRAZY-GOOD REASONS TO PRACTICE GRATITUDE)).

Practice gratitude to stop feeling empty

    Try to be appreciative of what is around you by noticing all good things we take for granted. A simple compliment given during the day will show you how much positive energy you can create.

    If you enjoy writing, start a gratitude journal. Take 5 or 10 minutes each morning or night to write down 3-5 things you’re grateful for.

    These 32 Things You Should Be Grateful For can inspire you to be more grateful today.

    4. Never Stop Learning New Things

    Neurobiologists have found out that learning something new has motivational effects similar to dopamine, which leads to emotional stimulation.[7] Therefore, it’s important to not only review information you’ve learned before, but to also push yourself to learn something new each day or week.

    You can tap into educational podcasts or YouTube videos to do this. TED talks are often quite short, meaning you can squeeze some learning into even your busiest of days.

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    If you like to read, buy a few used books and make it a goal to finish them within a certain time frame. Even fiction books have a lot to teach about the human condition and psychology, so just find something that interests you.

    5. Ask for a Professional Help If Needed

    Many people cannot identify the reason behind this feeling, no matter how long they analyze themselves and search for a problem.

    Find a good mental health professional who will help you explore your feelings and understand why you’re feeling empty. They’ll help ground you in the present moment so that you can become whole again.

    You can also seek out support groups in order to connect with others who may be experiencing similar problems.

    Try to overcome the sensation that seeking professional help means that you’re weak, because it certainly doesn’t. Asking for help is a sign of incredible strength and bravery, and once you begin to receive the benefits, you’ll wish you had done it sooner.

    Final Thoughts

    Finding the cause of inner emptiness can be a long, challenging process. However, instead of distracting yourself by filling this emptiness with things like shopping, food, alcohol, and drugs, find out what makes you feel incomplete and regain your happiness.

    More to Help You Fill That Void

    Featured photo credit: Fabrizio Verrecchia via unsplash.com

    Reference

    More by this author

    Melissa Burns

    Melissa is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. She writes about communication, entrepreneurship and success on Lifehack.

    Why You’re Feeling Empty and How to Fill the Void Wealthy, Successful People Who Choose Less over More: 10 Real-Life Stories of Minimalists If You Want to Succeed in Life, You Need to Find Your True Calling First Everything We Can Learn from the Most Famous Entrepreneurs Around the World Why Is Empathy So Important?

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    Last Updated on January 14, 2021

    I Hate My Life: 10 Things You Can Do Now to Stop Hating Life

    I Hate My Life: 10 Things You Can Do Now to Stop Hating Life

    Hating life is a bit of a misnomer it seems: in the media, in education, in every aspect of our lives, we’re shown visions of a perfect world, one where everyone is happy and life is a decades-long dream. Unfortunately, it isn’t.

    Life can and is hard and tough and painful at times. I have first-hand experience of this: Years ago, I was a recent university graduate, unemployed and aimless. All of this was having a knock-on effect on my social and mental wellbeing—I wasn’t sleeping. I wasn’t seeing my friends as often. I was snappy to family members and I could barely drag myself out of bed in the morning…

    That doesn’t mean it can’t change.

    Life goes through ebbs and flows all the time and the key to getting through it all without cutting off your social circle and eating your local grocery store out of Ben & Jerry’s, is to cultivate some techniques and methods of going through life with some stability and grace. It’s not a guarantee against life’s hardships but, take the steps you want to use and you won’t hate life.

    If you want to stop hating your life and start falling in love with it, take these steps:

    1. Get Plenty of Sleep

    Seriously, you’re obviously going to be grouchy and more inclined towards the more miserable side, if you’re not getting your recommended seven or more hours of sleep a night.

    Start checking in how much you sleep and then start making steps to go to bed earlier and sleep for longer. It might cure every problem but at least you’ll be well-rested and less likely to nap throughout the day. If you’re having trouble getting to sleep, try these 10 Best Natural Sleep Aids to Help You Feel Rested

    2. Eat Healthily

    I have had a real issue with eating healthily for years and it wasn’t until I was hospitalised a few years ago (for a condition unrelated to my eating for the sake of disclosure), that I really started to look at what I ate and how I viewed my body.

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    I’m absolutely an advocate of body positivity and loving your body at any size and while I haven’t lost any huge amount of weight, eating a hell of a lot healthier improved my mood and made me feel better.

    In short, it’s absolutely okay to have a pizza and a soda as a treat, but just have something healthier tomorrow.

    Here’re some inspirations for you: How to Find a Healthy Eating Plan That Actually Works for You

    3. Write It All Down

    Sometimes the best thing you can do is let it all out. Keeping things that are making you hate life all bottled up is neither helpful to getting out of that cycle nor healthy for your overall wellbeing.

    Grab yourself a notebook, a journal, a diary, a bit of paper, whatever, and just start writing down how you feel. As soon as you’ve done that, start thinking about what you could do in theory to stop this from happening or to stop you from feeling like this.

    4. Get Some Fresh Air

    It’s underrated and we all take it for granted, but really, getting out of your home and going for a walk can be really beneficial. It gets you outside in the (hopefully) sunshine and getting to see the whole of life as you walk around can be really grounding and calming.

    Believe me, if you’re stuck inside mulling over on the bad things of your life, grab a pair of sneakers and go for a walk. Plus, it’s free. Can’t say better than that, can you?

    5. Get Some Exercise

    This is practically a Part II of the previous step, but as someone who used to look at the gym as something people did when they were feeling particularly masochistic, I can actually say I enjoy it now.

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    You don’t even have to subscribe to a fancy gym—go for a run around the block with your headphones in or lift some heavy boxes to build up muscle tone.

    Bonus: Doing all that heavy lifting of boxes or incorporating exercise into chores will make your house cleaner and look even more awesome, as well as making you look and feel better.

    6. Treat Yourself

    Hating your life can be exhausting, and I mean that literally. It drains the energy from you until all you want to do is lie in bed with a pint of ice cream and the last five seasons of a TV show on Netflix.

    Therefore, a good thing to keep your spirits up can be to treat yourself.

    Life is too short, after all, to deny yourself some treats. Go see that movie that looks awesome in the cinema, grab a gelato with a friend, paint your nails, whatever makes you happy, do it. You deserve it.

    Here’re more ideas to inspire you: 30 Ways To Treat Yourself No Matter What

    7. Cut out Those Negative Triggers

    Chances are that if you hate life, something is setting off those triggers in your head. Until you’re able to deal with them without turning all misanthropic, the best thing might be just to get rid of all of those negative triggers.

    If you’re suffering from what AllGroanUp refer to as “Obsessive Comparison Disorder” (i.e. obsessively checking out the lifestyles of all your “successful” friends), then stop using Facebook and Twitter as much.

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    Social media can be a fantastic way to connect, but it can be also be a toxic environment for neuroses and comparisons to breed.

    Trust me, I know. If it sets you off, cut it out.

    Here’s How to Quit Social Media for a Happier and More Focused Life.

    8. Dance

    Yes you can dance. No, really, you can. It doesn’t matter if you’re not some breakdancing dynamo or ballroom extraordinaire, everyone can dance. It’s programmed into the human race, the ultimate expression of emotion.

    Dance like no one’s watching, dance like you don’t care. Tap your feet, sway your hips, go as mad or as wild as you want to to your favourite songs. Nothing quite shakes the cobwebs off than losing yourself in rhythm and dance to a song you love.

    9. Get Organized

    A great way to start moving forward and looking at what you can change in your life to make it better, is to get organized.

    Spend a weekend going through your home and clearing the unnecessary stuff out of it. Get rid of the stuff you don’t need or don’t want anymore and start to give everything a space.

    It doesn’t have to look like it’s stepped off the pages of Good Housekeeping, but clearing a lot of space and making sure that your home has a bit of harmony can do wonders for your mental wellbeing.

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    10. Pay It Forward

    Life is a mystery and it can be a minefield to get through. Sometimes you stumble, sometimes you fall. The important part is to pick yourself back up and keep walking forward.

    Paying it forward is simply helping others. Charity is something that is often thrown around as an accessory to human behavior—how many celebrities have you read about who have done something heinous, but are defended by the phrase “but [they] do charity work”?

    Go volunteer! If you think you’re at breaking point, go help other people.

    People in the world out there will be going through the same things that you are going through; and while you might not run into someone who’s going through the exact same circumstances, you will be helping people who need help.

    Helping out a soup kitchen, or at a church bake sale, or at a homeless shelter or wherever needs help, can make a huge difference to the lives of those individuals involved. And believe me, it’ll do a hell of a lot for your state of mind .

    A great idol of mine, Audrey Hepburn, once stated that we have two hands: one for helping ourselves, and one for helping others. That’s a fantastic sentiment and one I think will help people who hate their live.

    If you go and help other people, you’re having such a positive ripple effect on the world that some of it will come back to you one way or another, and it will get better.

    More Positive Vibes to Motivate You

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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