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.
Table of Contents
What It Means When You’re Feeling Empty
Inner emptiness is caused by a lack of love, according to psychology expert Dr. Margaret Paul. 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
. 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.
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.
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. Many researches have shown that bathing has many benefits, including pain relief, enhanced mobility, and improved psychological well-being.
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
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. 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)).
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. 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.
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.
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
- 7 Things To Remember When You Feel Broken Inside
- How to Find the Purpose of Life and Start Living a Fulfilling Life
- 10 Things That Happen When You Start to Enjoy Being Alone
Featured photo credit: Fabrizio Verrecchia via unsplash.com
|||^||Dr. Margaret Paul: Are You Living Your Life or Just Getting It Over With?|
|||^||Huffington Post: The Real Cause of Inner Emptiness (And What to Do About It)|
|||^||PsychCentral: When You Feel Empty: What It Means & What to Do|
|||^||ArjoHuntleigh: Therapeutic benefit of a hot bath|
|||^||Better Bathrooms: The physiological and psychological effects of bathing|
|||^||Positive Psychology Program: Broaden-and-Build Theory of Positive Emotions (+PDF)|
|||^||Science Daily: Pure Novelty Spurs The Brain|