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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

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 when you struggle with ignoring and escaping the feeling of extreme purposelessness and emptiness. Although you know a little about what you enjoy, want from life and what you want to achieve in future, you are still tortured by the episodes of loneliness. When you’re feeling empty, what does this mean exactly?

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 the inner emptiness.

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

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:

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  • 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, vacuum or a black hole.

Why Do You Feel Empty?

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

Majority of 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 the 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 chronic disorder such as depression. Furthermore, people tend to get out of this feeling with alcohol and drugs, which increases the chance of drug or alcohol addiction. That’s why having a clue about what is really important to you will help to know what causes you to feel empty inside.

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How to Deal with Inner Emptiness

The key is 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 of 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]

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 a lot of 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 recenter yourself by taking good care of yourself. Try to pick up some of these 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit.

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2. Find Your Needs with the Help of Others

Everybody has needs, but what makes the needs painful is when we think we cannot get what we need. We think that we have to meet them by ourselves, but sometimes, it is important to take action to get up and find someone to meet the need.

Asking for help can resolve many life issues and can be a first step towards meeting your needs. For example, if your need is for the company you don’t have to spend your time to figure out how to be your own company. Just go find a company.

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 heal your inner emptiness 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] This means that individuals who are thankful are also more satisfied with their relationships with friends and family as well as they are less stressed and much happier.

Try to be appreciative for 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.

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

4. Never Stop Exploring Something New

Neurobiologists have found out that learning something new has motivational effects similar to dopamine which leads to the emotional arousal.[7] That’s why each time you review the information you’ve learned before, add a couple of new facts.

Another good tip is to change your environment. Even such little things as changing lighting or temperature in your room can have a positive effect on your emotional state.

5. Ask for a Professional Help If Needed

Many people cannot identify the reason behind this feeling no matter how long they psychoanalyzed themselves and searched for a problem. The main thing is not to give up!

Find a good therapist who will help you to find the causations of the inner void from the past and bring them to the present moment so that you can become whole again.

Final Thoughts

Finding the cause of inner emptiness can be a challenging and long process. But instead of distracting yourself by filling this emptiness with things like shopping, food, alcohol and drugs, you’d better 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.

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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