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Last Updated on March 25, 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 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? And why do you feel empty?

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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 October 5, 2020

How to Quit Your Boring Life and Start Living an Interesting One

How to Quit Your Boring Life and Start Living an Interesting One

We are given life with many opportunities to make it everything we want it to be and more. If you find that you’ve slipped into living a boring life, it’s time to take a hard look at what you’ve been doing and what you can start doing now to make it more interesting.

Maybe you’ve been doing the same thing and living the same life for too long, or maybe your daily routine is limiting your growth and happiness. Whatever your reason is, the following list can definitely make any day or life more interesting. Some of them are silly, while some are more meaningful, so hopefully just reading the list makes your life less boring and sparks your creativity.

Let’s dive in the list to quit your boring life and start living an interesting (and meaningful) one!

1. Channel Your 7-Year-Old Self

Imagine being a young child. Life was never boring, was it? That’s because children harness every ounce of creativity they have in order to try new things.

What would your 7-year-old self want to do in this moment? Maybe they’d pick up a paintbrush and try to paint the landscape around them. May they would go outside and build something with random materials around the yard. Maybe they would raid the fridge and put together a dish they’ve never seen before.

Just because you’re a grown-up doesn’t mean any of this stuff will be less enjoyable than you remember it. Give yourself permission to play and use your creativity to its fullest.

2. Go Play With Kids

Speaking of little kids, if you have your own (or a niece or nephew), go play with them!

Kids are absolutely hilarious, so it’s simply impossible to be bored when you’re around them. They also keep things so simple, and we can really stand to be reminded of this and stop allowing ourselves to get bogged down in boring details.

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3. Play Cell Phone Roulette

You’ll need at least one buddy for this, but this is a great way to avoid a boring life. Scroll through the contacts in your phone, stop on a random one, and (if it feels right) call the person.

You could spark an incredible catch-up session or, at the very least, remind someone that you’re thinking of them. Neither are boring.

4. Fill out a Pack of Thank-You Cards

This is a great part of a gratitude practice. We often forget to thank the people who do things for us, especially if we have come to expect those things. For example, have you ever thought about thanking your mom for that weekly phone call? Or thanking your sister for always sending you a homemade gift on your birthday?

Take time to think of at least 5 people you would like to say thank you to and write out a card. You could even write them out for random people in your neighborhood, like the local librarian, a teacher at your child’s school, or the accountant at your bank.

Anyone and everyone appreciates being thanked for their efforts.

5. Sign up for a Class

Nowadays, there are classes for everything. To make it as interesting as possible, try finding one that you wouldn’t normally consider doing, like salsa lessons, improv, or boxing.

Otherwise, try to find a course on something you’ve always wanted to learn, like pottery, photography, or a foreign language course.

What’s good about joining an interest class is that you will also meet new people, which will add even more interest to your life!

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6. Talk to Your Grandparents About Their Lives

We often underestimate how interesting the elderly are. You can rest assured that any elderly person you talk to will not have had a boring life! Take some time to talk to them and hear their interesting stories. You may even find that this motivates you to go out and find your own interesting experiences.

7. Get up on Stage at an Open Mic Night

Whether you’re funny or not, get up on stage. If you’re not into comedy, find an open mic that focuses on reading poetry or short stories and bring your own. These groups tend to be incredibly supportive for anyone who is willing to be brave enough to get up and try.

8. Do Something for Someone Else

Showing kindness automatically makes you feel good, but doing these small acts will also help to ensure that you don’t have a boring life. Try doing one or two things each week that are outside your normal routine.

For example, you could make a batch of cookies for the mailperson or help your elderly neighbor organize one of their rooms. There are a million ways to show kindness to those around you. Tap into your creativity and find your own or use some of the ideas from the image below[1].

Do random acts of kindness to avoid living a boring life.

    9. Start a DIY Project in Your Home

    If you have your own place, there is always a project that needs to get done. Many people simply pay for someone else to do it in order to avoid the hassle, but taking on a DIY project can make a boring life much more interesting.

    It doesn’t have to be super complicated. Maybe you repaint an old vase or build a spice shelf out of used pallets.

    If you need ideas, you can also check out these 30 Awesome DIY Projects that You’ve Never Heard of.

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    10. Plan a Weekend Trip or an All-Out Vacation

    This will give you something to look forward to. One study actually found that most travelers are happiest before a vacation[2]. Therefore, simply planning a trip will boost your mood, even if you can’t actually take the vacation right now.

    Even if you don’t have the time or money to go on a vacation, plan for a staycation, which is also fun and relaxing!

    11. Go People Watching

    Find a bench in a crowded area (centers of transportation like airports, bus stops, and train stations are great for this!) and just observe[3].

    People are infinitely interesting. Try to imagine what their lives are like, what they’re thinking, or where they’re going. You’ll never know if you’re right, but it will give you something to focus on and also help you practice empathy.

    12. Eat Something You’ve Never Eaten Before

    You can try that new Moroccan restaurant down the street and pick the most interesting dish on the menu. Or, you can raid your own fridge and throw together a dish you’ve never made before.

    If you’re up for a trip to the grocery store, try picking up a new fruit or veggie from the produce section. You may find a new food that you love!

    13. Dance

    You can get your friends together for a night on the town or just pull up a video on YouTube and bust a move from your own living room.

    If you’re feeling extra brave, you can even dance in public or join a flash mob.

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    14. Pick up a Book and Start Reading

    Reading a good book can keep you occupied for hours. It will also transport you to a life that isn’t your own, and one that likely will be the opposite of a boring life. You’ll be amazed by what you can learn from those pages.

    Pick on of these inspirational books to start reading: 10 Best Inspirational Books That Can Change Your Life

    15. Spend Some Time With People You Care About

    Facebook stalking doesn’t count as real social interaction. Call up a friend you haven’t seen in a while, or bring a coffee over to your parent’s place and catch up. They’ll appreciate the gesture, and you’ll avoid boredom.

    16. Check out a Museum You’ve Never Been to

    Some people are bored by museums, so if that’s you, skip to the next one. However, if you love art, history, or culture, this one is for you!

    17. Write a List of Things You Desire and Truly Want

    This is a great way to help you figure out the real reason why you’re feeling bored about your life. Maybe you haven’t really done things that you truly enjoy? Maybe what you’ve wanted to do all the time has been left behind?

    Think about the list of things you really want to do, and ask yourself why you aren’t doing these things (yet). Then, start taking your first step to make it happen.

    Now, go make your life interesting and live your dream life!

    More on How to Quit a Boring Life

    Featured photo credit: Alex Alvarez via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] FECAVA: Random Acts of Kindness
    [2] Applied Research in Quality of Life: Vacationers Happier, but Most not Happier After a Holiday
    [3] Psychology Today: The Expert’s Guide to People Watching

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