What does it mean to feel empty inside?
Are you struggling to escape or ignore profound feelings of emptiness and a lack of purpose in your life? Do you know what you want to achieve, what you want out of life, and what you enjoy, but you still feel void inside and lonely?
A lack of love is the main cause of inner emptiness. If you don’t love yourself, you likely are experiencing inner emptiness because you’re focused on ignoring your feelings and constantly seeking approval and attention.
Everybody is full of creative potential, but there are people who don’t fully use this potential. Instead, they’re wasting their energy and time attempting to fill the resulting void with work, relationships, food, and other things in an attempt to distract their attention.
Symptoms of Inner Emptiness
To begin addressing inner emptiness, it’s important to discern if what you’re feeling is actually inner emptiness. Understanding our feelings helps us learn more about them. Inner emptiness often feels like an internal vacuum, inner void, or black hole. Here are the most common symptoms of inner emptiness:
- A lack of understanding of who you are.
- Confusion over your life’s purpose.
- Dwelling on negative thoughts.
- A drive to seek approval from friends and family.
- An inability to express and communicate about your feelings.
Why Do You Feel Empty?
The key to fighting inner emptiness is to figure out what you’re missing. Is it a lack of interpersonal connections? Do you feel as though you don’t belong, or that your life lacks meaning?
The two main roots of inner emptiness are an absence of emotional connections and a lack of expressions of love. The majority of people who chronically struggle with feelings of emptiness grew up with parents who didn’t form close, loving relationships with them. Not receiving sufficient attention and affection in your childhood causes people to believe that they’ll never be good enough. These feelings accompany us throughout our lives, like emotional baggage.
Feeling left out is so traumatic and uncomfortable that people will do nearly anything to avoid it. But it’s a common feeling for many people. And it can lead to chronic disorders, including clinical depression, if left unaddressed. Furthermore, people tend to dull these feelings with drugs and alcohol, which increases the likelihood of addiction. That’s why understanding what’s truly important to you helps you discern what’s making you feel empty inside.
Dealing with Inner Emptiness
Discovering what’s causing feelings of inner emptiness can be a long and challenging process. But the time and effort are always worth it. Instead of distracting yourself by trying to fill the inner void with things like food, shopping, drugs, or alcohol, you’ll regain your happiness by addressing what’s truly making you feel empty.
Here are several suggestions to get you started:
- Balance Yourself
To be in a positive mind and body state, we need to balance ourselves. There are many ways to do this. We can focus more on ourselves, and spend more time contemplating what we desire. We can meditate or exercise—even just a few minutes of these activities can reap benefits.
But perhaps the easiest way to help balance yourself is simply to take a bath. Research has shown that there are many benefits to warm baths, including increased mobility, pain relief, and an increase in psychological well-being. It’s easy to become distracted by negative emotions you may be experiencing. But it’s still important to take good care of yourself and center yourself.
- Enlist the Help of Others
Everyone has needs. But the needs become painful when we regard them as something we will never achieve. We think we must meet our needs on our own, but sometimes, it’s necessary to find somebody else to help us meet the need.
Asking for help is often the first step toward meeting your needs. Seeking help can resolve many issues in life. For example, if you need a friend, don’t waste your time figuring out how you can be your own best friend. Get out and find a friend.
- Appreciate What You Have
Feeling grateful is another way to fill your inner void. Research suggests that gratitude is an important positive emotion because it lets people expand their view of both the world and of themselves. This new perspective leads to the ability to build better social relationships. People who are thankful also tend to be more satisfied with their interpersonal relationships with family and friends. They’re generally less stressed and happier.
Try to be grateful for what is around you. Notice all of the good things you’ve been taking for granted. Giving a simple compliment will prove how much positive energy you’re capable of creating.
- Explore New Things
Neurobiologists have discovered that learning new things has motivational effects similar to those of dopamine, a chemical in the brain which triggers emotional arousal. So, each time you review things you’ve previously learned, try adding a few new facts. Another good tip is to make changes in your environment. Even minor changes such as altering the temperature or lighting in your room can positively affect your emotional state.
- Seek Professional Help
Many people can’t identify what caused their empty feelings no matter how long they’ve searched for a solution and analyzed themselves. The main thing is to keep trying!
If you’re ready to give up, find a therapist who can help you discover what in your past is causing the inner void, and then bring you back to the present so you can work on feeling happy and whole again.