How to Stop Feeling Empty Inside

Describing emptiness the way you feel it is like describing the absence of color. A lack of joy inside is unlike any other type of sadness. Whether you are newly feeling this emptiness or have been tolerating it for awhile, you do not have to continue with it. There are ways to stop feeling empty inside, and you can start the process of returning color to your life today.

Causes of emptiness

Those who describe themselves as feeling empty usually share a similar thought – that life lacks meaning. Somehow, your reason for being was stripped away, and now you are a shell of your former self. Emptiness is often a symptom of a couple mental health disorders and psychological unwellness, such as the following:

  • Addiction: This can be to alcohol or drug use as well as a certain behavior. When usage of the substance you are dependent on, or a certain want, becomes unavailable, feelings of emptiness can occur.
  • Borderline personality disorder: Emptiness is often paired with other symptoms of this disorder, like a distorted sense of self, impulsiveness, and thoughts of suicide.
  • Depression: Many depressed individuals will call themselves empty, hopeless, and have low notions of self-worth.
  • Existential crisis: A loss of a loved one, or the loss of a job, can leave you feeling as if your role on this planet no longer exists. When you are unable to find meaning, you suffer from emptiness.

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How to fill the void

Whether you know the reason for your emptiness or not, you are probably at the brink of tolerance. Living with a hollow feeling in your chest is not set in stone. What I am about to suggest is a mix of psychotherapy and self-help techniques. I can testify to their usefulness, because I too once suffered from chronic emptiness.

1. Acknowledge the emotion

Yes, call the emptiness an “emotion.” Acknowledge that there is something inside, like a black hole of sorts that is consuming everything else you should be feeling. Rather than denying the emptiness, show compassion towards yourself.

Also, acknowledge when the emptiness becomes a resounding presence and take note of what makes you feel it the most. Ask yourself if emptiness is a buffer from more uncontrollable emotions, like grief or wrath. When you think of emptiness as an emotion, you begin to realize what is hiding underneath.

2. Ask yourself questions

As you begin to redefine your emptiness, begin to investigate certain reasons for the numbness. Either vocalize these questions or write them down:

  • Who am I with when I feel this way?
  • What have I done to feel this way? Do I make a mistake? Do I feel guilty?
  • Am I trying too hard to be perfect?
  • Am I asserting my own thoughts and feelings? Or is someone else controlling me?
  • What do I think about myself?

Negative responses to these questions can often instill emptiness in a person, even when they are not depressed.

3. Spend time alone

As you begin to accept the emptiness as something real and define some answers, you can begin to break it down and see beyond it. Avoid resorting to fleeing tactics that numb the hollow wound, such as drug use or other distractions like video games or TV.

Take moments throughout the day to just be alone, in and around yourself. Focus on you, your thoughts, feelings, hopes, and dreams. Do what you enjoy by yourself, like meditation, yoga, playing an instrument, writing poetry… whatever you enjoy. Because after time, you will feel more joy than emptiness.

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4. Congratulate yourself

Revel in even the small success of realizing the reason for your emptiness. Reward yourself when you reorganize your thoughts into something positive or catch yourself weighing the opinions of others too heavily. Whenever you promote positivity in your life, let yourself feel good. Always tell yourself that every success means you are alive and that, yes, you do have meaning.

Emptiness does not have to be your reality. It does not have to be the emotion that lingers from morning to night. Concentrate on you, your values, and let yourself feel. If you are hurt, let yourself feel it. From there, focus on that which makes you smile, and do those things regularly.

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