Chronic Emotional Emptiness

Suffering chronic emotional emptiness means you're never satisfied. For this reason, you're constantly searching for something without any success. In fact, you're never happy with anything.
Chronic Emotional Emptiness

Last update: 16 April, 2021

If you suffer chronic emotional emptiness, you never feel satisfied. In fact, you continually feel flooded with a sense of emptiness. “I’m stuck in a rut, every day is the same. Nothing motivates me so I just end up doing nothing. I don’t feel good or bad, happy or sad. I’m just stuck in the middle, waiting for life to pass me by. I feel empty inside”. These are the kind of things you’ll find yourself saying if you’re suffering from chronic emotional emptiness. You feel empty and apathetic. In fact, you don’t even feel like getting out of bed each day.

Feeling empty is one of the worst feelings you can ever experience. Furthermore, it’s exhausting to feel that nothing either satisfies or motivates you. Many people experience this feeling at some point in their lives. However, if it starts to become your usual emotional state, you should raise the alarm. Because it means something isn’t right. Furthermore, you may need professional help to overcome it.

“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” 

-Victor Frankl-

A girl looking depressed.

Chronic emotional emptiness

Feeling this kind of boredom, emptiness, and apathy might mean you try to fill the void with activities to stop yourself from thinking too much. Or you might choose to mix with highly emotional people to try and fill that emptiness you feel.

Some people find comfort in addictive substances such as drugs or alcohol or in compulsive eating.

If you don’t address existential emptiness, you’ll probably find yourself trying to fill the void with anything that makes you feel some kind of strong emotion.

However, none of these things work. They’re only temporary cures. In fact, they only serve to enhance your feelings of inner emptiness.

Consequently, you find yourself suffering from chronic emotional emptiness. You’re continually searching for something to satisfy you, without success. You feel you’re never happy and you always need more.

How to deal with chronic emotional emptiness

Recognize it

William James, a renowned American philosopher and psychologist, said that, “Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune”. In other words, don’t reject what’s happened to you or take refuge in damaging behaviors. Instead, accept your feelings of emptiness and start to seek meaning in your life.

Let yourself feel empty

Let the emptiness and apathy flow through you. If you feel sad, cry. If you feel cross, get angry. In fact, giving room to negative emotions can help you feel better.

“I actually think sadness and darkness can be very beautiful and healing.”

 -Duncan Sheik-

Get to know yourself

Socrates said, “Know thyself, for once we know ourselves, we may learn how to care for ourselves”. Therefore, if you’re feeling empty inside, constantly looking for something to satisfy you, you might need to stop looking outside and look inside yourself instead.

Discover yourself. What do you need? What do you feel? What do you want? What are your hopes and fears? These questions can be a starting point for your own self-awareness and the start to finding meaning in your life.

Remember that the more you take care of yourself and learn to know yourself better, the more the feeling of emptiness will disappear. Because that void you’re seeking to fill outside of yourself can only really be filled within yourself.

A woman's face reflected in a mirror.

Find activities that make you feel better

If you’re suffering emotional emptiness, you might find yourself seeking to fill the void with extreme and harmful activities like alcohol or substance abuse. That’s because they make you experience strong emotions. If you find yourself in this situation, you need to look for activities, hobbies, and tasks that are positive and healthy. They’ll help you fill that void. Furthermore, you’ll discover things that you enjoy and that let you live your life in a healthy and positive way.

In short, as Jorge Bucay suggests, don’t get carried away by emptiness and apathy. Because this only leads you to negative situations. Instead, focus on looking for healthy situations that help you. In fact, Bucay claims, “We’re not responsible for our emotions, but we are responsible for what we do with them”.

“Man is originally characterized by his “search for meaning” rather than his “search for himself”.”

-Viktor Frankl-

Appreciating what you have will help rid you of chronic emotional emptiness

Finally, take a look at everything you have in your life. Because when you only focus on what’s missing, you ignore what you do have.

Appreciate what you have. Concentrate on what makes you feel good. Focus on experiencing everything you’re capable of. Learn to value everything in your life. Finally, always remember that, at those times when you feel lost, meaning is always there, just waiting to be found.

“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you won’t do anything with it.”

-Scott Peck-