Everything You Need to Know About Emotional Emptiness

Feelings of emotional emptiness are scary and unfamiliar. It may be unnerving not to be able to describe your feelings and not knowing what to do next. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you overcome it!
Everything You Need to Know About Emotional Emptiness

Last update: 09 January, 2021

Many people experience feelings of emotional emptiness, a lack of meaning or purpose, at some point in their lives. However, chronic feelings of emptiness and feelings of emotional numbness or despair may be symptoms of other mental health concerns such as depression, anhedonia, or schizophrenia.

Emotional emptiness is a state of mind that occurs on its own, in response to a certain loss or life change. Emptiness is a result of the mind creating an emotional distance from a recent event, trying to protect itself from dealing with intense negative emotions. It’s the mind’s equivalent of bottling up emotions.

Although it occurs in the presence of a range of negative emotions, it’s commonly associated with underlying loneliness. It can be difficult to acknowledge that you may be feeling lonely, sad, empty, or another similar emotion. But emotional acknowledgment and acceptance are crucial in fighting emptiness.

When feelings of emptiness are regular and long lasting, they may symptoms of a deeper psychological issue. Feelings of emptiness are often related to trauma or loss, possibly even one that happened a long ago. Those who suffered childhood abuse, especially emotional abuse, are more likely to report chronic feelings of emptiness.

Why do I feel this way?

People confront feelings of emptiness in their lives for many reasons. For example, the loss of a loved one, whether due to death or separation, may leave one feeling empty. A sudden change in life circumstances may also produce such feelings.

A common symptom of emptiness is the feeling that life lacks meaning. Emptiness can leave a person feeling emotionally numb, despondent, isolated, lonely, and anxious. Some people describe the experience as an empty feeling in their chest. Sadly, many of them try to fill that void in many unfulfilling ways.

In fact, they often engage in unfulfilling activities such as compulsive eating, compulsive shopping, or even with drugs or alcohol. Luckily, there are many coping mechanisms for those suffering from emptiness that can prove emotionally fulfilling. These activities truly give life new meaning. 

Coping with emptiness

To cope with emptiness, you can ask others for help or do it on your own. There are many things you can do to address your emptiness. Changing the way you cope with your emotions and the way you spend your time are key components that will allow you to feel better. Here are a few examples:

Filling voids with the help of others

Spend time connecting with others. We’re social beings and depend on interactions with others. Social connection is key to mental and physical health. However, keep in mind that, if you often fill voids with other people’s help, you’ll become emotionally dependent

You may also try finding a way to help others. Helping others is one of the most psychologically beneficial ways to spend your time and energy. This can help you with your lack of purpose or connection. In addition, these acts of kindness are highly rewarding. 

Considerer playing team sports. Team sports help you work well with others, while promoting teamwork. Coordinating with team members is a skill that’ll surely help you with other relationships. Being active helps you get more attuned to your body, which is great for those who feel empty.

Filling voids by ourselves

Consider meditating. We should focus on ourselves and spend more time thinking about our desires. In order to be in a positive state of body and mind, spend several minutes meditating. Not only does it help you focus on yourself but it can also help you address negative emotions. 

Try learning something new. This has motivational effects similar to dopamine, leading to stimulation. The idea is to also push yourself to learn something new each day or week. Do you like to read? Buy a few new books and make it a goal to finish them within a certain time frame.

Be intentional in how you spend your time off work. Rather than binge-watching TV, make your free time count. Plan things that you find fun, interesting, and fulfilling. Just push through any initial resistance. After all, you’ll feel great about yourself after you make good use of your time.

A close up of a face.

Seeking counseling

For many, the best first step to getting help is to set up an appointment with a licensed therapist or counselor. Just look for a therapist near you who specializes in the issue if you know exactly what the root problem is. Online directories are incredibly helpful when it comes to finding an emotional emptiness expert.

Try to find a therapist or counselor who’s available at times that are convenient for you. Bear in mind that you should narrow down at least a few options and reach out to request a consultation. Some types of therapy have more research on their effectiveness than others. 

Often, support groups are a great addition to therapy. In addition to seeking counseling, there may also be some things you may do on your own in order to address your feelings of emptiness.

Remember that you’re not alone. Many of us feel the same way. It’s okay to feel empty, sad, or lonely. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. We hope this article gave you some insight on how to process and overcome these emotions. It’ll surely help you along your journey.

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