3 Ways to Overcome Feelings of Emptiness

3 Ways to Overcome Feelings of Emptiness

I talk often about how happiness is not possible ALL the time.

I talk often about how it’s OK not to be OK all the time.

I talk often about the normality of not being happy and especially, of common unpleasant emotions like depression and sadness, stress and anxiety.

But there’s another form of unhappiness that gets little attention; yet I think it’s also quite common and deserving of attention.

And that is … emptiness or nothingness!

Read on for some helpful tips from Mark Travers via Psychology Today

Numbness is not an uncommon feeling, manifesting as a combination of confusion, loneliness, a lack of motivation, and a disinterest in our surroundings. It can often emerge ‘out of nowhere’ with no particular cause.

Psychologists define this feeling of emptiness as a complex, negative emotional state that is experienced in different ways by different individuals. An article published in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry proposed three elements that are central to its emergence:

  • Feelings of chronic tiredness and lethargy in the body
  • Withdrawal, isolation, and loneliness, even within one’s social circle
  • Persistent feelings of dissatisfaction and unfulfillment

The interplay of mind, body, and emotions all contribute to feelings of despondency.

Of course, it is a state like any other – and all states change over time. Here are three things you can do to go from feeling nothing to feeling better.

1. Find something to look forward to each and every day

Difficult relationships, stressful jobs, losses, and failures are just some of the circumstances that can create a lingering feeling of emptiness. The intensity of our busy lives makes it easy to lose touch with ourselves.

One study attempted to define what emptiness felt like in psychologically distressed individuals. The authors, led by Caitlin Miller of the University of Wollongong in Australia, found it to be closely associated with purposelessness and a lack of self-direction. Here are how a few of the respondents in the study described the feeling:

  • “It’s just your kind of very robotic and very, like, there is no meaning or purpose, I guess.”
  • “Oh dear, it’s a black hole. I guess it’s that drowning, you know, drowning.”
  • “It’s like wind inside a tin can, like you’re the tin can.”

Meaningless living with no pleasure leaves us with a constant feeling that something is missing. To break out of this destructive cycle, you may consider finding things to look forward to. Here are some questions that can help:

  • What specific thing can make me happy today?
  • What is a simple, achievable target I can set for myself?
  • What can I get rid of that is adding to my stress?

… keep reading the full & original article HERE