Do you feel an inner emptiness even when you are in the company of many people? Lie close to your partner at night and still feel alone? Do you constantly make your well-being dependent on validation from others?
These are just a few of many possible situations we may experience when we feel empty inside. Regardless of social status or professional success, everyone can experience this feeling at some point in their lives.
You are not alone in the world with such feelings. It is all the more important to learn how to deal with them well.
In this article you will learn what inner emptiness is and how you can fill it again.
How does inner emptiness feel??
People who feel empty inside feel like they are only silent observers of their own lives. You are restless, doubt your self and feel a longing for recognition. Constant feelings of dejection, incompleteness or loneliness can tear a big hole in us. We now try to plug this hole by any means possible.
Similar to our stomach grumbling when we are hungry, you can think of the inner emptiness as a hunger for meaning, for self-control and completeness. Often we don’t seriously set out to find the right food for that emotional hunger. Instead, we start looking for substitute solutions to fill our inner emptiness.
Impulsive eating, excessive alcohol and drug consumption, pronounced shopping behavior and obsessive attachment to certain people can be examples of such behavior. The satisfaction we achieve in this way, however, only lasts for a very short time. Like a ravenous appetite, it needs to be satisfied quickly. In many cases, this behavior can develop into serious addictive behavior.
A dangerous vicious circle develops: We become afraid of not being able to get rid of the inner emptiness and of not being able to regain access to our needs. Therefore, we begin to avoid situations in which we feel the inner emptiness particularly strongly. With this behavior, however, we isolate ourselves further from our environment. This only makes us feel lonelier and more helpless. Anxiety disorders and depression can be the result.
How inner emptiness arises?
Inner emptiness can arise in very different ways. Sudden events such as the loss of an important person, a job or homesickness can also be a trigger, as can an early traumatic experience. However, such a situation alone is not sufficient for the development of inner emptiness. The most important thing is how we evaluate them.
Psychologists basically distinguish between two ways of evaluations:
- At External evaluations we look for the reason for the occurrence of an event in our environment or in the abilities of other persons.
- At inner evaluations we relate the reason of an event to ourselves and our own abilities.
If life were only about maintaining and preserving our self-worth, then it would be most beneficial to explain our successes in terms of our own abilities. Failures, on the other hand, we would attribute to other factors or persons.
When we feel an inner emptiness, we tend to behave the other way around. As soon as something does not work out, we quickly tell ourselves that we are not good enough. With a sense of achievement, on the other hand, we think we have simply been lucky. Under this misinterpretation and the missing feeling of pride about our own successes, our self-esteem suffers and sinks as well as the confidence in our own abilities.
We learn such evaluation patterns already in childhood and store them – like other behavior patterns – subconsciously. In everyday life, we do not think about how we z.B. walk or talk. In the same way we seldom question the way of our evaluations. Unfortunately, this also makes a distorted and very negative evaluation pattern seem quite normal to us. This is another reason why it is so difficult for us to get rid of the inner emptiness.
What you can do about it
Since behavior and evaluation are learnable processes, here are four tips you can use to learn how to conquer your inner emptiness.
1 Practice mindfulness
Try to deal intensively with yourself, your emotions and thoughts and to reflect on them. For this you can z.B. Keep a diary of your thoughts, feelings, fears and desires. By writing them down, you make them observable to yourself and bring them out from within you. Meditation or yoga can also help you get deeper into your thoughts and feelings.
2 Gather new experiences
Instead of filling your inner emptiness with addictive and consuming substances in the short term, look for significant activities and experiences that bring new impressions and memories. Focus on things that are good for you or things you have always wanted to do.
Scientific studies have also shown that happiness and satisfaction are perceived more intensively when you share your experiences with other people. Find a new sport, do something new with your friends, or take a trip with your family.
3 Focus on people you care about
Inner emptiness can also be so tormenting because we have made ourselves dependent on the approval and affirmation of other people. Social company and personal contacts are important for one’s own well-being. But at the same time it is important to be aware that for some people you are only a means to an end. Reflect on the people who are important to you, who enrich your life and who also care about you. It can help you to open up to these people and share your inner emptiness with them.
4 Go to therapy
If the above tips do not help you to face your inner emptiness or if you need help with it, psychotherapy can be a right step for you. This is especially important if you feel this inner emptiness for a long time and there is no improvement despite your attempts to solve it.
In our article we have written down how you can easily and quickly find a psychotherapy place – also in your area.
If you can’t find a therapy place or have doubts about a conventional therapy, our HelloBetter course Depression Prevention, which focuses on securing your joy of life, can help you to fill your inner emptiness.
Actively combating low moods with HelloBetter Depression Prevention: Our scientifically proven online course helps you to increase your joy of life.