Do you often feel empty and hopeless? Do you wonder why some people are often riddled with sadness and despair despite achieving their dreams and desires or seemingly having everything: money, fame, beauty, health etc.?
Do you have an abundance of what many people often envy or dream of; enormous wealth, ecstatic romance, dream job, superb Ivy League education and degrees, striking beauty, great talents, accolades, etc., and yet still feel sad empty, and miserable?
This modern-day ever-growing disconnect between dreams, wishes, and achievements versus contentment and true satisfaction exposes deep inner despair resulting from a mismatch in solely expecting superficial materialism and desires to quench emotional and spiritual hunger.
The consequence is a loss of life within; that spark, energy, desire, and longing to keep moving on.
Putting it melodramatically, the individual is held captive in an emotional deep black hole staring at their life through their blurry figurative window with a hopeless gaze as a spectator and protagonist alike.
Worse even, as life passes by like a vicious cycle, there is increasing helplessness and malaise with every flashback and awareness of that core lack and void.
And most excruciating is not knowing what? or why? Let alone how to break the debilitating cycle.
One study by University of Rochester researchers demonstrated that achieving more can actually make a person less happy.
What causes emotional or existential emptiness ?
This triggers and root causes of emotional numbness and void are complex, multidimensional, and very variable. These could also be time and situationally dependent. What might spell doom for one person might barely leave a scratch on another person. While major traumas and misfortune like accidents or the loss of a loved one might expectedly provoke extreme grief and sorrow, the circumstances surrounding the despair, in this case, are not often so obvious.
Social media and news networks regularly reveal how revered superstars and famous individuals in the music, film industry, and many more, despite seemingly having it all; money, fame, beauty, and good health, still suffer a severe mental breakdown and a sense of great emotional emptiness.
Without any form of disrespect or being judgemental, there are countless talents who apparently, in extreme distress, went too soon ( singer Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston, Elvis Presley, among others, and in a recent situation, former Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst.
If they had a life considered perfect and enviable by many, what could have been the issue then?
It is worth noting that this does not only happen in the Hollywood spotlight; of course, people with much less fame might have difficulties too. This feeling is presumably more common than we think, and I am sure it is something we have all felt personally at some point in our lives. If we look around us, we will find that many people in our environment currently exhibit some form of it too. They move around in a hopeless and clueless maze akin to the living dead.
After due consideration and mere ponderation, one might come to the profound realization that this emptiness is not only caused by some external situation or lack but that it comes from something potent within us.
7 Triggers of emotional emptiness
- 1. Having low self-esteem: Feeling contempt towards oneself and evaluating oneself in a derogatory way all the time.
- 2. Overwhelmed by grief and misfortune: Some hardships and burdens in life might just be too heavy to bear and sometimes might even provoke a crumbling existential conflict with one’s core belief system.
- 3. Self-demanding more than we can give: This is akin to chewing more than we can bite while gradually losing control of ourselves and the strength to reboot.
- 4. Emotional dependency: Having the need to be emotionally attached to another person might make us feel incomplete if this other person is not present at some point in our lives.
- 5. Feeling the need for attention at all times: Feeling the excessive need for others to approve and accept your physical appearance, who you are, and what you do.
- 6. Searching for emotional and spiritual enlightenment in the wrong place: A typical hallmark is realizing that one is still left disappointed and unfulfilled despite achieving every desired dream and goal. This new realization that despite obtaining all one had spent much of their life aspiring for yet still not feeling satisfied can be anguishing and despair-provoking.
- 7. Unstable and weak coping mechanism: We all learn at a tender age that challenges, hardships, and misfortune are part of life at a tender age. How we deal with these turbulent moments dramatically depends on our inner beliefs and coping skills derived along life’s journey.
Manifestation of inner dissatisfaction and void
An underlying manifestation is a deep personal dissatisfaction that might transcend up to chronic depression with a tendency to intentionally or unconsciously indulge in harmful and self-destructive behaviors- physically and emotionally.
This can take the form of alcohol, drug, or sex addiction and might extend to self-harm or suicide in extreme situations.
It might also present itself in the form of social isolation- impaired psychosocial functions, and even various forms of emotional and psychosomatic disorders such as Borderline Personality Disorder.
What to do if one feels emotional emptiness at some point in life.
A well-established theory of human motivation, the so-called Self-Determination Theory developed by the psychologists Edward L. Deci and Richard Ryan, holds that wellbeing depends largely on meeting one’s three basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness.
1 1 ways to fill this emotional void and achieve genuine happiness and self-fulfillment
1. Acknowledge, and then Seek awareness and clarity
Accept the situation or process you are going through- do not deny it for what it is. Next, actively seek and be aware of the root cause of this emptiness and then gradually move on to tackle it! It is important here to differentiate the symptoms from the real cause less you spend much time trying to dry clean the floor rather than turning off the leaking pipe behind the wall.
2. Find a true purpose and meaning in life.
It is fundamentally essential to live a life congruent with your core life purpose and mission statement in finding true satisfaction in life.
Several people are unhappy and unfulfilled in life because they have been riding and sailing in the wrong boat all their lives.
3. Nurture your mind
The mind is such a powerful yet delicate part of our being. It is of prime importance to nurture and constantly take proper care of this gem. Be mindful of your thoughts, aka emotional and mental nutrients, and the stories you tell yourself. This is so important that one should literally regularly take stock of one’s thought patterns and belief system.
4. Live your life ; Not that of others
One sure way of falling deeper into the pit of emptiness is trying to live someone else’s life, i.e., be someone else. You are unique in your being, choices, and desires. Thus appreciate and be yourself! Remember the famous phrase from the desiderata: if you compare yourself with others, you end up vain and bitter.
” When you start minding your own business, fully caring less about what others think or feel about you, you attain a new level of freedom and satisfaction that is so blissfully gratifying and liberating.”
5. Accept your flaws and imperfections
It is normal to notice one’s imperfections, setbacks, and flaws; Having defects, weaknesses, and disabilities characterizes us as human beings, albeit with the readiness to improve or change things that bother us. There is a profound meaning in the phrase “to err is human.”
6. Take care of your health and body
You are aware by now that the mind and body form a robust system, with both symbiotically supporting each other. It cannot be overstated how actively caring for one’s health and body are fundamental towards nurturing a healthy mind.
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7. Be an inspiration to yourself and others
When we feel happy and self-fulfilled, others will sense and also benefit from that. We get much happier and contented by default too. Remember, one of the core traits of happiness is genuine service. Remind yourself every day that you could be a form or source of light to others, too, with much value and worth.
8. Genuinely Love yourself
The implication of the above statement and call to action is very powerful. Sincerely accepting and loving yourself and appreciating that you deserve the love of others too is a significant step towards self-fulfillment and satisfaction. If you’re are wondering what true love is, then check out this famous beautiful biblical definition of love
-> Love is patient , Love is kind, love …..READ MORE
” You are your own first and major love; If you can not truly love yourself, who should.?”
9. Adopt an excellent coping mechanism
Life is full of challenges, difficulties, and setbacks. Learn to deal with them
The famous Marcopera once bluntly and succinctly commented, “Shit happens, always shall, and always will.”
Good relationships, family, and friends represent one great support system backed by research as a core tenet of happiness.
And if you are overwhelmed, seek help and counsel from experts and professionals, especially if the feeling of emptiness is debilitating and long-lasting.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, don’t hesitate to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255),
Also visit : suicidepreventionlifeline.org. for more supportive and helpful information
Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis by dialing: 741741 or texting “STRENGTH”
10. Cultivate and practice more gratitude
Being aware of the value we have as a person and considering our virtues, skills, and abilities is a critical step toward ending this vicious cycle. Highlight each achievement and be proud of each one. Gratitude is said to contribute a great deal to overall happiness and wellbeing indoors.
11. Aspire for spiritual enlightenment
No matter your religion or belief. Strive to reckon with a higher force or divine power. If you consider yourself a special and unique “smart being,” then just like the epitome of the beauty of a smartphone or iPhone, there must be some outstanding “Steve Jobs” in action behind it. One has a great chance of finding great joy by seeking God and his great love and goodness!