Cut Through That Empty Feeling
If you’ve ever realized that a chronic, unpleasant feeling in your life is emptiness, you’re not alone. With the advent of globalization and open borders comes freedom, and people are moving around more than ever before. Trips across the ocean are cheaper than they’ve ever been, jobs regularly move to new cities, and families that used to live within a single block are now spread around the globe. On an individual level, it’s now easier than ever to ignore our feelings, and distract ourselves with a potent cocktail that includes but isn’t limited to work, social media, food, alcohol and drugs, and shopping.
If you’ve ever felt empty inside and are at a loss as to how to solve the problem, you’re not alone. Today we’re going to talk about that pervasive empty feeling, how it may have come into your life, and what you can do to stop it.
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Everyone feels like this sometimes
On social media, everyone puts their best foot forward, and it’s not hard to see why many people today have developed a real intolerance for pain and hardship. After all, we see it modeled in our everyday life less and less as time goes on. It’s much easier to post a photo of a cool cocktail or a perfect hair day than it is to really engage with your feelings in a public setting.
One of the most important things to understand when you feel empty, alone, and frustrated is that everyone feels like this sometimes. They just don’t post about it when they do, so it’s easy to overlook.
Acknowledge the feeling
One of the most important aspects of dealing with the issue of feeling empty inside is acknowledging that you have a problem in the first place. For some people, this feeling is linked to a particular event, so it’s easy to see why you feel this way. For others, it’s a pervasive feeling that can’t be traced back to a single event. Either way, feeling like this is OK.
Once you acknowledge that you have an issue, it’s easier to act on a potential solution. However, you shouldn’t rush to try and pull yourself out of the feeling. This could lead to damaging, distracting behavior that makes you feel better in the moment, but only leads to further harm if you’re unable to acknowledge your feelings.
One of the best ways that you can really explore the way you’re feeling and get more comfortable with these unpleasant sensations is to practice mindfulness on a regular basis. Mindfulness can help you accept the way you’re feeling and work towards a long-term solution, rather than just grabbing at any momentary distraction.
There are tons of apps out there that can help you practice mindfulness on a daily basis — everything from Headspace, which is full of excellent meditation sessions, to Stop, Breathe & Think, which helps you evaluate your mood before suggesting a helpful guided meditation. These apps are a great introduction to the practice, but you really have to stick with it to see lasting results.