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Feeling Empty: When Everything Feels "Meh"

Part of being human is experiencing a range of emotions. Sometimes we feel joy, while other times we feel defeated. These emotions are important and contribute to the meaningfulness of life. However, what happens when you no longer know how you feel? You might feel somewhat sad or bored, or perhaps a combination of emotions, but mostly it's a sense of indifference or "meh." If you find yourself in this state for more than a day, it is not normal. Unfortunately, this feeling is becoming increasingly common, and if it persists, seeking help from a mental health expert is vital. Exploring the underlying causes of emptiness is not a straightforward process, but it is the first step towards reconnecting with your true self. In the following sections, I will outline the symptoms experienced by individuals who feel empty. If you recognize yourself in any of these descriptions, addressing the unresolved issues can alleviate your feelings of emptiness.

  • Losing touch with oneself is a common manifestation of emptiness. If you feel like you are living without a sense of purpose or direction, you may experience confusion about your desires and aspirations. When you lack specific goals or dreams to pursue, you may feel empty and emotionally numb. This sense of emptiness can arise from dedicating excessive time to work or being in an enmeshed relationship where your individuality becomes overshadowed. If you constantly prioritize projects or tasks that leave no time for personal reflection, you may gradually diminish your sense of authenticity.

  • Neglecting self-care is another contributing factor. When we go through life on autopilot, we often become too drained to take care of ourselves. Whether it's due to the demands of a new baby or a demanding job, immersing ourselves completely in these responsibilities can cause us to overlook our own well-being. We may resort to wearing oversized clothes to hide our unhealthy eating habits or lack of exercise instead of nourishing our bodies with nutritious meals and physical activity. The more we neglect our bodies, the more fatigued we become. This pattern leads us to define ourselves by what we do rather than who we are. Taking time each day to reflect, disconnecting from social media, and scheduling regular walks are crucial initial steps towards reclaiming a sense of authenticity.

  • Unresolved past trauma is another significant contributor to emptiness. When we fail to address our emotional pain openly, it tends to bury itself deeper within us. Without processing this pain, we cannot release it. Living with unresolved pain often drives individuals to rely on coping mechanisms, such as addictive substances, which only serve to deepen the emptiness. Seeking support from a reliable group or confidant who can empathetically listen and offer guidance is essential. Therapy is particularly helpful in addressing grief and providing strategies to let go and move forward.

  • The absence of a meaningful relationship also contributes to feelings of emptiness. Everyone needs to feel loved and cared for by at least one person. When individuals are unsuccessful in establishing intimate connections, they tend to withdraw and isolate themselves. It is not necessary to have numerous friends to maintain good mental health, but having one or two close relationships is crucial. Without this support, individuals may feel lost, abandoned, and empty.

Feelings of emptiness are not uncommon, especially during life transitions such as the loss of a loved one, unemployment, postpartum loneliness, or the aftermath of a breakup. It is important to reach out to a trusted friend, a supportive group member who has undergone a similar experience, or a parent in these situations. Engaging in conversations about your feelings and seeking support will help you navigate the transitions without losing touch with yourself. Embracing our emotions is an essential part of the human experience, as life is too precious to be lived in a state of emptiness.

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