When You Feel Empty: What It Means & What to Do
If you’re feeling empty, you’re not alone. Many of us feel empty in different ways. For instance, you might feel empty because something is missing in your life, said Kaitlyn Slight, a marriage and family therapist in Raleigh, N.C. This might be emptiness from a loved one moving or passing away, she said.
Or the emptiness might stem from “slowly abandon[ing] ourselves, not listening to our own hopes and desires.” You might abandon yourself unintentionally or unknowingly because you’re striving for perfection or others’ approval, she said. You might stop caring for yourself while focusing on your career. For instance, you might stop moving your body or getting enough sleep. Abandoning ourselves can spark anxiety, depression, guilt and shame, she said.
Slight’s clients also mention feeling numb or alone. They mention that work is unsatisfying, they feel unsuccessful, their relationships are unfulfilling or nothing is exciting.
If you’re feeling empty, seeing a therapist can help. In particular, it’s important to get screened for depression. How you handle your emptiness depends on what’s causing it. Here are several suggestions: