Empty is a feeling

Inner emptiness - how it is created, how it feels and what you can do about it

Actually, you could be satisfied with your life, because at first glance nothing is missing: you live in a stable relationship or have started a family, you have a secure job that nourishes you, you have nice and interesting friends Hobbies. You have a cozy home and can afford one vacation every year, maybe even more than one a year. And yet - you have the feeling that something is missing, you often have moments in which you feel an inner emptiness and do not even know why that is or where this inner emptiness comes from.

Do you recognize yourself? Don't worry, almost everyone knows these moments or phases. In this article, read about what emptiness feels like, why you feel this way every now and then, and what you can do about it.

In what does an inner emptiness express itself?

If you want to understand why you feel an inner emptiness, you should first know how it expresses itself. The following symptoms will tell you that the inner emptiness could at least temporarily become a problem for you:

  • You are wondering what the meaning of your life is
  • You ask yourself who you actually are, what defines your personality
  • They often have negative thoughts
  • They often feel down for no reason
  • You feel incomplete despite your partner and / or family
  • You often feel alone even when you are in company
  • You feel dependent on confirmation from others

A feeling of inner emptiness often leads to self-doubt. You will ask yourself: why do I feel so empty and lonely when I have an understanding partner? Why am I not satisfied even though I have two well-off children? How can it be that I feel imperfect, am I successful and respected in my job? A vicious circle often develops from this contradiction. You feel empty, do not understand why and develop a fear of the feeling of inner emptiness.

A feeling like hunger or a black hole

The feeling of inner emptiness can be compared very well with hunger - with the difference that it is not physical, but emotional hunger. It is about the feeling or the fear of never being able to find real fulfillment. A feeling that is not so rare - and the well-known phrase “starve to death on your outstretched arm” is pretty good.

Many sufferers report that the feeling of inner emptiness feels like a gap, a vacuum or even like a "black hole", from which - it seems - everything is absorbed. For quite a few it is difficult to bear, and they try to fill this "black hole", unfortunately with things that harm instead of help, such as alcohol, drugs, medication, cigarettes or overeating. Still others compensate for the emptiness by rushing excessively into their work or seeking compensation in countless fleeting affairs.

Where does the feeling of inner emptiness come from?

Inner emptiness is always a state of lack. Many psychologists are of the opinion that the causes of this feeling are primarily to be found in childhood. Because many of those affected did not have enough care and attention as a child, which led to the feeling that they were not good enough.

Those affected very often report the following experiences:

  • As a child you were very often criticized, punished or even beaten.
  • They were given the feeling of not being allowed to be "themselves" by repeatedly being told or conveyed how they should be "right".
  • As a result of the two points mentioned, those affected have been adjusted to avoid anger.
  • Quite a few grew up in circumstances in which there was no criticism or punishment, but also little or no interest on the part of the parents. This is often the case in particularly wealthy but unemotional families.
  • Many of those affected became victims of abuse as children. The inner emptiness in these cases is often an attempt to combat shame and feelings of guilt.

In summary, it can be said that the cause of the feeling of inner emptiness is almost always to be found in a lack of love, affection and emotional attachment. This deficiency arises in a phase of life when emotional warmth is particularly important, e.g. B. in childhood or adolescence. It is not uncommon for those affected to carry the feeling of inner emptiness with them well into adulthood and suffer from it.

What can you do about the inner emptiness?

There is always a reason for the inner emptiness, even if you may not even be aware of it. Therefore, the first step towards improvement is an analysis of the situation. You have to find out what exactly you are missing. Are you missing the meaning in life? Or is it more about relationships and belonging? Are you missing a partner or do you have someone by your side but are missing something important in your relationship? Once you know the source of the emptiness inside, you can target your problem as well.

If you heed the following tips, you can deal with the feeling of inner emptiness better or even eliminate it in the long term:


Very few of us live mindfully in the truest sense of the word. Mindfulness means being aware of what you are doing or experiencing in every moment and actively experiencing this moment. Sounds easier than it is, because who is doing gardening, for example, and is aware of it at every moment? Do not rather wander, e.g. B. to the next meeting, the next dentist appointment or the upcoming birthday of the mother-in-law? Concentrate one hundred percent on yourself again, be aware of everything, the smell of the garden soil, the warmth of the sun's rays on your skin, the coolness of the water, the wind in your hair. In this way you will regain your inner balance after a short time.


Many of those affected have the feeling that they are alone in the world with their problem. But that is not the case, because many more people are affected by inner emptiness than you think. It can be very helpful to look for like-minded people. Take action and talk to people who are equally affected. A self-help group - whether in real life or on Facebook - has proven to be very helpful for many people.

Pamper your senses

Pamper your senses with beautiful things! Can you play a musical instrument? Or imagine learning to do this? Music has a very balancing effect on the psyche. If you can't or don't want to make music yourself, relax with beautiful music * or at a concert every now and then. Or try your hand at a creative activity like painting or writing. Balm for the soul is also a pet. If your living conditions allow, make a dog or a cat your housemate. An aquarium with colorful fish is also extremely calming and balancing.

Something new

Often times, changes can help alleviate feelings of emptiness. How about a change of scenery? You don't even have to move or travel - although this can also have positive effects - it can work wonders if you redecorate your apartment and enrich it with some new pieces of furniture or decorative elements or perhaps with new colorful lighting. Or learn something new! Which language have you always wanted to master? Italian? French? Or even something exotic like Japanese or Arabic? Now is the time to do it!


A strong, but often underestimated feeling that can alleviate or even heal inner emptiness is gratitude. Various studies and studies have clearly shown that grateful people are calmer and more relaxed, have more social skills and have a better self-image of themselves. Being grateful is so easy! Be grateful for things that seem to be taken for granted, such as the roof over your head, your job, your car. For a new book, a nice film, the sunrise in the morning, the flower by the way. Make gratitude a ritual: Take five or ten minutes every day and think about the positive things in your life and be consciously grateful for them. A gratitude diary * can help here. Because gratitude makes you happy. There is a saying: “Not everyone who is lucky is grateful. But everyone who is grateful is happy. ”And that's true!

When is therapy advisable?

It happens that people find it difficult to see what is the cause of their inner emptiness. For others, the inner emptiness is felt to be so stressful that it can develop into a serious mental illness such as depression or anxiety disorder. Many develop an addiction to such a disease, e.g. on alcohol or medication or an eating disorder.

In such cases, one should not be afraid to seek the help of a sensitive, experienced psychologist. He will help you to get to the bottom of the causes of the inner emptiness and to look for solutions. A maybe a little longer process, but it is definitely worth it.

Image: © Africa Studio - Fotolia.com

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