How To Fill The Void In Your Life: 10 Highly Effective Tips

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The stark feeling of emptiness seems as though it stretches on forever. Often, you can pinpoint where it started, but then it just stretches off into a long, featureless plain of nothingness.

The void can feel numb, a lack of excitement, apathy, lack of purpose, or feeling lost and disconnected from the world. The emptiness is easy to confuse with depression, but it’s not always depression.

And sometimes, we can’t tell where it started. Sometimes you’re just sitting there and realize that you feel empty and sad like you’re supposed to be doing something, but you can’t nail down what it is you’re supposed to be doing.

That feeling of emptiness can be caused by several different things, ranging from mental illness to just making bad decisions that aren’t true to yourself. You can deprive yourself of feelings of wholeness and purpose by ignoring your feelings. Granted, sometimes we have to. We can’t always act on our feelings because sometimes what we feel isn’t necessarily the right thing to do. It may feel right, but it may not be right.

But there is a balance. It’s impossible to fill that void with superficial remedies because those remedies aren’t actually addressing the problem. Common unhealthy coping skills include unhealthy relationships, sex, adrenaline-seeking, drugs, alcohol, self-harm, food, and work. People who throw themselves into these kinds of unhealthy coping skills are typically using them to avoid thinking about the emptiness they’re feeling.

And avoidance doesn’t solve the problem. So the question is – how do you address that void? How can you heal from it? Grow from it?

I’m glad you asked because that’s what the rest of this article is about!

Speak to an accredited and experienced therapist to help you fill the void you’re experiencing. You may want to try speaking to one via for quality care at its most convenient.

1. Why might a person feel empty?

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a theory of a person’s need to develop and actualize themselves into a healthy life. It is not necessarily a hard and fast rule like so many things in psychology. Instead, it is more like a guideline of what people will need to develop themselves, feel content, and be accomplished.

Though it is organized in a pyramid, today’s researchers believe that many of the different levels of the pyramid will overlap, change places, and even be combined at times.

The feeling of the void, emptiness, a need for something may be identified through the Hierarchy of Needs. A person may not be meeting all of these common points of human development and experience. As a result, their brain is trying to tell them to get work on it by making them feel as though something is missing because something is missing. And that something is the fulfillment of a particular need.

Of course, that is not the only reason a person may feel empty. It’s just a good place to start. Mental illness and trauma can also cause feelings of emptiness just by how they manifest.

2. Consider why you may feel the void.

Take a look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and consider what may be lacking in your life.

Is it socialization? Doing something fulfilling? Too much stress? Insecurity? An unhealthy or abusive relationship? Are you growing yourself or your life? Have any goals? Have enough to eat? Feel secure in where you live?

You can take steps to fill the void by identifying why it exists.

3. Identify your unhealthy coping skills.

Identifying your unhealthy coping skills will help you be mindful of engaging in unhealthy or destructive behaviors. You can then interrupt the process of diving into those unhealthy behaviors when you realize you’re heading in that direction.

For example, suppose you know you drink when you’re stressed out. In that case, you can try replacing alcohol with a different, healthier coping skill like meditation or exercise.

The challenge with changing unhealthy coping skills and bad habits is often a subconscious reaction to stimuli. For example, people don’t usually think, “Oh, I feel super stressed right now. I’m going to imbibe in some alcohol!” No, instead, they just feel stressed and think, “Man, I need a drink right now.” And then they drink.

By changing how you think about your unhealthy coping skills, you can then change your relationship with them. Instead of following that preset path, you can instead say, “Okay, I feel stressed right now, but I’m not going to drink. Instead, I’m going to go for a walk to blow off some steam and get some endorphins pumping.”

Remember: you can’t fill the void by engaging in things that are designed to distract you from its very existence!

4. Consider writing out your feelings.

Journaling is an incredibly helpful tool in the process of recovery and getting your emotional health squared away. But even if you don’t feel like you’re the journaling type, it can be helpful to just write out what you’ve been feeling.

The reason is that writing fires off different parts of your brain, which helps you process things differently than just thinking about the problem.

The other benefit to writing is that it can help you stop going in circles. Writing it out helps guide you along a direct path of your experiences, what you feel, and then pushes your mind further onto other things.

Just be aware that writing about the void you are feeling won’t always be easy or pleasant. Putting your thoughts and feelings down on paper can make them seem more real. It can be easy to gloss over the real reasons for your feelings when they’re stuck in your head. Writing everything down can be an emotional release – an outpouring of truth after a long period of denial.

If you choose to do this, make sure it is safe to do so. Suppose you’re in a relationship where you don’t feel safe or have people around you that would violate your privacy. In that case, you’ll want to be careful about what you put in writing. This is also why some people write out what they think and feel then just burn the document after so no one can see it. It’s a tool solely for you. Other people don’t have to be involved unless you want to involve them for their help.

5. Avoid ruminating on the problem.

Rumination is the act of thinking too much about a negative or painful thing. There comes the point when thinking about the painful thing really just becomes a form of self-harm. It serves no actual purpose other than causing the person to feel worse about it.

And rumination is not always something that’s done in your head. Sometimes, it’s done out loud or in support groups. Unfortunately, some people take the phrase “talk about it” too literally and never stop talking about it. They bring it up constantly. They keep going back to it. They go through it repeatedly because they’re trying to process it. Still, they just can’t because talking about it doesn’t necessarily help with processing.

Processing takes time if it’s a problem that can be processed and solved just by talking. But many of the more serious problems that cause those feelings of emptiness are not something you can just talk through and heal. It usually requires much more work to fill the void you’re feeling.

Do talk about it, but don’t go back to it all the time. Think about it, but don’t let it constantly sit in your thoughts and make you miserable. Balance is important.

6. Find activities that help calm and focus your mind.

Regular exercise can do wonders for easing a troubled mind. Making a regular habit of it can provide valuable chemical endorphin releases in your body to help alleviate the feelings of emptiness.

It doesn’t have to be anything super complicated. Just getting outside for a regular walk a few times a week can help. Other low-impact exercises, aerobics, or even Yoga are all good options.

To be clear, we are not using exercise to heal the problem we’re experiencing or fill the void we’re feeling. We’re using it to nurture our physical and mental health because they are both closely tied. It won’t solve the actual problem. It may or may not just make it a bit easier and lighter in your brain.

7. Find fulfillment in service to others.

You may feel the void because you are not doing anything fulfilling with yourself or your life. People need to do something they can feel proud of, that they can look at and say, “I did that! I helped and made things better!” And there are many ways that you can go about doing that.

You may consider doing some charity work to help disadvantaged people. This is a great choice if you have a professional skill that smaller charities could use but can’t necessarily afford to employ someone. Still, there are often openings for doing more general work as well. For example, fundraising or driving for disadvantaged people is also a massive help. You may even want to get more hands-on with a charity that builds for people that need it, like wheelchair ramps or houses for the disadvantaged.

What piques your interest? Is there anything that sticks in your mind as something you want or need to do? And if you don’t have anything like that, just pick something randomly and go do it. Often, passion comes after you start doing a thing rather than before. After all, how will you know if you like doing a thing until you actually do it?

8. Take some time to yourself.

Sometimes a person may feel lost in the void because they simply give too much of themselves to other people. This can be a big problem for people who are naturally caretakers and givers. But, often, they may not feel that other people are pouring back into them the way they pour out to others. Not everyone is wired to do that, unfortunately.

That doesn’t mean that you need to stop completely. It just means that you may need some healthier boundaries and more limits on how much you pour out. Offload some of that responsibility to some of the other people in those circles that should have it. That way, you can take some of that weight off of your own shoulders and distribute it more evenly.

Taking a step back to rest, recuperate, and recharge your batteries may help you get back into the right balance with yourself. And don’t spend your time excessively pouring into other people that aren’t doing the same for you, particularly in your relationships and friendships. Magical things happen when both parties pour into each other, instead of one person giving and the other only taking.

9. Practice gratitude for what you have instead of focusing on what you lack.

Gratitude is almost a cliché and buzzwordy kind of thing in self-help circles. But, I, the writer, can tell you from personal experience that gratitude really does have the power to dramatically change the way you look at the world, feel about other people, and yourself.

We focus our minds on what we already have and the bounty that we enjoy by practicing gratitude. It leads the mind away from focusing on unnecessary wants. I want to have that, I want to have this. If only I had a fancy car, I’d feel so important. If only I had expensive clothes, I would be more respected. If only I was more successful, I would be so happy!

And you know what? All of those things might be true to some degree. But the happiness that those things give is usually fleeting. Because acquiring the stuff means you’ve only solved the problem of not having stuff. Now you get to experience the problems associated with actually having the stuff. That brings with it expectations, greed, jealousy, envy, conflict, and whatever other unforeseen problems you’re not aware of yet because you don’t have what you want.

The other big issue is that all of those happy feelings we derive from getting what we want are fleeting. They’re there, then they’re gone. So then we need more, and more, and more, and more, and more.

Gratitude turns that all on its head. When you are grateful for what you have, even when it’s not much, you free yourself from that eternal rat race to fill that void.

10. Do seek professional help.

Realistically, you’re more than likely going to need the help of a trained mental health professional to get to the bottom of those feelings and heal them, particularly if they are the result of trauma or mental illness.

Of course, you can try to address the void by using the various tips included in this article. They may provide some relief, but if you feel like the problem persists, speak to a professional about what you’re experiencing.

They will be able to help you get to the root of the issue, give you tools, and guide you through the healing process.

A good place to start would be the online therapy service from You can talk to a trained professional via video or phone from wherever you are in the world and get the help you need.

Too many people try to muddle through and do their best to overcome issues that they never really get to grips with. If it’s at all possible in your circumstances, therapy is 100% the best way forward.

Here’s that link again to learn more or to arrange a session.

You’ve already taken the first step just by searching for and reading this article. The worst thing you can do right now is nothing. The best thing is to speak to a therapist. The next best thing is to implement everything you’ve learned in this article by yourself. The choice is yours.

There is vibrance and beauty past that lonely stretch of emptiness. It’s just not always easy to find your way through it to the other side.

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About The Author

Jack Nollan is a person who has lived with Bipolar Disorder and Bipolar-depression for almost 30 years now. Jack is a mental health writer of 10 years who pairs lived experience with evidence-based information to provide perspective from the side of the mental health consumer. With hands-on experience as the facilitator of a mental health support group, Jack has a firm grasp of the wide range of struggles people face when their mind is not in the healthiest of places. Jack is an activist who is passionate about helping disadvantaged people find a better path.