One of the most popular internet search terms is “I feel empty.” If you struggle with feelings of emptiness and you don’t know why, I have good news for you! You are not alone. You are normal. The person sitting next to you on the bus or in the library or on your sofa at home is struggling with empty feelings, too. Emptiness and loneliness are built into the very essence of who we are.
“I am 84 years old and live alone,” says Joanne on 7 Unexpected Ways to Stop Feeling Lonely Right Now. “I seldom hear from daughters or grandchildren. I have just one remaining sibling who lives far away. My close friends have passed away; the younger people I meet tend to treat me as a relic. The other older people my age are locked in their own memories and loneliness. But I am trying – in spite of the infirmities of aging – to learn to how stop feeling empty in life. I teach an interdenominational Bible class once a week, I have people over for dinner often, I attend some of the activities in the senior community I live in. I communicate with friends online, and sometimes Facebook friends. I have a pet (a 4 year old pooch), a patio full of plants to tend to. With the help of a walker I walk a few blocks each day. And yet…there are still moments of emptiness inside of me that I have to cope with and overcome if my last days are to be meaningful.”
Does Joanne’s comment cheer you up because it shows you that you’re not alone? Or, maybe it makes you feel worse! You can barely get through feeling empty and alone today, much less when you’re 84.
But remember how I said I have good news? It’s true. I really do.
What to Do When You Feel Empty in Life
The reason I shared Joanne’s comment wasn’t to make you feel emptier or lonelier – or anxious about being lonely when you’re 84 years old! Rather, I want you to know that no matter how old you are or what you do to fill your days or how many text messages you get…you will always say “I feel empty.”
Unless you find – and use – the keys to the kingdom of joy, peace, and power.
Discover why thousands of people tell Google “I feel empty” every day
The reason emptiness is so common – and the reason depression is the ‘common cold’ of mental and emotional health issues – is because we were created to experience joy. We were created to connect with God, to be filled with His Holy Spirit, and to dwell in the light and life of Jesus. When we don’t spend time with God, we don’t know true joy or happiness. He created us with a hole in our souls, and the only way to fill that empty hole is to bow our heads and lift our hearts to Him.
Getting shiny new objects or making more friends or losing weight or taking the perfect selfie for Facebook or getting a new boyfriend won’t fill the emptiness and loneliness you feel. In fact, it’ll backfire. Those things will make you feel lonelier and emptier than you did before.
Do you believe that God made you for a purpose? Tell me in the comments section below – what did God create you for? Why are you here? I know part of the answer: He made you to glorify Him in ways only you can do. When you glorify Him, you experience greater depths of joy than you could ever imagine, or buy, or experience on your own.
Remember what filled the emptiness before
Why are you struggling with feeling empty in your life? Don’t say “I don’t know.” If you’re seriously looking for tips on how to step feeling empty, then you need to take time to look into your heart, soul, mind, and spirit. Nobody can give you quick tips or easy solutions, and there are no fast fixes on how to feel less empty and alone. There is only self-discovery, connecting with God, and renewing your mind.
Here’s a question to get you started:
What filled the emptiness in your life before? What have you lost – or learned – that has knocked you down and emptied you out? If you’ve always struggled with these feelings, read 4 Ways to Come Alive When You Feel Dead Inside.
Explore new ways to fill the emptiness in your life
I used to struggle with deep feelings of loneliness and emptiness. I’d have these bouts of what I called “existential angst” – a deep feeling of sorrow in my soul, heart, and spirit. I didn’t know why I felt so empty and alone because I really was quite happy. Healthy. Going to university. Feeling happy, optimistic, positive about life.
So why did I feel empty? I didn’t know – but I did know how to help myself feel better. Somehow during one of my bouts of emptiness and loneliness I stumbled upon Ecclesiastes – one of the wisdom books in the Bible. King Solomon wrote about the meaningless of life. “What’s the point of living?” he asked “when you just die at the end of it? All your stuff goes to people who didn’t work for it, and your life just blows away in the wind.”
I love Ecclesiastes, but I haven’t had to read it for a long time. I haven’t felt empty in a long time because I’ve filled the hole in my soul with God. It’s taken time and effort, but boy…is it worth it.
Listen to podcasts that speak to the emptiness of life
There were a bunch of things that helped me transition from “I feel empty” to “I am so excited to be alive, I have to get up even though it’s not quite 4 am!!”
One of the best things I ever did was find podcasts that taught me about Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God’s love for me. I learned why I was feeling empty in life and how to fill my heart and spirit with deep joy, love, and peace. Overcoming those empty feelings was much easier after I started listening to podcasts and running every morning. I listened – and still listen to – Joyce Meyer, Tim Keller, and John Piper. I just started listening to the Girlfriends’ Bible Study podcast – Pastor Jessie is awesome, Blossom! Wow.
I also started journaling. I talked to God in writing every morning, and found it much more effective than prayer in my mind! I should write an article about that. Writing to God fills the emptiness in a much stronger way because it keeps you focused and attentive to His voice. If you just pray in your mind, your thoughts will bounce all over the place. You’ll get distracted.
Another way I coped with my empty feelings was by finding a new church – a Pentecostal one that celebrated and welcomed the Holy Spirit. I realized that not all churches are the same; some focus on the Spirit, others on rituals and traditions, others on the teachings of Jesus. If you want to stop feeling empty in life, find the spiritual and Christian teaching that fills you with life, power, peace, and joy.
Learn what you do for fun
“Do you know that most people would hesitate if you asked them, what do you do for fun?” writes Joyce Meyer in 20 Ways to Make Every Day Better Simple, Practical Changes with Real Results. “You get a lot of replies that started with him four well, let me think… Or even I’m not sure. Can I get back to you?”
She adds that many people are so busy and so burdened that they stopped having fun in a long time ago. And, they don’t know how to start again!
“I was that person a few years ago,” writes Joyce, “and I actually had to learn how to enjoy life again. Jesus came that you and I may enjoy our lives – it’s really that simple! In the craziness of the world, throughout the busyness of each day, in spite of the difficulties you face, regardless of the circumstances you find yourself in, no matter how much responsibility you have… God wants you to have some fun. God’s will is for you to enjoy your life.”
We’re all different, and what worked for me may not help you fill the emptiness you feel in your life. And, the reason for your empty feelings may require a different type of healing. For example, are you dealing with heartbreak? You might find How to Find God and Heal Your Broken Heart helpful.
Need encouragement? Sign up for my weekly "Echoes of Joy" email - it's free, short, and energizing. Like me! Is your relationship in trouble? Get 7 Steps to Fixing Your Marriage from relationship coach Mort Fertel. It's free and helpful, no strings attached.