God has a plan to deal with that sense of lack in our lives. – Steve Arterburn
Do you feel empty? You’re not the only one. We all struggle with emptiness from time to time. In the Bible, even David struggled with loneliness and emptiness. He cried out to God, “Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress,” (Psalm 25:16, NLT).
Feelings of emptiness can give us a desire to turn to God as David did. But it becomes unhealthy when we turn to addiction to fill our emptiness.
Some people who struggle with codependency may turn to an unhealthy relationship in an attempt to fill the void in their lives, while others go shopping or binge on food to make themselves feel better. Still others turn to a bottle of pills or alcohol to numb their feelings of hopelessness.
No matter how hard your situation may seem, if you’re trying to fill the emptiness through unhealthy ways, you’ll relapse and things will get worse. To recover, you have to learn how to fill your inner emptiness in healthy ways. How? Here are a few tips to help you get started.
- Acknowledge your feelings of emptiness.
Try journaling about your feelings. Start by writing down everything you did right in 24 hours.
- Notice how you’re feeling right now.
Set a timer for five minutes, then ask yourself how you’re feeling. Are you happy? Sad? Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired?
- Participate in a Life Recovery group.
Share your feelings with others who will, in turn, share about what has helped them deal with difficult feelings.
- Find comfort in God.
You can pray, read the Bible, and meditate on God’s Word throughout the day.
- Talk with a therapist.
The more you talk about your feelings, the less power they will have over you.
- Develop confidence.
Do you struggle with negative self-talk and insecurity? Instead, look to God’s word to replace them with the truth of who you are in Christ.
- Make some new healthy habits.
Exercise. Eat healthy meals. Take regular breaks. And get plenty of rest.
- Find opportunities to socialize.
Need help making friends? Join a group or take a class, such as a dance or an art class, to help you to meet new people.
- Volunteer to help others.
Whether it’s helping at a homeless shelter or mentoring kids, helping others will help you—ultimately—fill the void and find purpose in life!
If it seems intimidating, start small by making one change this month. Everything you need to get well is within your grasp. It’s possible to fill the void in your life by strengthening your relationship with God, yourself, and others.
The apostle Paul described the fullness of God contrasted against the emptiness: “In Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.” (Colossians 2:10, NIV)
So the next time you experience feelings of emptiness, rather than turn alcohol, drugs or codependency, turn to God and ask Him to fill the emptiness. Begin the process of recovery by taking the first step into a life that is full!