The 4 AM cure to emptiness

“grayscale photography of cinema chair” by Peter Lewicki on Unsplash

We all know the feeling, although few of us would admit that it hits us every now and then. The ‘emptiness’ usually feels painful, unbearable. One can try to fill it with relationships, food, alcohol, makeovers, and what not. However, we may still end up at square one. We might spend a lot of time with other people, or fill up our time getting more done, just to keep us distracted, but the moment we have time to spare, time by ourselves, we get the dreadful feeling of not getting anywhere. No matter what we do, we might still end up feeling alone and unsuccessful.

Today, we like to move fast, and media (I know it gets blamed for a lot) gives us the idea that we always need to be doing something fun or productive. Hence we emerse ourselves into work, relationships, studies, hobbies, and what not. The moment we have time to ourselves, time to slow down and explore who we truly are by spending time with ourselves, we get scared and panic like fish out of water. As with every problem, we need to try and turn into our advantage.

“A problem is that, whose only aspects you see are negative.”
-Riya Dharne

One might come across several suggestions as to why they are feeling empty. Some might feel something is missing, they need to be doing more, abuse, neglect, etc.

So either you are not satisfied with where your life is going, or you do not have a healthy sense of who you are, and it’s never too late to start working on either of them.

The best thing that can help will be self reflection which cannot be carried out efficiently when you are buried under all the rotten emotions and feel like crap.

It would still be a good idea to write down what do you think is not satisfactory in your life, and what you might want to work on. You might want to now hit the sack and set up the alarm for a time at which you will be left undisturbed, and there will be nothing around you that will re-trigger the emotions, at least for a while.

“worm's eye view of lighthouse” by Eric Ward on Unsplash

It’s time to pull out your laptop, or your notebook and pen.

I first want you to write down everything that you are not happy about (you can refer your previous notes and consider them in an unbiased manner) . It does not matter whether you deem it sensible or not. Next, I want you to write about the alternative situation for each point that you think things should have resembled.

Motivational speaker Tony Robbins speaks about our blueprints, that is how your life has always been, or at least how you aspired it be. He says that people find sorrow if the current scenario or possibility does not match the blueprint. So either you change your blueprint and reset what it takes for you to be happy, or strive to achieve the goals set out by your blueprint.

Now that you know where you want to go, set realistic goals and plan how you are going to reach it. Just the planning might get you all excited, give you a meaning in life, and make you feel better.

The laying down of goals, and giving your best to achieve them, no matter how lazy you feel (you might want to check out the 5 second rule by Mel Robbins for this one- or just check out her Youtube), will make you feel better and give you the push that you needed.

Sometimes, after you are done with the ‘best case scenario’ step, you might realize that even if things were the way you wanted, you might have still not been happy. This signifies a deeper problem than just not getting what you want, but the solution is the simplest.

For instance, I once wanted to get my hair cut in a different manner. I was feeling horrible, and I felt that this would help me out. It did for a while, and later on I felt like the plain old me all over again. I wanted to experiment again, but I knew it wouldn’t make me feel any better. I didn’t really want a haircut, I just wanted to stand out and be noticed.

Aha the culprit! You need to learn to read between the trains of your thought.

You need to dwell on why you want what you do, and keep inquiring yourself till you hit rock bottom and get to the ultimate root, and a lot of times after reaching there you will notice that you are the only one who can change things out here.

It wasn’t like I wasn’t getting noticed. The only person who wasn’t noticing me was I myself.

Of course this takes practice and a good knowledge of yourself. There will be no wrong answers and paths. Every wrong answer will lead you to the right one- to yourself.

Waking up at extreme early morning or mid-night after a nap can be a wonderful opportunity to think without being haunted by emotions. Sleep helps you out there, not having anything else or anyone else to deal with and prioritize helps you. Not to mention the clarity of thought, and I daresay a hint of early morning magic!

“photo of leafless trees on grass” by Colin Watts on Unsplash

It is also important to value the time spent with ourselves, turning inwards and finding contentment in ourselves. It is okay to not do something ‘worth while’ all the time, and take a step back and savour reflection. That being said, feeling empty feels terrible, but it isn’t. It is that state that urges us humans to strive for more, correct the unfavorable and achieve the impossible!

Let the crack of dawn be the beginning of your new life!