Written by DiveThru Team
Reviewed by Natalie Asayag MSW, LCSW
Feeling Insignificant: A Guide To Your Emotions
Published Dec 23rd, 2020 & updated on Mar 19th, 2021
We can get reallyyy existential with our thoughts sometimes. We might think: What is my purpose? Does my life have meaning?! The world is sooo big, and I’m so small… With all of the news stories, world events and natural disasters we’re exposed to on a regular basis, all of our day to day worries can feel so unimportant. Heck, even looking up at the stars and remembering that we’re just one piece of a whole universe can be, well, pretty mind boggling! Feeling insignificant can be a weird, scary thing to experience.
Don’t worry, you’re not the first person in the whole world to feel this way. With 7.5 billion people on this planet, most thoughts you have are probably not original in any way, shape or form. No? Not helping? Sorry… Anyway, let’s talk about feeling insignificant and how you can get through this significantly uncomfortable emotion!
A Deeper Look At Feeling Insignificant
What does it mean to feel insignificant? Let’s see… Dictionary.com has a few definitions of insignificant, including: “adj. too small to be important; of no consequence, influence, or distinction; without weight of character; meaningless.” Ouch! Who wants to feel like they’re ‘too small to be important’ or ‘meaningless’? It’s safe to say no one, but feeling like this isn’t your fault. You’re human, after all!
We might feel insignificant for lots of different reasons. For one, we don’t really talk about this feeling with other people. Even though everyone struggles with their purpose now and then, we tend to keep it to ourselves and try to navigate this feeling on our own. Maybe we’re afraid of sounding weird, or admitting that we don’t always know what we’re doing. And that can be really isolating!
For most people, we place all of our life’s purpose into milestones. It usually goes something like this: graduate college, settle into a career, get married and start a family. Sound familiar? Yeah, that’s how society tells us our lives are supposed to go. Like we’re following a recipe or something. But life is not like baking a cake! It’s okay to throw in different ingredients into the mix. Are we making sense here? Or just making you hungry?
How Feeling Insignificant Shows Up Mentally
Feeling insignificant can obviously mess with your head, big time. Here’s a few mental signs of feeling insignificant that you might be experiencing:
– Low self-esteem
– Fear of failure
– Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
– Loss of interest in things you usually enjoy
– Lack of motivation
When we feel insignificant, we can lose sight of what matters. We forget to appreciate the little things and be present in the moment. It’s okay to get off track sometimes, but it’s nice to remind yourself of all the things you DO have and show gratitude. Worry less about what your purpose is and instead, live in the now.
How Feeling Insignificant Shows Up Physically
Feelings don’t just exist in our heads and hearts; they show up in our bodies as well. Feeling insignificant can show up in a variety of ways but here are the most common ones you’ll see:
– Heavy, dull pain in the body
– Panic attacks
– Difficulty sleeping
– Becoming lethargic
In more extreme cases, feeling insignificant can be a symptom of anxiety or depression. If this feeling persists, or you feel the urge to harm yourself or engage in other harmful behaviour like abusing substances to cope, please seek the help of a mental health professional.
5 Ways To Cope With Feeling Insignificant
You didn’t think we were gonna leave you to fend for yourself during an existential crisis, did you? Who do you think we are?! We’ve got you covered. Here are some expert coping strategies you can try on for size whenever you feel insignificant:
1. Engage in compassionate self talk
When you feel insignificant or like your existence is irrelevant, pause. Redirect your self talk and remind yourself that you DO matter. Say it out loud: I might only be one person out of 7.5 billion, but I matter. My existence matters. I have people who care about me. I care about me.
2. Reach out to a support person or connect with a friend
You might feel small, but you don’t have to be alone. Reach out to someone you can trust to be there for you. It can be really helpful to confide in them and get all of these wild feelings off your chest! We all deserve to have our feelings validated. And your loved ones will remind you how significant you are to them, too!
3. Give yourself a pep talk or utilize a helpful statement
It can be hard to get through the day when you feel like you have no purpose in the world, huh? Sometimes, we gotta give ourselves a little pep talk in order to turn those negative thoughts around. I feel insignificant right now, but I can get through this! I’m not the only person who has felt this way, and I won’t be the last. Everything is gonna be okay!
4. Comfort yourself like a friend
If you don’t have anyone who can be there for you at this moment, that’s okay. You can be there for yourself! Think about how you would want a loved one to comfort you in this moment. Give yourself a pat on the back, treat yourself to some junk food, cuddle up on the couch with a warm, fuzzy blanket and binge your favourite show on Netflix. Be the friend you need right now!
This isn’t like homework, we promise. Write down exactly how you’re feeling, even the dark and twisty thoughts you don’t wanna confront. That way, you can gain the clarity to reframe and counter those negative thoughts. Jot down all of the things you love about your life to remind yourself how much meaning it really does have! You’ll probably fill pages and pages, trust us.
That’s all for now! Remember, your existence is important. You matter. Even if you feel insignificant sometimes, you have a whole team at DiveThru rooting for you!