I can bet that everyone has experienced homesickness at some point in life. The type that’s attributed to missing family and friends, and experiencing difficulties when adapting to a new change. However, there is another nature of homesickness that many people report feeling that has nothing to do with being away from the things that may possess familiarity.
This form of homesickness mirrors a sudden deep sadness and longing for no particular person or place, but is an overall feeling of unfulfillment and gloom; a strong desire to merely belong. Although this cognitive emotive response is usually temporary, it is directly linked and impactful to our mental health. Conditions like depression and anxiety are lingering at the core of this feeling, and behind it may be:
The mind’s emotional response to certain life events and circumstances can become so dominant that it negatively influences your overall view of life. You can have a beautiful family, a supportive spouse and successful career - and still feel out of place. This is when it’s vital to recognize that your yearning is for inner belongingness/peace – something that external factors cannot provide, but momentarily.
The journey starts with a full acceptance of yourself (good and bad), and an overcoming of your undesirable life experiences so that you begin to feel ‘at home’ in your own skin.
Remember, this nature of acceptance is not an approval of what has gone wrong - but instead, a receptiveness to who you could become if you utilized the past as an inheritance of awareness, rather than a barrier that causes stagnancy.
Until now, you may have been experiencing moods comparable to those mentioned throughout this article with confusion about how to categorize or identify their source. If you find this pertinent to your concerns, contact an Elttila Counselor to further explore your thoughts and feelings surrounding homesickness. Also, check out the article “Letting Go of Pain in 5 Steps” in the Elttila Resource Center to gain insight on how to overcome pain and begin living a life of contentment.
Written by Brianna Colbert, MA, LLPC.