Experiencing a dark night of the soul is one of the hardest things you will ever have to do. Sometimes, however, you might not be sure what is happening to you, but knowing these symptoms of the dark night of the soul will help you prepare yourself sooner.
Having this knowledge is like having a protective shield that readies you for whatever is to come.
I was not well prepared or prepared at all, really, when I went through my dark night of the soul. It made the whole process seem like torture to me. I did, however, do some research as it was happening that eased me along the next coming phases. My aim with this article is to give you the preparation I did not have.
You might start feeling these symptoms before your dark night of the soul starts or as it continues. Although it can be alarming, knowing what they stand for and what to expect can help you through this trying period. The most important thing to remember through all this is to stay calm and trust yourself and the universe.
No matter how trying your dark night of the soul is, it will come to an end, and you will be a better person for it. So, to begin your journey, let us look at the symptoms of the dark night of the soul so that you don’t get alarmed when you start experiencing them.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is the Purpose of the Dark Night of the Soul?
- 2 15 Dark Night of the Soul Symptoms
- 2.1 1. Experiencing Overwhelming Headaches
- 2.2 2. You Isolate Yourself
- 2.3 3. You Are Unhappy
- 2.4 4. A Change in Your Lifestyle
- 2.5 5. You Resonate with Your Inner Child
- 2.6 6. Depression and Anxiety
- 2.7 7. You Become Restless
- 2.8 8. Sleeping Problems
- 2.9 9. Intense Vivid Dreams
- 2.10 10. Seeing Synchronicities Everywhere
- 2.11 11. You Start Thinking of Your Past
- 2.12 12. You Start Letting Go
- 2.13 13. Spiritual Healing
- 2.14 14. You Become Content
- 2.15 15. You Become More Spiritual
- 3 What to Do If You’re Experiencing a Dark Night of the Soul?
- 4 What Happens After the Dark Night of the Soul?
- 5 Last Words
What Is the Purpose of the Dark Night of the Soul?
The purpose of a dark night of the soul is to make you into a new person. This is when you undergo spiritual growth, achieving spiritual development that changes your way of thinking. It lets you shed your old beliefs and the toxic spirituality you might have had.
Going through a dark night of the soul leaves you with profound insight and wisdom that can turn your life around. This is when you learn that there is more to life than what we see, and it helps you find your spirituality. You can reach spiritual enlightenment after this experience.
This is actually why some of us find the dark night of the soul painful and almost terrifying. It is like our lives, and all we know is being turned inside out to help us learn of higher wisdom that we can use while going on with our lives.
By the way, learning more about the stages of the dark night of the soul can help you prepare better for this period. It will also help you know what to expect and can teach you the true purpose of a dark night of the soul.
15 Dark Night of the Soul Symptoms
Today, we are going to look at some symptoms of the dark night of the soul. They can help you determine whether you are going through your dark night of the soul and what you can do about it.
1. Experiencing Overwhelming Headaches
The dark night of the soul is a highly charged period, both spiritually and physically. There is a high exchange of energies that your body might not know how to handle. This causes one of the physical symptoms of the dark night of the soul, headaches. You can get blinding headaches during this time.
While this might just feel like salt on a wound, the headaches are a sign that something is happening. For some time during my dark night of the soul, I kept thinking it was just a cruel joke.
I could not feel anything for a long time, so I embraced the headaches when they came. They made me feel like something was finally happening.
The headaches can make you feel overwhelmed and might not respond to painkillers. Do something that calms you down when this happens, and ask for strength from the universe. This period will pass, and you will not even remember it once you reach the final stage of your dark night of the soul.
Recommended: 10 Physical Symptoms of Spiritual Awakening.
2. You Isolate Yourself
It is common to feel all alone when going through your dark night of the soul, even when you are surrounded by people. This can make you isolate yourself from others, making you lose touch with your friends and family. You feel like you want to hide yourself in a dark corner and let the world disappear.
The dark night of the soul is a very trying time, and it tests everything you thought you knew. You might find that old relationships do not fulfill you anymore or that your friends just don’t understand you, which can also make you withdraw.
I know how overwhelming it can all feel, but you should not let it take over your life.
Chances are, some of the people around you have had similar experiences. Talk to a few trusted friends or a trusted advisor. You can also create new friendships that nourish your soul so that you do not isolate yourself. It is also important to take a break from the world to recharge once in a while.
3. You Are Unhappy
Another dark night of the soul symptom is the unhappiness that comes with it. This is especially true if yours starts while your life is going well. It seems like everything is working in your favor, but, for some reason, that does not make you happy.
You feel even more isolated and cannot find joy in the things that used to make you happy.
This happens because, during this time, you start realizing that happiness doesn’t come from material things. No matter how many things are going well in your life, your happiness will depend on how you feel inside.
The experience shows you that the things you used to hold dear are not as important as you thought.
Your old self, the one that was happy with outside things, is slowly dying away. You are now starting to find new things that fulfill your soul. You can start engaging and finding new activities that make you feel whole.
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4. A Change in Your Lifestyle
This is a symptom that comes towards the end of your dark night of the soul. You might suddenly have an urge to purge yourself of the things you used to own. This makes you want to do a whole lifestyle change. You want to start eating healthier and avoiding things like alcohol.
This happens as your soul aligns with your true purpose. You realize you need to show your body gratitude for all that it does for you. Healthy living seems more appealing to you. I had to give away some of the things that cluttered my home for sentimental reasons that I had no use for any longer.
While you are going through this, it is necessary to take a moment and evaluate your decisions. Ensure you are not doing this as a spur-of-the-moment thing that you will later come to regret.
Meditate and pray on it and only change your lifestyle when it feels right. Acting when the time is not right will just have you backtracking into your old ways.
5. You Resonate with Your Inner Child
It is sad how as we grow older and busier, we lose touch with our inner child. Instead, we start focusing on things that don’t do anything for us. You start forgetting what it feels like to be truly happy without any guilt or overwhelming emotions holding you back.
When going through your dark night of the soul, some of the symptoms you can start experiencing are reconnecting with your inner child. You find small, innocent things you used to love that bring you so much joy. This can be something as simple as playing an old game, painting, or playing with your old toys.
Your reconnection with your inner child means you are getting more in touch with your higher self, which shows you your true nature. It is the most innocent state, a time when the whole world was ahead of you. It can be a very freeing experience when this happens, making you happier than you were.
6. Depression and Anxiety
I don’t know if it was because I like staying indoors a lot, but this dark night of the soul symptom was one of the most overwhelming for me. I developed such bad anxiety that I would never go out.
I would starve myself inside the house until my family or friends brought me food. I was overwhelmed, and I could not handle the outside world for even a minute.
Now, I am not saying your time will be this intense. You will, however, most probably experience a sense of deep sadness and anxiety that can make you feel very badly about yourself. Your whole life will feel like it is falling apart, and there is nothing you can do to help it.
As overpowering as this can be, getting help from a professional can be of great assistance. It helps you realize that this time will pass and all the negative feelings you are experiencing are not there to stay. Pray and ask for strength from spiritual guides to see you through this difficult time.
7. You Become Restless
I think becoming restless is one of the things I went into my dark night of the soul expecting. At least, I started expecting it when I went through multiple of the dark night of the soul symptoms above. It just made sense that going through such a major change would bring some unrest into my life.
During this time, you might find yourself wondering about it with no real focus. Some people have even quit their jobs at this time. Most have chalked it up to midlife crisis for those in their advanced years.
You become restless because you realize that the things you thought you knew might not have been true. The job that brought you so much joy and was your biggest achievement suddenly doesn’t matter anymore.
Your soul is not at rest because you have not found your true life’s purpose, and it will only rest when you do.
8. Sleeping Problems
I am not one to complain whenever I can grab some shut-eye, but even I got worried when I started sleeping most of my days away. There were times I would sleep the recommended eight hours at night and then spend more than 8 hours of the next day sleeping too.
I would get more than 20 hours of sleep every day which was weird, to say the least.
I also went through waves of severe insomnia, where I would sleep less than four hours a day for weeks. Sleep disruption is one of the most common things people going through their dark night of the soul experience.
It can start once every few nights, and the next thing you know, you have gone days without sleeping.
Your soul’s unrest is upsetting the natural balance you had been used to. You are now thrust into a new world where everything is upside down. Don’t worry, though; your sleep pattern will return to normal eventually.
9. Intense Vivid Dreams
Sometime during my dark night of the soul, I started having really dark, really vivid dreams. I sometimes found it hard to differentiate between my sleeping hours and my waking hours. My life seemed to blend into one.
The dreams were so strong I was not sure whether I dreamt of them or if they actually happened.
This can happen because dreams are like portals to the spiritual world. It, therefore, makes sense that as you become more aware of the spiritual world, you start seeing more of it. Your subconscious can now interact with this new world, leading to strong dreams that feel real.
Your dreams will also be packed with a lot of symbolism and meaning that can hold special messages about your life. Paying attention to these dreams is crucial as it can make a huge impact on your life. Try to decipher the dreams and find the meanings the universe is sending you through them.
10. Seeing Synchronicities Everywhere
One thing that most people take for granted is how intertwined our whole lives are. And I don’t mean only human beings, everything in nature works together as a whole, and this is something you might not notice until you open your heart up.
Have you ever seen angel numbers and just known something special would happen? Perhaps you have been hesitating about making a certain decision because you are afraid of how things will turn out.
As this is happening, you start seeing repeating numbers everywhere; from your phone calls, the TV, the gas station, and random strangers. It seems like all of them are pushing you to do whatever it is you are hesitant about.
This happens because the universe sends you a message. You will start noticing such synchronicities everywhere, and you can use them in your decision-making to ensure you go down the right path.
11. You Start Thinking of Your Past
No matter how fast you go, you can never outrun your past. This is true, especially if you are trying to hide away from it. This will become even clearer to you as you go through your dark night of the soul. Your past seems to be catching up on you.
Some of us choose avoidance as a coping mechanism, but this can only work for so long. Holding on to your past, or not confronting it, can stop you from achieving what you were meant to.
As you go through this period, elements of your past will start coming up more frequently. They will not go away until you finally face them head-on.
Although you might have been scared to do this, you will be surprised at how freeing it can be. You will finally get rid of whatever is blocking your path, and you will feel all the better for it.
12. You Start Letting Go
I am one of those people who are so scared of letting things go even when they no longer serve me. This meant I would hold on to so much pain and resentment without realizing that it was hurting me more than whoever caused me that pain. I decided to stop being the victim and take more control of my life.
You might realize that you are still holding to something that you should have let go of long ago. This can be past pain, an old relationship, or refusing to accept the truth.
Although it might not seem like it, holding on to these things is holding you back, and you will always feel like you are carrying a heavy load on your back.
Towards the end of your dark night of the soul, you might be surprised to find out that you do not have a problem with letting go anymore. This shows your growth and eases some of the unnecessary burdens you were carrying.
13. Spiritual Healing
I cannot find a great way of describing this. Spiritual healing is one of the more freeing dark night of the soul symptoms. You are no longer hurt by things that would have finished you when you started on this journey. You have learned what the truth is and seen the bigger picture.
You will not become a victim of false spirituality. You understand the importance of your spirituality and are ready to let go of your old beliefs and embrace new ones. It will feel like you are starting your life anew.
14. You Become Content
You will no longer feel lost or restless. Instead, you feel rejuvenated and like the world is waiting for you. Your soul is now at rest, and you are finally doing what feels right to you. This will make you feel more content with yourself and the things you possess.
You will not waste your life chasing success but are happy with what you already have. The things of this world do not worry you anymore, and you feel free to do whatever you want with your life.
15. You Become More Spiritual
The closer you get to the end of your dark night of the soul, the more spiritual you become. You start seeing the world through a much clearer lens that shows you the realities of life. Old things no longer hold the same allure to you, and you feel like a completely different person.
I started working harder on my spiritual practices, doubling down on things like meditation and prayers. This is because I finally understood the importance and the gravity of these and how they impact my life. It no longer felt like I was doing a duty; I was actually really happy and content.
You can also realize that you look forward to the time you make that spiritual connection. Your spirituality now means more to you than just something you do once in a while. You realize its importance, and it gives you pleasure to work more on it.
What to Do If You’re Experiencing a Dark Night of the Soul?
There is not much that you can do while going through your dark night of the soul. All you have to do is pray to a higher power to get divine wisdom to see you through this time. You cannot stop the dark night of the soul. You can, however, find ways to cope that will help see you through.
One of the things you can do is find peace or a safe haven during this time. Find a place or something that makes you feel safe and at peace. Do activities that make you happy and are a breath of fresh air during this difficult time.
This will help ease the burden of the dark night of the soul and make the time pass faster.
What Happens After the Dark Night of the Soul?
Your real life starts after going through the dark night of the soul. You are now a new person with a whole world of possibilities ahead of you. You can start working on the person you were always meant to be and create a better spiritual life.
You also have the chance to reunite with your loved ones and share with them what you went through. This will make it easier for you to transition into your new life. They will also be a source of comfort.
As all this happens, do not let your spirituality slip. Work even harder on it and ensure you do not lose your grip. Recover it whenever you feel it slipping; otherwise, your efforts would have been useless, and we don’t want that.
So there you go, fifteen symptoms of the dark night of the soul you might experience. You might only go through a few or experience all of them at once.
Whatever happens, know that we are here with you. You are strong enough to go through this, and you will have divine power guiding you through it all.