The pervasive nihilism of modernity serves to block any move away from the prevalent insanity and despair; because our problems are at the level of basic (metaphysical) assumptions, yet any attempt to discover, examine and revise these assumptions is shipwrecked instantly by nihilism.
Nihilism therefore functions as the conservatism of radical inversion - it serves to conserve the metaphysical assumptions that underpin secular leftism.
Nihilism, by this meaning, is disbelief in reality; it is the feeling (rather than the conviction) that nothing is really-real, that everything is uncertain - that anything may be wrong.
The modern world view is based on the objectivity of perceptions (eg. in science) - yet we also know that perceptions are often wrong (seeing is not believing). Modern morality is based on the primacy of feelings - modern ethics are all versions of utilitarianism, that is of good being happiness and evil being suffering - yet we know that feelings are temporary, reversible, influenced by psychology, illness, drugs and propaganda.
In sum, in a world built on perceptions and feelings - we know that neither are reliable, nor solid, nor even known for sure. Hence the nihilism.
Modern nihilism is indeed a feeling, rather than a thought - because (pretty obviously) one cannot have a conviction that 'nihilism is true', because that is self-refuting; rather the strength and intractability of nihilism comes from its being a feeling we can't shake-off, rather than a proposition that we are logically-compelled to acknowledge.
Consequently, modern people are stuck in a situation in which their nihilism ruins their lives, but in which they do not take their nihilism seriously - because if they did they would behave very differently. They would not argue-in-favour of nihilism, they would not use nihilism as any kind of argument - they would not even attempt to communicate, they would not plan, they would not do anything which interfered with their current selfish gratification... and so on.
What happens is that people have a feeling of nihilism, which is unpleasant and usually takes the form of fear. So they address the situation at the level of feelings by some combination of displacing nihilism with other feelings and obliterating the feeling of nihilism.
For example by distracting with the mass media, by distracting with the pursuit of sex or status; or obliteration by intoxication with drugs or sleep or immersive media - and all the other characteristically modern evasions.
That modern nihilism is a matter of feeling rather than thinking is in fact a potential solution to the problem. If we take nihilism seriously, and seriously think about it - and keep thinking about it, we will be forced to make a decision between:
1. Accepting the truth of nihilism, and behaving accordingly.
2. Discovering that nihilism is not the bottom line of our conviction.
Of course, this is a dangerous tactic, since accepting the truth of nihilism may lead to suicide or a short-fast-track to death by short-term-self-indulgence (including harming or killing others, when doing so happens to gratify an individual).
But - given the rarity of consistent nihilism, it is likely that most people would recognise that their deepest and most pervasive feeling is not nihilism, but something opposed to nihilism.
In sum, individuals may discover their own bedrock convictions - their personal certainties, stronger than nihilism, upon which they can begin to build meaning purpose and genuine relationships.
Dangerous though it is; taking nihilism seriously, and rigorously thinking-it-though for ourselves, is probably the only way out from its trap.
It was for me.