Languishing: the Cocktail of Despair and Flourishing

In This Essay

We do not so much look at things as overlook them. Zen quote

The pandemic is about to end. Apparently, it’s been ending for the last year. It’s about to finish. So we want to start something new. Put effort into something. Then you feel I should wait and see a little bit. Both on the same day, in fact, sometimes in the same minute or even the same moment. There is this mix of let’s do it and wait for more time. What a flux. Like a wave that touches the shore only to go back again. But as the pandemic is about to end, the 2 year long patterns may be uncomfortable.

Many people are dealing with the stress of the ongoing epidemic on an emotional level. Some of us were caught off guard by this, as last year’s enormous fear and grief subsided during the pandemic’s early uncertain days. Your amygdala, the part of your brain that detects danger, may have been on high alert when you learned that masks help protect us. However, you did stress the need for cleanliness. Most likely, you’ve developed habits that take advantage of your anxiety, yet the outbreak has continued, as has your excruciating pain.

As time went on, the acute state of misery turned into a long-term state of gloom. In psychology, we think of mental health as a continuum that goes from depression to thriving, with thriving being the pinnacle of well-being. You have a strong sense of mastery and importance in the eyes of other people. The valley of despair is filled with sadness. You’re depressed, worn out, and useless. The middle is languishing. 

Languishing the term “new in town”

A mix. As the title suggests, it’s a cocktail. A combination of despair and flourishing The middle of two extremes. You feel healthy when you are flourishing. You feel dull when you are in despair. Although the term has existed for a period of time, this connotation is new. Let’s explore this feeling. At some point in our lives, we may feel “meh,” not sad but yet not well, not burned out but also not fired up. When you are languishing, you have a sense of void, stagnation, and listlessness.

Language is a necessary component of human existence. It has the potential to detract from your attention and drive. You may feel indifferent. Being indifferent means you will not seek help. Also, you will likely do nothing to assist yourself. When you first begin your work, you may sometimes feel as if you are speaking another language. You may have an emotional sense of meaninglessness and a need to belong. This need for a new word is important. Once we label an emotion, we tend to deal with it better. After all, you know what it is made of. Getting across becomes easier. 

We cannot look at Flourishing without our insatiable search for pleasure. The pursuit of pleasure is a reasonable goal for everyone, if not the most essential one they may set for themselves in life. Scientists, economists, and political leaders have dangled the promise of happiness. As a result of its seeming importance, it’s paradoxical that little attention has been paid to defining exactly what “flourishing” is. It’s taken for granted that everyone understands that “happiness is only the state of affairs left behind after a problem is resolved.” So, instead of promoting our blossoming, we chop the branch we’re sitting on instead. Our inability to grasp the genuine nature of human flourishing is a distraction and a disempowering one.

Among the distinguishing ideas are the following:

“I’d like to do something else, but I’m at a loss for ideas.”

“I’m satisfied with the job but not overjoyed.”

“I neither love nor despise my work. I’m fortunate to have it. “

So you are not exactly fulfilled, but you are not even sad as you look at others suffering more. When you are walking well. You are languishing. 

Unsick or Walking well.

“Where is languishing present? Everywhere,” says Saif Allouani in his book, “You Shall Not Languish.” Our lives are constantly shaped and coloured by the presence of languishing people, whether we are aware of it or not. With a clear objective, it impacts the actions and choices we make as people and as a community in profound ways. In Ethiopian proverbial parlance, “a fish discovers water last” and the denial is no less widespread. We float through life in such a sluggish sea that we don’t even see how it affects the way we behave, think, and communicate with one another.

Flourishing is understood as high mental health where people are functioning well, feeling good, and subjectively have a positive experience of life (Huppert, 2009).

If you don’t see the waning of joy or the shrinking of drool, you’re blind to your own apathy. It’s a sign you’re blind to your own blindness. If you fail to see the waning of joy or the fading of it. If you don’t see that you’re drifting into a state of apathy, you’re unaware of it. It is difficult to help yourself if you are unaware of the extent of your own suffering. Even if you don’t speak it well, you’re certain to know someone who can help you out. 

Languishing is all around you when you broaden your vocabulary to encompass it. It shows up when you’re dissatisfied with your afternoon rambling. Your children’s voices reveal it. You must be aware of revenge procrastination. Putting things off till the morning. It is like staying up late to reclaim the freedom we’d lost during the day. 

However, there is still much to learn about what causes languishing and how to address it, so just acknowledging the issue is a useful first step. It has the potential to clear the fog from our vision, enabling us to see what had previously been veiled more clearly. Seeing others suffer may help us realise that we are not alone in our struggles.

We don’t only languish in our own heads; our environments also play a role. Using just one’s own personal bandages, it is difficult to treat a sick society. There is still a stigma attached to mental health issues in a culture that accepts physical disease. As we move toward a post-pandemic society, we need to reevaluate our conceptions of mental health and well-being. Just because you’re “not depressed” doesn’t mean that you’re not going through a rough patch in your life. Not being “burnt out” does not always mean that you are inspired to work. Our silent anguish may be given voice and a route out of the shadows if we realise that there are many of us who are stranded.

Actions to quit languishing and begin thriving.

As part of the process of regaining control over our lives, we must destroy the fundamental framework of the stagnant paradigm. The paradigm in which we find ourselves trapped limits a person’s right to prosper when asked what they want most for their children. Is happiness the ultimate good? I want them to be happy. That is the most common response from parents. ” It prevents us from asking ourselves what we, as people and as a community, need to thrive. It’s even more disturbing that we’re unable to recognise the dark forces that are preventing us from developing this ability. Human nature and its proclivity for evil and folly have never held us captive. Here are a few distinctions you can look at. And it is not a one shoe fits all formula. Develop your own way of dealing with languishing. The future of mental health is not structured therapy, it is process-based intervention. A process customised by all for themselves. 

That’s why we should consider using it when someone asks, “How are you?”

Think about how different our responses would be if we responded with something like “Honestly, I’m languishing.” It would serve as a welcome antidote to the poisonous positivism that pervades American culture, the urge to be positive at all times.

Adam Grant 

Establish borders.

One way to break free from languishing is to allow oneself time and space for reflection. We all want time to allow us to reflect on where we are and where we want to go. Consider where you experience anger and irritation in relation to your time and energy.

For instance, you may have realised that you need to decline your boss’s requests for business emails on weekends despite your fear of being labelled as a non-team player. Ascertain that you convey your dedication to your supervisor.

According to the Yerkes-Dodson Law, “performance rises with physiological or mental excitement, but only up to a certain degree.” “When stress levels are too high, performance suffers,” he says. The legislation states that stress is only beneficial if it falls within a certain range. Not too little stress, since this might lead to us losing interest in an activity. We don’t want our nerves to get in the way of our ability to be effective and successful if we’re under too much stress.

Relaxing is a responsibility.

Definitely, we are responsible for our own slumber. A spiritual being will remark from time to time, “You need to relax, your brain”. However, since such experiences are so rare. We should refuse to waste time hoping for one. In order to relax, one must put in the effort and stick to a strategy. Here are a few pointers for making the most of your downtime. You can implement breaks and mindfulness with our Day By Day Action Journal 

Consider your route, accomplishments, and purpose. 

Consider how you came to be in this position. Was it deliberate, or did you stumble into it? Were you really the one who chose this course for yourself? Make an attempt to comprehend what achievement means to you. Long-term success is often classified into four categories:

Happiness is a state of contentment. What you’ve achieved. The sensation of making a good difference. Your legacy is defined by the beliefs and achievements you attain to benefit those who come after you. Consider your areas of strength and weakness and let those responses lead you.

Create your own position.

You may discover a gap between your desired state and your current state. This might be the source of your languishing. Take proactive measures to increase your job satisfaction. Adjust your perspective. Determine how your present employment satisfies you and benefits others. Inquire, “What effect am I having by doing this task?”

Consider modifying the kinds of jobs you do, their scope, chronology, or quantity. Establish emotional bonds with others around you. If your present employment does not enable you to develop your own work, it may be time to look for another opportunity.

When it comes to controlling our emotions, psychologists have found that naming them is one of the most effective methods. Last spring, when the epidemic was at its worst, researchers learned that naming your feelings is an effective way to cope with the stress.

Consumption vs. peak flow

The researchers discovered that the biggest predictor of happiness is not consumption, but flow. Flow is the state of being completely immersed in the current moment. For instance, it may be that you lose track of time and your sense of self when cooking, exercising, or gardening.

Bingeing provides a momentary reprieve from language. You may enjoy socialising with the characters in a show, but they are unaware of your existence. Thus, consuming is a kind of passive participation in a fictitious universe.

On the other hand, peak flow is contingent upon active involvement in the current world. Peak flow has the potential to lift us out of depression.

When a person voluntarily pushes his or her body or mind to its limits in order to do something tough but valuable. The finest moments frequently come at that time. As a result, we have control over the quality of our experiences.

The more you target success and make it a goal, the less likely you are to achieve it. It is impossible to seek success or pleasure; it must happen as an unforeseen consequence of one’s own devotion to a path bigger than oneself. There are two main approaches we might take to bettering our lot in life. The first step is to see whether we can influence the environment in a way that supports our desired outcomes. It’s also possible to adjust how we see our surroundings to better align with our aims. Self-emancipation begins with the capacity to get pleasure from the occurrences of the present moment.

Self-care as practise

To practise self-care is to make a conscious effort to look after one’s physical and mental health on a regular basis as well as while under stress.

Self-care is taking care of one’s emotional and physical well-being, boosting one’s self-esteem, and strengthening one’s mental fortitude. When we take care of ourselves, we are able to maintain our capacity for empathy, enthusiasm, and commitment. In other words, it implies putting in significant effort into one aspect of one’s life without compromising anything else. As a result, it entails retaining an optimistic outlook despite personal difficulties and bigger injustices in the global community. In the long run, we may benefit from self-care activities every day and see an increase in our quality of life. Although these activities might be enjoyable, they are not necessarily so. In other cases, they’re so tedious that they’re almost incomprehensible.

The Wellbeing Tools.

Connecting values to goals can be an important way to feel more in charge. Setting up smart and rational goals. Having a mindful break can give a productive present. The combination of all this is our Day By Day Action Journal. You can download it here. 

References 

  1. F., & N. (2004, September 29). Well-being: Towards an Integration Of Psychology, Neurobiology And Social Science – PubMed. PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15347535/.
  2. N., & F. (2013, January 1). Flourishing Across Europe: Application Of a New Conceptual Framework for Defining Well-Being. PubMed Central (PMC). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3545194/.
  3. Allouani, S. (n.d.). You Shall Not Languish.. Kindle .
  4. Grant, A. (2021, December 3). Feeling Blah During the Pandemic? It’s Called Languishing. The New York Times. Retrieved January 20, 2022, from https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/19/well/mind/covid-mental-health-languishing.html
  5. P. Seligman, M. E. (2014). Flourish.
  6. Goleman, D., & Davidson, R. J. (2017). Altered Traits. Avery.
  7. Neff, K. (2011). Self-Compassion. HarperCollins e-books.
  8. Karn, R. (2021). A Zen Quote a Day.
  9. Csíkszentmihályi, M. (2016). The Systems Model of Creativity. Springer.
  10. Csíkszentmihályi, M. (2014). Flow and the Foundations of Positive Psychology. Springer.
  11. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2014). Applications of Flow in Human Development and Education.
  12. That Discomfort You Are Feeling Is Grief. (2020, March 23). Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2020/03/that-discomfort-youre-feeling-is-grief.

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