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Languishing: The dominant emotion of 2021

Languishing: The dominant emotion of 2021

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It’s been an incredibly strange almost two years, since the COVID-19 pandemic started and there’s been a lot of mixed emotions over that period as we have experienced so much uncertainty.

Because of this, a lot of people have been feeling a bit ‘blah’ and apparently this is actually really common at the moment. In fact, the ‘blah’ feeling has a name, languishing.

Psychologists explain languishing as being somewhere in the middle of flourishing and depression. You don’t feel as if you are struggling (like you would if you were depressed) but you also don’t feel as if you are flourishing. You may feel a lack of motivation and a lack of positive emotions.

Languishing has been described as the most dominant emotion of 2021, because lots of people are able to relate. 

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have had to change plans (weddings, holidays etc) which have caused plenty of upset and stress. This has resulted in many people opting not to make plans or make important changes in their life out of fear and worry.

The impact of this? A feeling of aimlessness.

So, what can we do about it?

  1. Focus on what is in your control

Lockdowns and restrictions can be very frustrating, however these are out of your control. Focus what you can control – your thoughts, your behaviour and what you choose to do each day, rather than worrying and focussing on the frustration of not being able to do certain things.

  1. Set small goals

Reflect on goals you already have in place (if you do not have any – create some!) and break them down into smaller bite-sized pieces. Make them achievable, but so they are still slightly stretching you. This will help you to feel a sense of achievement and purpose.

  1. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is a successful way of improving mental wellness and practising mindfulness can help you stop thinking and feeling negatively and also connect to the world around you. You can practice mindfulness as either a type of meditation or simply throughout the day by paying attention to what is happening around you and focussing on your breathing.

  1. Strengthen connection and relationships

A sense of isolation can lead to other negative consequences and by strengthening your connections and relationships, it can help you to feel better supported. Social connection can also lead to higher self-esteem and a sense of belonging. 

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