April 19, 2021

"Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield."

"And it might be the dominant emotion of 2021.... In the early, uncertain days of the pandemic, it’s likely that your brain’s threat detection system — called the amygdala — was on high alert for fight-or-flight. As you learned that masks helped protect us — but package-scrubbing didn’t — you probably developed routines that eased your sense of dread. But the pandemic has dragged on, and the acute state of anguish has given way to a chronic condition of languish. In psychology, we think about mental health on a spectrum from depression to flourishing.... [W]hen you’re languishing, you might not notice the dulling of delight or the dwindling of drive. You don’t catch yourself slipping slowly into solitude; you’re indifferent to your indifference.... When you add languishing to your lexicon, you start to notice it all around you...."

From "There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing/The neglected middle child of mental health can dull your motivation and focus — and it may be the dominant emotion of 2021" by Adam Grant (NYT). 

According to the article, the antidote to languishing may be flow. But there's not much in the article about how to achieve flow, so I'm not going to make this post about flow. This post is just about noticing languishing. It's one thing to understand the concept of flow, another to get into that state. I think it requires doing things that you have some skill at and where you have good feedback that you're are operating with skill, and neither bored nor overly challenged. If you're sitting home enduring lockdown, do you have something to do that could work that way?

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