From languishing to flourishing.
We talked about this horrible feeling of ‘blah’ way back in 2021, mid pandemic, when it became the coined name for what so many of us were feeling. A miserable mid-point between fed up and down and out depression but you couldn’t quite put your finger on what to call it.
Languishing was the buzzword we needed.
If you still have this feeling hanging over you you’re probably feeling more than a little bit meh.
Muddling through a week? Everything lost its shine? Lost your get up and go?
Maybe you just don’t bounce out of bed like you used to, or you do have energy, but just not in the same way. You know it’s not a feeling of ‘all is lost’ because you don’t feel hopeless, but you might feel like all the fun is being sucked out of stuff and you’ve just lost your general sense of direction.
Organisational Psychologist, Adam Grant called languishing the ‘neglected middle child of mental health’ in his NY Times article. We think that name is just perfect!
So, we spent time thinking about this and decided to focus this article on how to help you move forward from this dreadful fun-removing feeling.
We want to help you flourish.
So, what does it mean to flourish, and how is it different from languishing?
The way we look at it is if languishing is at one end of the road, the other far end is flourishing. When you languish you can feel disinterested, have a loss of focus and feel a little bit disconnected.
At the other end of that road is those who are flourishing and they’re experiencing engagement and joy in what they are doing. Flourishing can be said to feel like a sense of being connected to your life, your day to day and even towards the relationships you have, and the job you do.
When you flourish, you’ve got bags of energy and, more importantly, the will to do something with it. You’ll feel like you have direction and the courage to get on, do it and take ownership of your mental health and how you feel.
We did some research and found Dr. Martin Seligman. His research on flourishing says the best way to move from languish to flourish is using something called the PERMA model. Dr Seligman developed PERMA as an acronym to help him share the elements of what leads to flourishing.
We’ll share one thing we think you can do under each of his research headings, to see if we can help you onto the path of flourishing by cultivating the five PERMA factors in your life:
Use a gratitude diary. You might use a real diary, an app, or simply use the notes on your phone but record one thing a day that you’re grateful for.
We all have something that does it for us. Running each day, a comedy movie, time with family & friends, gardening or getting down to DIY. There is something in all of us that ticks the engage button. Whatever it is, do more of it as it builds your energy, passion and of course your engagement levels.
It’s often easy to let relationships drift when you languish, but in fact we need to reach out more, make contact, make new friends, start new conversations and network. Set yourself the challenge to start one new conversation each week and watch the confidence start to flourish with each interaction.
Make good choices with the work you are doing. We all need purposeful work, so make sure that even if not everything you do contains it, at least one thing each day has a meaning. Try planning for the future too, it’s a sure-fire way to get you to focus on something that is out of the here & now.
Set some small attainable goals, perhaps even using some of the tips we’ve given you above. Make sure to focus on what you have done and reward accomplishments. Rewarding yourself for getting things done helps you move from languish to flourish. The more you do it, the further down the road you move towards the land of flourish-ville.
So, what are you waiting for?
If you liked this article and it’s inspired you to leave languishing behind then share it with others to help them and get out there and start your PERMA actions to change.
At We Are BRAVE we’re full of useful insights that can help you, your teams and your business reach its potential. Get in touch to see what we can do for you.