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Psychology

Are You Languishing? Learn The Signs

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Signs of languishing

Not everyone who is languishing will experience it in the same way or with the same intensity. languishing will affect some of your decisions, behaviors, and emotions toward yourself, others, and the world.

Declining invites to activities you would normally enjoy, for example, can be a sign of languishing. You may not feel strongly about not going, but you might not see why going would be any better than sitting at home.

For someone else, languishing may mean attending the event only to leave early because it brought them no enjoyment.

Other possible signs of languishing may include:

  • moods that are not too high or too low (you’re not happy but you wouldn’t say you’re sad either)
  • feeling unmotivated more often than usual
  • feeling unsettled but not highly anxious
  • difficulty focusing on certain tasks, especially some days more than others
  • feeling detached from life, tasks, or people but not experiencing negative emotions toward them
  • apathy toward life and difficulty getting excited about anything
  • fatigue and burnout
  • loss of interest in passions and hobbies
  • feelings of stagnation
  • feeling disconnected from your purpose in life

Is it an existential crisis?

When you’re languishing, you may question whether anything has a purpose — something that you would also do if you were experiencing existential dread.

Existential crisis symptoms also may include:

  • unexplained fear
  • skepticism
  • anxiety
  • negative self-worth

How to cope with languishing

You can help improve your mental wellness by practicing self-care such as:

Focusing on physical well-being

Exercising, eating nutritious food, and getting plenty of quality sleep are important for both physical and mental well-being.

Journaling

Keeping a journal can help you express your thoughts and see patterns in daily behavior.

Journaling is a space to focus on what you’re grateful for and what positive moments happened during your day. It may even help you identify signs of languishing early.

Exploring creativity

Being creative can help you remember how much you enjoyed certain hobbies. It can help engage your mind and encourage focus.

Art therapy may also help you explore your emotions without having to verbalize them.

Maintaining relationships

Languishing may make you want to shy away from social settings. Keeping in touch with family and friends can be an important part of feeling connected and can help you feel supported.

Learning new skills

Learning something new affects your brain and also helps you improve focus. It may even help you feel motivated and establish small goals that could build up a sense of accomplishment. This, in turn, could improve how you feel.

Seeking professional help

If you feel you’re doing a few things but your mood doesn’t improve, consider reaching out to a mental health professional.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and reminiscence interventions have all been found to positively impact mental wellness outcomes.

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