Have you felt disconnected lately? You're not the only one. Experts describe this phenomenon as languishing, a mental state between depression and the absence of well-being.
The Woman Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou
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At the beginning of the pandemic, it was anguish and fear what we felt. However, we somehow became indifferent to our influence on everything, and unfortunately, many have become comfortable with this feeling.
One of the goals of learning how to control your emotions is to separate the reaction from an event. From there, we can teach the brain that there are other choices available.
Languishing is the feeling we get from long-term vulnerability, including anything where there's uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. We have been stuck in chronic tension for a very long time due to COVID-19, not to mention that regular life continues to happen simultaneously.
That continual uncertainty takes a toll on our brains. Human nature prefers simple things: Are we safe or are we in danger? However, we've chronically been experiencing a sense of gloom, doom, and unsafety. After a while, our brain starts to languish in feelings of uncertainty: we feel tired, not as productive, not as engaged, not setting goals or accomplishing what usually makes us feel good.
One of the ways we can stop languishing is to know what our values are. Come up with about eight to ten values and recognize them. When things are gritty, and we feel a lack of productivity, engagement, and feeling joy, think about two critical values that have helped you during tough times.
Identify those values that in the past helped you stay grounded when you needed resilience. Think back on those characteristics that helped you stay on track, and act and live with integrity.
Leona deVinne, a professional who works full time as a coach, assures that when we know our core values, mainly two that guide us when things are hard, we get a dopamine hit that allows us to think more strategically with the prefrontal cortex. For this reason, knowing our values is essential.
Languishing is genuinely just not being here, not absorbing what's going on around you. Everybody needs something to look forward to, and if you're not present, you don't have anything to look for, and that does leave you in a very low mood.
If you are going through this, you should be concerned and pay attention to it before it evolves into a clinical depression, warns Leigh Richardson, Clinical Director and Principal Founder at The Brain Performance Center. Set yourself up and tell yourself: it's okay not to be okay.
Richardson recommends setting a small goal, something you can accomplish every day. If you do so, it helps you to stay present and feel better about yourself.
Many people have been languishing in their work, feeling stressed because of all the world's changes.
"Our environment has a significant influence on us, and that's one thing that has changed since the beginning of the pandemic," says Richardson in an interview with CW33.
While some people like teleworking, others can't wait to go back to the office. However, we should make an effort to find joy in our routine and adapt to the new normal. Give time to yourself to recover and gain energy from activities you enjoy. Instead of languishing, try to grow and remember all the things you feel grateful for.