What is languor and how to deal with it

Have you ever felt drained and even stopped feeling joy? This feeling is neither depression nor any other type of pathology: it is called ‘languishing’, and it means losing strength, spirit and joy. However, by not feeling these three things, life becomes a bit more difficult.

Laziness is a feeling of stagnation and emptiness. It feels like you’re crawling through the days, looking at your life through a misted glass. And it may be the dominant emotion of 2021, says Adam Grant, a psychologist and academic at the University of Pennsylvania.

“As scientists and physicians work to treat and cure the physical symptoms of those affected by this crisis, many people have trouble adjusting emotionally to the situation”, Grant says.

He also explains that “most people in the beginning of this crisis further activated their threat detection system in their brains, causing them to be on fight or flight mode permanently”. However, as the crisis and the constant state of anguish continued, “some people developed another reactions: languor“.

Languishing is the ignored child of mental health. It is the gap between depression and well-being: the absence of well-being. Languishing clouds your motivation, alters your ability to concentrate and triples the chances that you will reduce your work capacity” .

Fighting languor

A concept called ‘flowcan be an antidote to languor. Flow is that elusive state of being engrossed in a meaningful challenge or momentary bond, in which your sense of time, space, and yourself fades. “The people who immersed themselves more in their projects managed to avoid languishing and maintained their happiness and joy”, says the Wharton psychologist.

It’s about starting with small victories. “One of the clearest paths to fluency is a manageable difficulty: a challenge that tests your skills and increases your determination,” concludes the specialist.

“Flourishing is the pinnacle of well-being – you have a strong sense of purpose, dominance, and caring for others.”.


You can read the original article from Adam Grant in The New York Times here.

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