Languishing: The Mental State of “Meh”

Nail The Numbers has built its brand on strength, empowerment, and ferocity. So why spotlight the topic of Languishing? It seems counterintuitive to our purpose, no?


Here's the thing, just like numbers, it takes courage to confront the reality of what you're feeling. Many people avoid the truth, afraid of what it will reveal. But the truth is, being vulnerable is one of the greatest superpowers around my friends. It's the starting point from which all your goals, desires, and ambitions are achieved.


Let's have a real conversation about how many of us are feeling these days.



First introduced in 2002, by psychologist, Corey Keyes, he was looking to create a nuanced approach to distinguishing one’s mental health other than just healthy or not. To this end, he created four tiers of mental health:


• flourishing, or good mental health

• moderate mental health

• languishing, or poor mental health

• depression


Languishing simply refers to a decline in our mental health. Although you’re still able to function in your day-to-day reality and aren't experiencing a major mental health crisis, your life, including your business, may not bring much happiness, fulfillment, or motivation either.


Languishing can leave you with a flat mindset. Instead of feeling sadness, joy, anger, or enthusiasm, you simply remain in a state of "blah".


Go From Meh to Yeh...

Research suggests that mindfulness-based approaches may be the most effective way to deal with languishing.


Mindfulness is moment-to-moment awareness, where you experience thoughts and situations without judgment. It can help you feel less stressed and more mentally clear.


In addition to mindfulness, you can help improve your mental wellness by practicing self-care such as:


Changing Your Scenery

While living, breathing, and working from home might seem monotonous, a new study suggests that a small change of scenery or routine can vastly improve your mood.


Researchers from New York University and the University of Miami found that having new, diverse experiences every day is linked to positive emotions and enhanced happiness. Something as simple as hitting up a new coffee shop, taking a different route to work, painting your room, or getting away for a weekend retreat – may be enough to take you from "meh' to 'yeh".


Writing Things Down

While the act of journaling is proven to de-stress, organize thoughts, set goals and inspire creativity, what I really like about it is journaling is a great way to self-reflect. When you take the time to document your thoughts and feelings, it really can blow your mind to do a compare and contrast of where you are now vs. where you used to be. As a bonus, journaling may even help you to identify the early signs of languishing.


Working it Out

Studies show that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication—but without the side effects. As one example, a recent study done by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by a whopping 26%.


Learning New Skills

Learning something new affects your brain and improves your focus. It may even help you establish small goals and build your sense of achievement. Last summer, my daughter Sophie and I committed to learning how to make both pasta and pizza from scratch! Not only were we astounded by how easy and amazingly delicious both were, but we bolstered our sense of accomplishment and adventure while creating cherished memories.



The Bottom Line

Languishing, in a nutshell, is being in a state of limbo. You may feel numb or ambivalent as if life is something happening to you, rather than something you actively participate in.


You don’t have to languish forever, though. Acknowledging it is a good place to start. And then therapy and the recommendations above offer helpful tips for sparking some excitement and joy back into your daily routine.


If you're languishing and feel it's progressed into something else, like depression, reaching out to a mental health professional can help get you back on track.


Care to Join Us for a Mindshift?