Feeling Joyless, Aimless, Stagnant or Empty?

It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield. Adam Grant, journalist

The most-read New York Times article in 2021 was, “There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing” by Adam Grant. According to psychologists, the feeling exists somewhere between depression and flourishing. 

Feeling joyless, aimless, stagnant or empty? You may be languishing. I’m glad to have a term for what I frequently feel when my motivation and focus are dulled.

According to Grant, it may have been the dominant emotion of 2021. The term was coined by a sociologist named Corey Keyes, who was struck that many people who weren’t depressed also weren’t thriving. Scientists believe feelings associated with languishing are reaching record numbers due to the unexpected emotional long-haul of the pandemic. 

Grant recommends getting immersed in a project or other entertainment as a way to move forward. Identify what brings you joy then bring it into your life at least once a week. As the pandemic drags on into 2022, let’s do what we can to move from a year of languishing to a year of flourishing. 

Affirmation: I will flourish in 2022.

Coaching questions: Have you identified feelings of languishing? Does having a term for what you’re feeling and knowing that others are feeling the same, make a difference? What will you do to help yourself move forward? 

Looking for Joy?

Find the place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain. Joseph Campbell, American Professor of Literature

Do you ever wake up and wonder where the joy went? If you’ve recently experienced a severe loss, perhaps you’re frequently asking yourself this question. Although I’m naturally a joyful person, lately, as I continue to live my life at home, I often wonder where the joy went.  At these times, I pause, look inside and find where the joy is hiding. I trust that it’s still in there.

I believe that during challenging periods of our lives, it’s natural to experience dark days, literally and figuratively. Dark or not, I’m determined to remain grateful for everyday no matter what it brings knowing that eventually the joy will burn out the pain.

Affirmation: I am grateful for everyday.

Coaching question: What gives you joy? How do you handle days that are joy-less?