States, filled with people weary from the COVID pandemic. The theme of this month’s
newsletter met me with thoughts on the ‘nourishment’ of this state of the mind.
Adam Grant’s article, “There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing
The neglected middle child of mental health can dull your motivation and focus — and it may be the dominant emotion of 2021” was published on April 19th 2021, and has created quite a
dialogue in this country. I encourage you to review the article for yourself, the passage below
details the state of languishing as:
"Languishing is the neglected middle child of mental health. It’s the void between depression and flourishing — the absence of well-being. You don’t have symptoms of mental illness, but you’re not the picture of mental health either. You’re not functioning at full capacity. Languishing dulls your motivation, disrupts your ability to focus, and triples the odds that you’ll cut back on work. It appears to be more common than major depression — and in some ways it may be a bigger risk factor for mental illness."
As a movement practitioner, I seek to want to move this right on out of the way. I understand why naming states of mental function help us as humans. As I read more, and listened to people react to this state of languishing, they felt relief that there is an official medically named space that outlines/depicts the struggle they feel with those feelings or behaviors that express them as a diminished-individual. Feeling diminished is a mighty powerful state even in the smallest dose. We see the effects of this embodied in the clients we serve--sometimes in protective posture that leads to tense head/neck/shoulder situations, sometimes in muscles that feel fatigue under little demand, no endurance, difficulty holding balance, or that real risky space when the person believes that pain in their body is just the way their body is going to operate--the new norm.
I want people to thrive. You don’t have to work in our field to want that for a human, AND it is a value of the team that I work with, AND as such, we discuss the pitfalls around this state of languishing with some regularity. What we have seen over the years, is that people get return on any size of plan and process they consciously move towards.
It’s dicey in this America, because our culture, both overtly and also obscurely, really makes the value in the effort only about the achievement it’s tied to. That's sludge on the human spirit. What happens when only goals with a conspicuous, remarkable profile are worthwhile? I think your builders get ignored or laid off and you stop growing because you have forgotten where growth actually comes from.
At a base level, what makes people of value is that they are a force of life. I fear that without plans and process in place, we are at risk for embodying diminished being ‘posture’. Plan and process are tools to the human that mold what that precious life force gets to do. It would be silly to think that you could value certain atoms of your body over others in terms of what made your ‘bestness’ possible. I kind of think that all the many acts of plan and process we practice as humans serve to amplify our spirit/life force, forming an offering of what we provide our community and ourselves.
Just like we always revere the power of movement, it’s true in mental work too.
Multidirectional movement makes for longer-stronger-stunning expressions in a human.
Any movement has value when you consciously decide to activate it.
In robust growth!