Home Psychology A Different Feeling of Emptiness: Languishing

A Different Feeling of Emptiness: Languishing

From time to time, we experience a feeling of emptiness that we cannot define. If we say unhappy, we are not; if we say sad, we are not. But there is a state of boredom and purposelessness over us. If you are in a similar situation, you may be experiencing languishing.

What is languishing?

We can say that this concept entered our lives with the pandemic. Its definition is generally a state of boredom, aimlessness, and stagnation. Maybe you think of burnout syndrome. However, it’s not the same thing. This situation is more like emptiness and restlessness syndrome.

How is it different from burnout syndrome?

In burnout syndrome, we feel that our energy is reset. We do not want to do something even if we want to. But in the case of languishing, our point is not zero. We still have power but feel a little joyless and aimless.

The most frequently used sentences are:

  • I have a feeling of unease. I want to do something, but I don’t know what I want to do.
  • I’m not unhappy, but I’m not happy either.
  • I feel aimless and empty.

What causes languishing?

The concept of uncertainty is the one that most of us have the most difficulty dealing with. Because we neither experience precisely the situation we fear nor can we take precautions. The pandemic has been one of the most prominent examples of the uncertainty process. Suddenly, our whole order changed, and our plans were disrupted. Our routines turned into luxury, and we felt restrained.

That’s why we started feeling empty and aimless, which is very typical. Because our dreams were always long-term, and at the beginning of the pandemic, we didn’t even know if we would ‘go back to our old lives again’.

As a result, stagnation, apathy, and aimlessness began to dominate all of us.

So what should we do?

1. Key point: Stay with the flow.

The trick is to do activities focusing on the present moment and giving you pleasure. This could be a hobby or spending time with loved ones. Dance, go to the theater, paint. The choice is yours!

2. Set short-term goals or small tasks.

Give yourself tasks that are easy to achieve. For example, going to a movie/place you want to go to but are always put off can be as simple as talking to a friend you haven’t seen for a long time. You will see how good it is.

3. Make an appointment with yourself.

I love this definition. What does that mean? Go on a date with yourself. For example, go to a place you love or have just discovered and try a new drink you have never had. If you enjoy outdoor activities, go for a walk in a quiet area—our common goal in all of them: is to take time for ourselves and review our thoughts.

Remember, what you want is just as important as what you don’t want. Clarify your expectations, and reorient your life. If these are not enough, do not hesitate to get support from an expert.