Organizational psychologist, Adam Grant referred to “languishing” as the middle child of mental health.
It is this area between depression and flourishing – the absence of mental well-being.
It’s where you don’t necessarily have symptoms of mental illness, yet you’re not the picture of mental health, either.
Nevertheless, it’s important to discuss where it lives on the mental health continuum, and the risk that it has.
There was a study back in 2002 with Dr. Corey Keyes, and he uncovered that those individuals that were languishing ran twice the risk of sliding into mental illness than those people that were moderately mentally healthy.
In fact, those that were languishing had a six times higher rate of sliding into mental illness, than those that were flourishing.
A recent study with Italian healthcare workers demonstrated exactly the same thing, in fact the risk was higher.
If you are languishing, you are at a higher risk of showing signs of mental illness.
So, while the studies are still somewhat early in terms of how the pandemic is impacting us, we know that in this languishing state there are some risks.
And that’s why we need to focus on not just demonstrating and building our own resilience, but understanding that we need to strive towards flourishing.
How is your organization supporting employees to get from a state of languishing back to flourishing? Let me know if I can help with a session for leaders at all levels, individual contributors, and their teams.