Despair is worse after hope is briefly ignited. Robert Reich
This blog is a trailer. We will treat this topic in much more detail in a full-on article to be published in “Contentment Magazine” in their Fall 2021 issue. We will make sure you get the link when it’s published.
But in the meantime, we want to whet your appetite. Everyone was just getting along and sliding into ‘back to normal until July started. Then WHAM! That conniving virus springs a couple of very contagious variants on us. And as we write this, the possibility of going back to masking and social distancing mandates looms large on the horizon. Well, poop just when I had my hopes up and could breathe near other humans, we get this. OK, Grantham, cut to the chase.
Languishing. That’s where most of us were in early summer. A psychological state is indicating we are not coping very well with the world. Rebecca and I had talked about a “Personal Coping Bank Account.” Well, languishing is when you are making more withdrawals from this account than deposits. You are depleting your ability to cope, and the compounding of interest has stopped, and an overdraft crisis may be near.
We’ll get into all the reasons this state of languishing is happening now in our next piece. Just think of what’s going on. Note, we futurists are a bit obsessed with these things. We’ve got a global pandemic that just does not want to go away; a global recession (whether the Fed will admit it or not); paralyzed governance, and to top it all off, social and political unrest. Each of those things could be a topic in itself.
You’re in the middle of it. You are stuck. So, what’s a poor soul to do? We see four basic social psychological tactics. Again, we’ll expand on these in Contentment along with a handy dandy superfine self-check languishing scale.
1. Set some boundaries. Deep six the myth about ‘multi-tasking.’ We call BS on this one. If you really want to supercharge this one kill your Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Instagram accounts. They are not so good for your mental health. IMHO, of course.
2. Reflection on what you spend time on. Time to clean out that cerebral closet and junk all unused stuff that becomes energy sucks with little benefit. Do you really need to keep obsessing about that social slight Aunt Greta threw out in the last family Zoom call?
3. Pay attention to your PLACE. I can’t say enough here. You can change this and then change it again. Think of the difference in the experience you have between a Las Vegas Casino and a medieval cathedral. Not that I’ve ever been to either, but I’ve heard stories from many people. Another favorite topic of ours. Go here.
4. Finally. Relationships. Be conscious and intentional about your social network. Design it, build it and nurture it. A robust social network is like getting a ‘coping stimulus check’ from Uncle Sugar every month. Say what? Here’s a clue. According to Gallup surveys in 1990, 3% of people reporting having ‘no close friends and today that number is 12%! Make your net WORK.
OK, enough, the editor person is giving me the side-eye. We’ll be out with an expended version of this blog in about a month with all the references and some absolutely stunning graphics for you right brainers out there. Reach back if you feel the need.
Take us out IZ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naoknj1ebqI
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