In Recovery and ‘Languishing’? How To Keep A Grip On Mental Health In Recovery

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Many of us have experienced a prevailing feeling in the last year and a half—one that is fueled by uncertainty and concern for the changes we’ve seen all over the world. This feeling may have led you to a point where you just don’t feel like you’re getting the most life has to offer. Feeling like that can impact your mental health in recovery, but there are ways to get a grip on your mental health in recovery and flourish.

Languishing: When Life Feels “Meh”

The COVID-19 Pandemic has left us all in uncharted waters. More of us than ever are feeling a bit flat. You may find you have a hard time feeling excited or motivated. Or, you may be functioning at a surface level but feel like you’re just going through the motions. You might also be feeling a bit aimless. While not hopeless or depressed, you just don’t have great anticipation about what’s to come.

Sociologist Dr. Corey Keyes called the sum of feelings like this ‘languishing.’ 1 Not meeting criteria for depression, but still, predictive of possible depressive situations down the road, languishing is a term used for many who find they’re just feeling ‘meh’ about life in general. The concern about languishing is that it could be the preface to developing depression and anxiety down the road.

If you’re in recovery, one of the biggest focuses is keeping your mental health in recovery a priority. Keyes’s research suggests that it may become more significant in the days ahead if you’re languishing now. You may not even realize how your languishing may lead to deeper depression and anxiety. If you’re in recovery, that could be even more disastrous.

Preventing The Dive

The research Dr. Keyes conducted is important if you’re keeping your mental health in recovery a focus. His research suggests that the absence of a specific mental disorder doesn’t mean you aren’t at risk for one. Dealing with substance misuse recovery can also put you at risk, and together? According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 37% of those with alcohol misuse and 53% of those suffering from drug misuse also have at least one serious mental illness. 2

When you recognize that you may be languishing, you can help prevent the dive into deeper depression or anxiety.

From Languishing To Flourishing: Positive Mental Health In Recovery Focus

If you feel you’ve been languishing, there’s no reason to feel shame. You are human, and the days we live are different from what many of us have seen in our lifetime. But you deserve more; you deserve to feel optimistic about life and what’s to come. Especially if you’re in recovery, you want to anticipate the goodness that living life sober and free will bring. You want to flourish.

Flourishing is the term Dr. Keyes coined that suggests you’re getting the most of life. 3 It’s a positive state of well-being and mental health, and freedom from languishing or any other mental health disorder. Dr. Keyes calls flourishing the state of your healthiest psychosocial functioning—where you have clear goals in life, high intimacy in relationships, and high resilience as you bounce back into the life you were meant to live. When you’re flourishing, you also face lower risks of cardiovascular disease and other chronic physical diseases that tend to come with age. You have fewer physical limitations, and generally speaking? You are happier and confident in your life.

This is the goal for all of us, but particularly if you’re in recovery.

What can you do to help your mental health in recovery?

Most important is to recognize your feelings and permit yourself to deal with them. Carve time out for yourself. Honestly, permit yourself to engage in activities that bring you joy and carve out time to do so without feeling guilty that you should be doing something else.

Also, consider practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness will have you focusing heavily on being present in your moments—whatever they are. When you emphasize what your current, present environment is like, you can take in the sights, smells, and feelings of your world around you. Mindfulness has been shown to help reduce stress and help people relax. Not to mention, practicing mindfulness is a possible key factor in recovering from substance abuse disorders. 4

Silver Sands Recovery: Therapeutic Help In A World That Languishes

At Silver Sands Recovery, we want you to live the best life. The life you were meant to live. A life that’s free of substance abuse and full of hope and optimism. A successful way for you to cope if you are languishing is behavioral therapy. At Silver Sands Recovery, we offer group and individual therapy sessions that help you look at factors contributing to your languishing feelings and move toward a flourishing life. Our program gives you solid support and a foundation for working to be your healthiest, sober life. We walk with you and offer a strategy for you to focus on your mental health in recovery and live the life you were meant to live. If you’re ready to put an end to feeling ‘meh’ and start your new sober life, contact us today.

Sources:

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2978199/

[2] https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/482045

[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17324035/

[4] https://news.usc.edu/154943/mindfulness-could-be-a-key-to-recovering-from-substance-abuse-usc-experts-say/

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