‘Everyone just seems to be feeling a bit “meh” right now,’ I told my team in the morning features meeting. ‘The news is bleak, the weather is cra* and everyone is ill. I’ll come up with a better term for it but I want to write an article on how to combat it’. Whilst I haven’t come up with a better term than ‘the meh mindset’ for the way we all seem to be feeling RN, I have spoken to an expert about how we can shake off this ‘languishing’ mood and replace it with some sparky energy.
The ‘meh mindset’ is the overhang of languishing, the pandemic-fuelled mental health phenomenon. If you’re struggling to recall the languishing era (we don’t blame you for putting the pandemic firmly in your subconscious), allow us to refresh you. The New York Times at the time explained the psychology behind that feeling, and it perfectly encapsulates how we all felt: “Languishing is the neglected middle child of mental health,” writes US psychologist Adam Grant, author of bestsellers including Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know.
“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.”
Fast forward two years and we are still feeling the languishing hangover. Covid has depleted our immune systems so we were all ill over the festive period and the cost of living crisis continues to bite, leaving us all too sick and broke to do anything fun. Sound familiar? To combat the meh mindset, we’ve enlisted Emma Lucy Knowles, a renowned healer, energy & light worker, spiritual coach, meditation guide and author, to share 5 simple ways you can shift this feeling and replace it with amazing energy to take into a new year.
1. Set intentions instead of resolutions
New Year’s resolutions are very 2022. Instead, Emma believes intention is the only way to create the life we want. “While resolutions create stress and a way to kick yourself when you didn’t deliver, intention allows us to navigate towards a desired feeling,” she says.
So how do you set an intention? Emma advises keeping it small and begin by asking yourself ‘what’s the feeling I desire to feel this year?’. “Sit with that question, move through the feelings that pop to mind and explore how that emotion feels to you. Does it fill you up? Would you like more of it? If so, then we need to give that emotion a name, a word that resonates, like love, joy, peace or success and then we can create a mantra.”
2. Create a mantra
Mantras are moving mediations and manifestations. “What we see, we become,” claims Emma, so by setting a mantra (or intention you meditate on in the hope of bringing it to fruition), you can create the life you want by focusing on it over and over again. If you’re struggling to devise a mantra, Emma has created a framework everyone can use and insert with their own personal mantra. It goes like this… “I move each and every day to and in (insert intention here). I am deserving of it.” Emma suggests repeating it to yourself over and over again to evolve your outlook on life – and you might be surprised by how quickly it materialises.
3. Get breathing
According to Emma, when we become energetically ‘full’, when times have been tough, we often swallow our emotion and ‘get on’ with stuff. Over time, that sinking of energy starts to build and build in the body, so she believes it’s super important to give it an outlet – and the breath is the ideal release. “You don’t need to be meditation pro to tap into the breath – it’s for us all, it’s the most uniting thing we have,” she said.