Flourishing and Languishing

Frances Harding once made a helpful distinction between Flourishing and Languishing.

People who flourish experience emotional well-being. They nourish this well being by practicing at least six positive habits. Examples include:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Moderate exercise
  • Constructive self-talk
  • Eating well balance meals
  • Setting appropriate boundaries
  • Engaging in life-giving conversation
  • Resting when tired
  • Celebrating a small accomplishment
  • Acknowledging a setback without shame
  • Embracing personal responsibility
  • Including play time in their day

People who languish never or rarely experience emotional well-being. They feel empty.

Instead of practicing positive habits, people who languish seek distraction through behaviors that only undermine the possibility for wellness. This includes the use of pornagraphy, acting out sexually, the abuse of alcohol or drugs, and other commonly known behaviors associated with addiction.

If you cannot identify at least six positive habits you practice every day, you may be at risk. Attend to signs of languishing. It provides opportunity for early intervention before a struggle to cope becomes a life-threatening addiction.



Image by Kristina Alexanderson

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