Languishing: How To Feel Alive Again in a World That Wears Us Down

Crown. Feb. 2024. 304p. ISBN 9780593444627. $28.99. PSYCH
Sociologist and psychologist Keyes (emeritus, Emory Univ.; editor of Flourishing: Positive Psychology and the Life Well-Lived) examines languishing, the feeling of being disconnected, rudderless, and irrelevant. Extended periods of languishing can have a domino effect and lead to conditions such as anxiety, depression, addictive behaviors, an early death, and much more. Keyes’s book provides a detailed description of the concept of languishing and identifies societal pressures underlying its cause. Readers learn that languishing most often presents itself in adolescence, young adulthood, or after age 75. But there’s hope; languishing can be combatted by flourishing. Readers of this book will discover specific steps for thriving, such as learning something new, developing quality relationships, moving toward the divine, living one’s purpose, and engaging in play. Keyes argues that shifting focus enables happiness to come to people naturally.
VERDICT Supported by research, this book is a valuable resource for those who may be languishing or who want to find more meaning in their life. Action plans are included.
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