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Feeling Blah And What To Do About It

Getting Unstuck By: Katie Lister

January 16, 2024

Are you feeling blah? A feeling you cannot quite describe? Do you want to stop feeling this way? Such feelings are universal, and everyone goes through a time when they feel blah, meh, or demotivated.

Hi, I am Katie Lister, a practicing Registered Nurse and Founder of Growth Gals. In this article, you shall learn what it means to feel blah, the signs, how to get out, and how to avoid it.

Table of Contents

Katie Lister

Katie Lister

Written by Katie Lister, RN, BScN. An experienced Registered Nurse, Group Facilitator, Life Coach, and Community Leader. Read Katie's Full Author Bio

What Does Feeling Blah Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, feeling blah is a feeling of lethargy, boredom, or dissatisfaction. The blahs (plural) or languishing is when you are caught between feeling happy with life and feeling depressed. You might feel like you are not doing well yet not sick. Nothing about life excites you anymore, and you are not exactly falling apart, but you are still not fully functional.

You are feeling stuck in a rut, trapped, and just going through life. Feeling blah is a feeling of aimlessness and joylessness, minus the hopelessness common in depression. A study before the COVID pandemic showed that at any given time, more than half of the workforce may experience a state of languish.

According to the American Psychological Association, languishing is more rampant than major depression. In 2002, Corey Keyes, a psychologist, coined the term languishing to describe an already-existent feeling, which was named the most popular feeling in 2021.

Corey split mental health into four stages:

  • Flourishing
  • Moderate
  • Languishing
  • Depression

Languishing is a deterioration of your mental health, although you can still go through the motions in your daily routine. A blah feeling leaves you with a neutral mindset, where you feel not joy, sadness, enthusiasm, or anger, just a meh feeling. Adam Grant highlighted the pandemic –languishing, which was what people felt during the pandemic.

Signs That You Are Feeling Blah

Languishing refers to a lack of emotional, social, or psychological well-being rather than a psychiatric one. Here is how to recognize the signs of feeling blah:

·       Aimlessness

When you have that blah feeling, nothing is wrong, yet nothing is right. You feel aimless and stare at the TV day-to-day, scrolling social media for hours instead of doing something constructive. Loss of interest in things that used to excite you leaves you feeling bored and idle.

·       Lack of Motivation and Energy

Nothing seems to excite you, and you feel no passion or motivation, even in the things you love doing. Lack of energy is one of the major side-effects of feeling blah. You desire to do something but have no energy or conviction that anything is worth it.

·       You Have Dulled Emotions

You may experience dulled emotions or emotional blunting with limited emotional reactions when feeling blah. You feel no emotions; instead, you feel numb to emotional experiences.

In the worst-case scenario, you might lack the ability to show emotions in your behaviors, face, or even during communication.

·       You are Constantly Stressed Out

When you are overwhelmed and stressed, that stress impacts other areas of your life, and burnout can leave you unable to pursue other interests, such as bonding with loved ones. One study showed a strong correlation between languishing and stress. Stress manifests as increased irritability and physical symptoms like tension headaches.

All these symptoms make forming and maintaining positive relationships harder, leading to stress and performance issues.


How to Get Out of the Feeling of Blah

Feeling blah is not permanent, but feeling blah is a risk factor for depression and anxiety disorders, and you need to deal with it as soon as possible. Here are a few things you can do to avoid feeling blah and get out of a rut.

·       Practice Gratitude

Practice gratitude via journaling, apps, or meditation. Practicing gratitude is linked to good health and better mental well-being by lifting you out of your low mood.

·       Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the awareness of your internal state and your environment. Mindfulness helps you to avoid destructive habits and allows you to learn by observing your emotions, thoughts, and other experiences without judgment or reaction. Mindfulness practices like yoga or meditation can help you to relax.

·       Read Self-Help Books

Read some self-help books that will give you more information on feeling blah and negative thoughts. An excellent book is “Feeling ‘Blah’? Why Anhedonia Has Left You Joyless and How to Recapture Life’s Highs” by English author Tanith Carey.

Anhedonia is the loss of interest in activities that one once enjoyed. It arises from a lack of excitement and joy, leaving one indifferent. In her book, Tanith Carey connects the dots between modern lifestyles, diets, hormonal changes, and stress with the rise of anhedonia. Languishing can sometimes make you feel like reading is too much work, and you can try to listen to an educative podcast on the feeling blah topic.

·       Talk to a Mental Health Professional

Healthcare involves not only the physical but also the mental aspect. For your mental wellness, seek mental health interventions. Depression has similar signs to languishing, and you must learn to differentiate between depression and feeling blah.

You can flourish by practicing PERMA with support from a therapist:

  • P-Positive Emotions -happiness, joy, peace
  • E-Engagement represents flow, interest, or focus in an activity
  • R-Relationships include connection with friends, family, or workmates
  • M- Meaning refers to a belief in something greater than oneself and is derived from spirituality or religion
  • A- Accomplishments refer to life pursuits such as career achievements, academics, or athletic

How to Avoid Feeling Low or Blah

Feeling blah is normal, and the danger of letting the blah feeling linger too long is that it can easily slip into depression. You can keep languishing at bay by doing a few things.

·       Acknowledge Your Emotions

One thing that people who are feeling blah have in common is the inability to acknowledge their feelings. Acknowledge your low mood and feelings, which motivates you more. Feeling like you are in a rut might be an easier way to avoid facing your specific emotions. Narrow the feelings down to rejection, loneliness, insecurity, anger, etc. You have to be honest with yourself about your feelings, as it makes you lose the ability to be fully authentic and present.

·       Practice Self-Compassion

Practice some self-compassion and give yourself some grace. Take your challenges as just another phase in your life and learn something from them instead of seeing them as obstacles. Rediscover your sense of purpose and realize that you may sometimes stray off the path, but you will find your way back with self-compassion.

·       Seek Support

When you feel socially isolated, it’s easier to start feeling blah. Seek social support via positive relationships from friends and family to avoid feeling lonely. Humans crave social contact, and it is okay to say you need company. You will be surprised at how many people feel the same and would love to meet for some social contact.

·       Self-Care

You have to take care of yourself, both physically and mentally. It’s impossible to stay positive when you do not feel your best. Ensure you rest well and get enough hours of sleep. Healthy foods and hydration are key factors in improving your mood and focus. If self-care for you is spa dates and soaking in a bathtub, go ahead and feel good about yourself while at it!

·       Set Goals

Planning for the future gives you something to look forward to and prevents languishing. Set long-term goals and break them up into bite-sized goals. Accomplishing the smaller goals gives you a boost of self-confidence and gives you something to look forward to. Ensure you are specific and the goals are measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

If you made a New Year resolution, be specific. I will lose 40 pounds by the end of the year. Break it into smaller goals, such as 4 pounds a month, leading you to achieve the bigger resolution within twelve months. If you plan a trip to New York, Bali, or anywhere in the world, use the same strategy.

How Growth Gals Can Help When You Feel Blah

To any woman interested in Growth Gals, follow us to join an amazing community of women. We will help you with feeling blah by boosting your confidence, a sense of clarity, and direction in life. Take the first step towards beating feeling blah and join Growth Gals today!

Follow @growthgals_ on Instagram and update yourself on our goal-setting journals, interactive coaching, and great support groups. Check out our newsletter for tips and tricks on personal growth and feeling blah. Join us now and start your journey towards a better and happier life!


Feeling blah is a temporary feeling that borders between happy and sad. You feel aimless and demotivated. However, this does not mean you should sit and wallow in these negative thoughts. Practice gratitude and mindfulness or do something you enjoy, like reading a book. Also seek therapy to rule our depression and other mental disorders.

 Once you get out of the rut of feeling meh, work hard towards avoiding these feelings by acknowledging your emotions, practicing self-compassion, seeking support, etc. Life is fluid, and staying in one position will make you feel bored and have nothing to look forward to. Break out of the languish cycle by being self-aware and by working hard towards making life changes.

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