Motivation and emotion
Last updated: 8/6/2020
Motivation and emotion. Let’s start with motivation – what is that beast?
Motivation is an energy deep inside you, a driving force that helps you go through different parts of life. It’s a reason for acting or behaving in a particular way.
Motivation means needs, desires, and wants that drive you within. It is the process of stimulating yourself to act in order to accomplish your goal.
Every single one of us has it. To begin with, you get motivated to get up every morning. So do I.
Motivation is a powerful, yet tricky thing. Sometimes it is really easy to get motivated, and you find yourself excited. Other times, it is nearly impossible to motivate yourself and you’re trapped in a vicious cycle of procrastination.
They are three types of motivation and they are based on rewards, because we motivate ourselves in order to achieve something:
- Extrinsic. We are motivated by money, praise, awards, recognition, and benefits.
- Intrinsic. This type of motivation relies on a person’s internal values and the reward of feeling good to achieve a positive reaction.
- Addiction. No need to explain this one. But I will dissect them a little.
Most of all, most of us are motivated by money, fame, and different kinds of benefits. Extrinsic motivation relies on thongs that are external in order to achieve motivation.
Intrinsic type of motivation relies on your values and feeling good after achieving something, that is your reward. It gives you positive emotions, such as joy, relief, or accomplishment.
You want to perform because it makes you feel good.
Addiction also relies on a good feeling, however, the internal and external rewards usually fade away but addiction does not. It means that this is the most destructive type of motivation.
So, whether you want to figure out how to motivate yourself or how to motivate a group of people, this article should cover all the things you need to know.
Table of Contents:
When you’re tired, how do you motivate yourself? For me, a cup of coffee would be in order.
But does coffee really help?
Does caffeine increase motivation? Well, caffeine stimulates your Central Nervous system through a lack of inhibition (I won’t get too technical about it). However, the effect of a cup of coffee will not necessarily increase your motivation.
Ehm… ladies! Is it the coffee or the guy more motivating?
But seriously, why do we drink it besides the fact that we love it? It may not increase motivation but it does increase your focus and concentration. Or does it, ladies…
It’s a stimulant that improves alertness and attention, and so it helps to ease the process of learning and processing your information.
Our motivation originates usually in our minds. So, if coffee allows you to focus better, it’s a good start!
However, the lack of motivation isn’t always based on our thoughts. Sometimes, the reason may lay in physiology – a branch of biology that deals with the normal functions of our body.
An example of physiological motivation would be a body need, such as for food or water, and so that motivates us through a positive kind of emotion because we gain something good afterwards.
But there are situations, where we have no influence on our motivation, such as hormone imbalance, which makes us feel fatigued and even depressed.
Let’s take dopamine as an example. This hormone is mainly responsible for the pleasure and reward pathways. They are directly connected to your feelings of pleasure and reward.
This is important because it makes us feel happy, motivated, and focused.
When your dopamine levels are low, either due to poor diet, lack of sleep, stress, or chronic use of antidepressants, a lot of symptoms like mood swings, poor attention, lack of motivation, and depression can appear.
Besides, people who suffer from low dopamine levels are more likely to form some kind of addiction and so it can become a vicious cycle.
That vicious cycle causes mood swings and depression, the feeling of boredom, loss of satisfaction, chronic fatigue, and low energy with no desire to move your body.
You experience a lack of motivation and enthusiasm.
The body becomes cold, and your feet and hand feel chilled. Low energy and depressive mood will definitely make you crave stimulants and become dependent on sugar, caffeine, or alcohol. This isn’t good.
So, what to do if you suffer from depression and you don’t feel like getting up at all?
I will not sugarcoat things and say fluffy things such as “get over it” because it doesn’t work. I’m here to tell you the truth. However, people who never suffered from depression wrongly think otherwise.
Telling a depressed person to get motivated is like telling a rock to dance. You’ll get the same result. You cannot just snap out of depression.
It’s not because people don’t want to get motivated. It is because getting motivated is an overwhelming task when you’re depressed.
Anxiety can also impact motivation because it can leave you drained of energy.
Anxiety can also impact how much sleep you’re able to get. When trying to go to sleep, your mind will begin to wander and you will find it difficult to even close your eyes.
In the long run, the repetitive nature of anxiety and its influence on your sleep, leaves you struggling to get out of bed. You’re not motivated.
So, is motivation impossible? Definitely not.
It is possible! You will motivate yourself when you find a process that works for you and you have to remember, that “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Yeah yeah, blah blah, you might be thinking – why does he say all that? I’m depressed, he doesn’t understand!
My friends, you have to remember, that I experienced first hand my lovely wife’s depression.
Yes, it wasn’t me who suffered one might think. But wasn’t I?
I felt her pain on every level. Her pain became my own. I have learned that depressed people can’t get out of bed, let alone want to take a thousand-mile journey.
Whatever your reason, depression is an insidious, isolating, and terrifying mental disorder, which can sabotage your motivation.
Depression or not, people struggle to motivate themselves, because, in this crazy, internet-driven world, there are things they cannot get.
Things people dream of these days aren’t really important but they still try to chase them. People want to be famous and known even though in reality it is pointless. It would not make them happy.
This endless pursuit of the so-called “social media star” dream is a temporary solution to people’s problems. It doesn’t solve them in the long run.
So in order to find true motivation, that will allow you to get up happy every day of your life, you need to ask yourself this very question… Are you happy?
Road to happiness!
When we are young, we’re all naive. We think that money is the answer to our problems.
And this is what people want these days.
As a society, we’ve become obsessed with what we see. To follow celebrities and people on social media, to look and act like them.
But what we see doesn’t always reflect reality.
Not to go into it too deep and make you understand quickly I’ll give you a few examples…
• Robin Williams
• Marilyn Monroe
• Ernest Hemingway
• Vincent Van Gogh
• Kurt Cobain
They all had different talents, fame, money, and anything they could ever ask for.
They had a roof over their heads, food on the plate, all the time in the world for pleasure. And yet, all of them suffered from depression and all committed suicide.
They were all lovely, good-hearted people who shared two things together:
- Were they happy? Yes.
- We’re they unhappy? Yes.
Happiness is not fame or money. Don’t compare yourself to others, don’t copy people, it’s only an image. What matters is inside of your heart. You are original, there’s no one else like you and that is what makes you unique.
If you follow celebrities, it will leave you eventually with a feeling that you are not good enough. It doesn’t matter what their circumstances were in order to get famous.
Realizing the very fact that you don’t have what they do, can make you feel like you’re never good enough.
What really happens is that the influencers feel constant pressure to gain trust and love from people. On the other side of the coin, people try and chase something they don’t have.
Influencers feel constant pressure to compete with other celebrities and slowly move away from who they really are.
This is where people become lost and alone…
It is an endless, pointless pursuit and both, celebrities and followers, fall into a trap of the loop they cannot get out from.
The deterioration of mental health became a worldwide epidemic.
So, how do we fix that problem?
In times like this, you need to remember one thing. At the beginning of any journey in life, mastering anything sucks. It always does!
You have to set the expectations aside and learn before attempting to do something. If at the beginning you raise your expectations too high, you are going to be disappointed and hurt, you’re most likely quit.
Start with why, and ask yourself that very question – why do you get up every morning? What is your purpose in life? Do you have a goal?
If you find the answer, your motivation will come with ease.
We are more than animals, we don’t just exist survive. We use our brains. But because we do, it gets complicated.
Animal motivation is set aside, they have to hunt or die. We don’t just live to survive like a lion or gazelle. We have emotions and we can make decisions.
In order for your motivation to be successful, it needs to have a value but it has to be simple, understandable, and doable.
To begin with, you need to remember that it is not going to be easy, I get that. But hey, welcome to life everybody!
So, what’s that you really want in life? Maybe it’s money?
Well, you weren’t born to pay taxes and die, but on the other hand, chasing money isn’t the route to happiness.
You need to find your own goal. Nobody can do it for you.
To give you an example, I never knew what I wanted to do in life.
As a kid, despite my parents pleaded, I haven’t considered which college I wanted to go to. I followed my friend’s idea, I became a paramedic.
I loved it, it was cool and interesting. I was always fascinated by medicine and the idea of helping people.
Was I happy? Hmm…
I liked the idea of doing something I was fascinated by. But even though I kept going in the ambulance to help people with their physical ill-health problems, something was missing.
Fast forward to this day, I realized that my true purpose in life is to help people, but on a deeper level.
Emotional health is as important as physical. However, the fact that it’s being seen as taboo and no one wants to openly talk about it, gives people less information on how to cope.
The combination of meeting my wife, finding out her mental wellness being in danger, and the discovery of blogging allowed me to combine it all into my passion.
I know what I want to do and this passion will never go away.
I want to help people, along with my wife, who found the same reason to get up every morning. Aside from that, it brings me a lot of joy, I love it. Not mentioned that blogging may become a full-time job.
So here I am. It took me 20 odd years to figure out what I wanted to do.
But you’re not me. So don’t worry, it won’t take you this long. I was simply occupied with other things for many years.
All you have to do is look deep inside yourself and remind yourself, what is there that you really love doing.
Depression presents so many challenges. You don’t know where to begin.
How to motivate yourself, when you live with depression for so long that it feels like you’ve gone through every symptom that this dark condition has to offer?
I’ll get into that in a moment…
Hopelessness, fatigue, insomnia, sometimes even weight gain or loss, all seem to accompany depression.
Living with it is hard, no matter what symptoms you have.
So, just the very act of getting out of your comfy bed can seem like such a hurdle. You begin to wonder, how others do it.
Your sleep can be disturbed and that’s a very common symptom. Not only you may experience having not enough sleep but also over-sleeping may cause you a lack of energy and therefore, motivation.
Another factor can be the usage of medication. Undertaking the commonly simple task of starting a day seems daunting.
So challenge depression by doing little steps.
Here are some tips I’ve collected from my own experience as a supporter and from various resources over time.
If you create a morning routine worth waking up for it will be much easier to motivate yourself, because you won’t be waking up into the unknown.
You’ll have a rough idea, a plan of what you gonna do when waking up.
It might be difficult to start, but after a short while, it will become automatic, more natural, and easier to do.
After all, you get up every day. What you do with it, it’s your choice. Thinking alone will never solve the problem if you don’t act on it.
Many people get stuck in a routine of dragging themselves out of bed to get to work, and that’s it.
Is there really this much to life?
You hate your job, but you still go there every single day. No wonder you’re depressed. Work – sleep – work – sleep… But there’s more to life!
You might barely have time for breakfast in your routine. You’re just trying to get out the door.
But if you create a morning routine worth waking up for, you will have a different point of view for your morning.
You need to create a routine that fits you but if you don’t know where to begin, I give you an example below. Little steps, remember?
1. Start slow:
Start with the basics. When you wake up, don’t lay in your bed. Try to sit up, otherwise, your mind begins to wander and the over-thinking process will switch itself on.
You have to get busy, but you’re just at the beginning of your journey, so take these little steps. But take them, my friend!
So sit up, push your pillows up, and get comfy.
As you can see, you’re not out of bed yet but you achieved something more than yesterday. Now, turn the telly on.
Turn on the news. The news is always there and presenters usually are full of energy. That’s pretty encouraging itself. But there are also stories.
Seeing things, focusing on something else rather than you, takes you away from your thoughts.
Again, I agree they might come into the mix at the beginning, but it will fade away with time and you will be able to fully focus on the program.
Sometimes just the act of sitting up can get you closer to getting up, getting ready, and starting your day. But add to it some distractions such as radio or TV and you’ll find it easier.
2. Breakkie? Start thinking of food!
Thinking about food or your first cup of coffee (oh yes) can be a great motivation because it gives you comfort.
But it doesn’t always work, especially if you’re experiencing a loss of appetite from depression, which is very common.
Still, you need to remember that eating something in the morning, even if it’s just a slice of bread, will definitely help you get up.
And on the plus side, if you take medications in the morning, it’s usually a good idea to have something in your stomach. Besides, they work much quicker in combination with caffeine.
3. You cannot forget about setting an alarm.
Going back to my medical studies, I had a lot to think about. I was extra super busy and barely had time to sleep.
I addition to that, I wasn’t eating well. Crap instant-soups which had no nutrients or calories, sporadically pizza, and a beer. I wasn’t living healthy but it was a student life.
I had to live cheap to survive and so I cut on food, silly. I had no energy and had to deal with frequent medical exams, twice to three times weekly. It was soul-destroying.
Sometimes I had no motivation to get up since 2 hours of sleep kept me snuggled in my comfy bed.
But I had to get up for classes, tuition, and exams.
I went back to the classics. Setting an alarm or, I used to put it in a saucepan with a spoon inside it, setting vibration on I put it on the top of my wardrobe.
I put my clock out of your reach. When the alarm went off, no matter how annoying the sound of the alarm, spoon, saucepan was, I had no choice but to get up.
So here’s the thing. If you put it out of easy reach, you’ll have to get up to shut it off. While it’s easy to have multiple alarms set by your bed, this tactic will make you get up.
4. Write a journal…
Paper and pens may seem old-fashioned, but the beauty of it is truly magic.
This is where the power of the journal comes in.
Consider writing down something you’re grateful for every morning. Or even better, do this at night as well and reread your gratitude in the morning.
Reminding yourself about the positives aspects of your life you used to have, you still can. Read it every morning so it can help you start your day a little better.
I can’t recommend it enough!
Journaling is one of my top advice for anyone who suffers from mental health illness, regardless of anxiety and panic attacks, depression, or OCD.
I recommend it for many reasons.
- Journaling can do wonders for your health. It provides you with a creative, cathartic release.
- It allows you to get rid of your daily stresses.
- It also allows you to look back on your journey to reflect on personal patterns of behavior, growth, and how you’ve overcome challenges that once set you back.
5. Focus on what’s around you.
Do you have a cat, dog, or bird? A great option is to focus on your pets.
It can provide you with many benefits. Pets can be a great motivation for waking up in the morning. For starters, you need to take care of them by feeding, walking, or cuddling with them.
The latter is very important, became spending just a few minutes being unconditionally loved by your pet, can have an overwhelmingly positive effect on your mood.
6. Get yourself motivated with a routine.
Haven’t I said it already? Yes. Because it’s super important!
Don’t rush to get up and get ready in the morning. Take your time, otherwise, it will steal all the pleasure out of it. You can try using other forms of motivation to get up, like music.
7. Start blogging!
Wait, have I said it already? Yes, because it is another thing I simply cannot recommend you enough!
- You connect with people.
- You can reach for advice from those who succeeded in the battle with depression.
- You can help others the same way and that’s the ultimate goal of every blogger, like myself and my wife. We want to help people get out of their struggles.
- It allows you to look forward with anticipation for the morning, to check your emails from followers and subscribers.
- Just make sure that you’re not staying on your phone all morning in bed, set a timer.
- Remember, that this positive and exciting feeling doesn’t end in the morning. People continue to email and contact you throughout the day. You constantly have something to look forward to, even after work.
Remember, that you need a reason to get up. This is my best advice yet – blog yourself to happiness my worry head.
If I did it, you can do it too!
Remember, give yourself time to create a routine you’ll enjoy. If you start to look at your morning in a more gentle and positive way, you will find your motivation.
Make a cup of coffee or tea and sit outside for even just 10 minutes and listen to birds. They tweet so beautifully.
Do some gentle yoga stretches or go to the gym. Join group classes and you’ll find, it’s not that scary to go out.
It’s actually the opposite!
No one will judge you, because no one knows what you’re going through. People who exercise in the group are so friendly.
Do Pilates or use a morning meditation to start your day in a more peaceful and mindful way.
Eat your breakfast while listening to music that makes you feel more positive, awake, and calm.
Learn to enjoy your morning. Take care of yourself, my friend. It’s just another thing you can do to help manage your depression and get through your day.
Practice self-care until you become an expert at it!
Lots of love to you and your loved ones! And if you still struggle to motivate yourself, My wife would recommend you books, which allowed her to answer some other questions that she had.
My wife tried to grasp as much support as she could, all in search of a solution, to help herself and to answer questions she had.
She began by reading a lot of books. I have to agree, these books are very helpful in helping you understand your anxiety and depression, and helping you get out of the cycle. You can access them by clicking on each one below. Allow me to list them for you:
You may access these books by clicking either on the links above or the book covers below…
My wife have read this book in a jiffy! It helped her during her dark times to find compassion and love for herself. For somebody like M, who suffered from severe depression, I noticed that the harshest critic of her was herself. It is never helpful to be told to pull ourselves together by others but saying it to ourselves leads us in only one direction – into a terrible despair.
I listed this book because M also suffered from anxiety at that time, it helped her mindset and depression. AN obsessing, ruminating and dwelling on things may or may not happen, but this book makes it simple to understand, how to manage your fear. Your brain is a very powerful tool, and the more you work to change your mindset, the better you’re going to feel.
This is another book which my wife reached for during her depression, because it offered my wife a self-help programme, written by one of the leading authorities in CBT. M also suffered at the time with OCD. A whole range of anxieties and fears are explained, from panic attacks and phobias to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and generalised anxiety. That really helped her!
Take care of yourselves worry heads! You can motivate yourself! Focus your mind on a target you want to achieve and follow that dream.
Who am I?
Hi, I’m Lucjan! The reason why I decided to create this blog was my beautiful wife, who experienced a lot of pain in life, but also the lack of information for those who support their partners… [read more]
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