Lack of motivation is a common symptom of depression. We may be fully aware of what we need to do, yet other symptoms such as loss of energy and focus, or lack of confidence all work to prevent any positive action being taken. So what can we do to jump start the engine and start moving forward again?
If you beat yourself up with negative self-talk, berating yourself for what you’re not doing, you’re going to keep yourself feeling down and de-motivated. Be aware of your self-talk, monitor your thoughts. We all talk to ourselves, but we’re not always aware of these thoughts. Begin to listen and try to suspend any self-judgement. Imagine instead what encouraging words you might say to a friend or loved one and use these on yourself.
Set small and specific goals
If you set expectations for yourself that are too high for you at this moment in time, you’re going to create a negative cycle of emotion. You will feel anxious and overwhelmed and probably won’t start the tasks you expect from yourself, which can lead to feelings of defeat or shame and this will create further anxiety. Take whatever task you want to get motivated for and break it down into small achievable steps. Focus all of your attention on the very first step. This may be simply putting the dishes in the sink, getting in the shower or putting on your shoes. It doesn’t matter how small this first step may seem, most important of all is the decision to take control, to take positive action. As the old saying goes, the longest journey starts with a single step.
Give yourself credit for each goal achieved
Give yourself credit for each and every step forward that you make. Doing even the smallest or simplest of tasks can give you a sense of achievement and satisfaction. When you feel pleased with yourself for accomplishing your goal you will create serotonin, the mood enhancing hormone, and then you will feel more motivated into taking the next step, working towards the next goal.
Imagine how you’ll feel after the task
Activities such as cooking a meal, going for a walk or meeting up with a friend can seem like an ominous task if you focus on the effort involved. Use your imagination to envisage what will be better and how you will feel once you have achieved the task. How we think determines how we feel and how we feel determines how we behave. By using your mind to imagine the positive outcomes, you will stimulate serotonin and you will start to feel more positive and then you will be more motivated into doing something.
If you need help with motivation or are experiencing symptoms of depression, hypnotherapy can help you to find your way forward.
For more information please call 07514 931 096 or email me using the contact form.