How to Boost Your Motivation to Beat Depression
One of the most common symptoms of depression is a lack of desire to do things you feel you should do. Depression is a vicious cycle. Avoidance, loneliness, self-criticism, perfectionism, and hopelessness are all examples. We may add lack of motivation to this vicious cycle and when you lack motivation, you don’t do the things you need to do to build self-esteem, resolve avoidance, build your support network, and feel successful.
Here, we’ll look at some of the thinking distortions that contribute to your lack of motivation, as well as some strategies you can use right now to turn your motivation around.
1. You don’t have to wait for inspiration to get started.
One of the misconceptions that underpin depression is the idea that “I have to feel inspired first in order to get things done.” It is not necessary to feel motivated to do something. All you have to do is decide to do it and then go ahead and do it.
2. Action creates motivation.
We typically think of motivation as preceding behavior, but motivation may result from activity as well. For example, if you exercise vigorously you may find that your energy level increases and your motivation to do other things increases. It’s like recharging your battery with activity. The more thing you do, the more likely you are to want to do it again in the future. It’s as if you believe the action generates its own momentum. You can transform depression’s vicious cycle into a virtuous cycle of activity and inspiration.
3. Choose your purpose
Make a list of basic goals for the next day, week, month, and year. Waiting for inspiration to appear is a common trap to fall into, leading to increased passivity and isolation. Passivity and loneliness are well-known contributors to depression. I recommend that you concentrate on important goals or objectives. This could refer to your physical well-being, which includes things like exercise and diet. It could include creating a supportive support network, which could include reaching out to others, making plans, and carrying them out. It may also include activities that you have at work that are a part of your identification as a productive employee. Rather than asking yourself about your motivation, you should ask yourself about your intent or objective and then commit to taking actions that will help you achieve those goals.
Begin by making a list of two goals for today, four for the week, and six for the month. Then keep track of your progress toward these objectives, and remember that you can achieve your objectives even though you don’t feel like it. You must learn the ability to monitor your own actions. And this entails learning to do things you don’t want to do.
4. When you weren’t depressed, what did you do?
Do any of those things to combat the depression. If you are actually depressed, you will find that your conduct differs significantly from when you were not. You might be avoiding people, exercising less, making less plans, and getting lost on the Internet or in your own thoughts. This is what we’ll refer to as the Depressive Behavioral Profile. What it depicts is how you seem when you are acting sad.
Now I’d like you to describe how you appear when you’re not down. What are you up to, who are you talking to, and what things are you doing? Acting as though you aren’t sad so you can conduct your way out of depression is a big part of the behavioral activation approach to depression treatment. “When faced with difficulty, behave,” said one of the pioneers of behavior therapy. To put it another way, if you’re feeling down, do something good. Make a list of all the things you might think of that you did when you weren’t depressed, and start planning them for the coming week.
5. Reward yourself for each new action you take.
When people are unhappy, they seldom give themselves credit for the good things they accomplish. One depressed man, for example, told me that he had worked on his resume, reached out to colleagues in his network, and exercised multiple times in the previous week. However, despite feeling somewhat better, he mentioned that he did not believe he was making progress. This can be compared to the lack of self-reward that is common in depression and contributes to the lack of motivation. You will get frustrated, give up, and lose motivation if you do not reward yourself for even small steps forward. Anyone who has experienced depression knows how difficult it is to indulge in these habits while depressed. You should give yourself credit for reading this post because you are attempting to learn some techniques to help you conquer your depression.
The benefit of self-reward is that you can award yourself incentives at any time. You are still available to be the motivator you need in order to keep going forward. Praise yourself, credit yourself for trying, and keep track of your progress—even if it appears insignificant—are all ways to keep your momentum going in the right direction.
— By Gaurav Joshi