Motivation is an elusive concept for many people. Despite having big dreams or desiring to accomplish a particular goal, taking the steps necessary to reach the end objective can seem impossible. So for this weeks #WellbeingWednesday we are taking a look at how to increase your motivation when anxious or depressed.
Sometimes just completing the bare minimum feels like all you can do. Forget the idea of accomplishing anything greater. This is especially true if you suffer from anxiety or depression. These mental health conditions can zap the energy, happiness and sheer will from your core. You may find yourself unable to accomplish even the basics of day to day living, let alone going above and beyond.
If you have been diagnosed with these issues, or feel that you may be dealing with them, the most important step is to seek professional help. As always my posts are written from my own experience and view points and I am not a health professional.
From my own experience, both therapy and medication have been helpful. Having said that, I also recognise that even these powerful components may not be enough to move you toward your goals. However, there are some strategies you can take to increase your motivation even when anxious or depressed. Let’s take a look.
If you missed last weeks #WellbeingWednesday post you can read that here.
Increase Your Motivation by Doing It for Someone Else
While personal goals generally need to come from within in order to be meaningful, anxiety and depression can make generating any kind of internal feeling beyond despair difficult. Intrinsic motivation, or the kind that comes from inside you, simply may not be something you can muster right now.
One way to “trick” yourself into becoming motivated is to think of ways your goal may benefit others. For example, if you’re having trouble just getting out of bed, it may help to think of those who depend on you for their care. Whether it’s a child or even a pet, the desire to complete the basic necessities for those you love may be enough motivation for now. This approach can be applied to other aspects of your life also. While it shouldn’t be a long-term solution, it can sometimes be enough to increase your motivation to get you moving.
Outsource Dreaded Tasks
Deferring your most-dreaded tasks onto someone else may be especially effective for those dealing with anxiety. Many anxiety sufferers fear talking on the phone, myself included. If possible, ask a significant other or friend make important phone calls on your behalf. You don’t have to put yourself through unnecessary stress in every situation.
Help in these types of situations can bring relief and help save your emotional energy and increase your motivation for other situations.
Do the Fun Stuff First
It is often recommend that you tackle the tough or boring items on your list first in order to get them out of the way. The theory is that you’ll feel more accomplished, and finishing the rest of your project or goal will be easier. When you have depression or anxiety, this approach may not work for you.
Depending on the severity of your condition, simply making any forward movement on a task is asking a lot of you. Therefore, turn the advice upside down and start with the easiest part first. Another way to look at things is to do the absolute bare minimum or smallest part first. Once you’ve summoned the motivation to just get started in some way, continuing on will be a more likely prospect.
Be Gentle With Yourself
If you were helping a friend in your situation, you’d likely have all the compassion in the world for them. You’d probably offer words of encouragement for the small achievements your friend made and be there to take up some slack when they’re feeling unable.
In order to increase your motivation, you absolutely must show yourself this same level of compassion. Reward or praise yourself for every small accomplishment. Positive self talk is so effective at raising self esteem.
That being said, be sure not to chastise yourself for perceived faults. Instead, focus on what you were able to get done or remind yourself that you are currently facing some tough obstacles and you’re doing your best. Negative self-talk is self-sabotage and kills motivation.
Incorporating these steps into your daily routine can significantly increase your motivation, despite anxiety and depression. Your mental health issues are a challenge, but they don’t need to be the end of your dreams.
For more inspiration on improving your motivation fast, read here. Don’t forget to sign up for access to The Wishing Well using the form below 👇🏽