Lost Your Motivation? Here’s How to Find It

There are times in life when we don’t feel as if we are as productive as we could be. There are things we want, but sometimes it’s tough to find the motivation to take action. Below are some suggestions on ways to find motivation in your everyday life and at work.

What is Motivation?

As humans, we have a reason for every time we take an action. That “reason”, that “why” we do anything is called the motivator. We are moved to action, and motivation is the core of that action.

For example, if you start running away from a swarm of bees, running is your action and fear is your motivation. If you spend money on a lottery ticket, winning money is your motivation. If you exercise, an endorphin rush or the desire to lose weight may be your motivation.

What all of these examples have in common, along with any motivators, is that they are compelled by feelings. The way our brains are structured, feelings almost always trump thoughts.

What Motivates You?

What motivates you will be specific to what provides you with a compelling feeling. Chip and Dan Heath, in their book Switch, talk about focusing on emotions. How you feel can determine your level of motivation.

If you’re feeling very hungry, that may be your motivation to eat. If you’re excited about getting a paycheck, that may be your “why” you go to work. When you begin to understand your feelings and what can motivate you, you may be more apt to take action.

John O’Leary, in his book On Fire, talks about his motivation to learn how to write with no hands. At nine years old, John was in a fire that burned 100% of his body. His willpower kept him alive and sent him home from the hospital after five months of medical treatment.

Once home, his mom offered, “John, if you learn how to write, you can go back to school!” That feeling did not excite John. Hence, that was not a particularly great motivator. He was not motivated to write.

However, a visit from John’s hero, American sportscaster Jack Buck, made a different impression. Mr. Buck brought John a signed baseball from a player on the St. Louis Cardinals. He then offered, “If you write this player a thank you note, I’m sure he will send you another ball.”

In two weeks, John figured out to write with no hands, and sure enough another baseball arrived by mail. He continued to write notes. And he continued to collect baseballs. His collection finally grew to 60.

What excited John (what connecting to “feeling”) is what became the motivator.

Feeling Good

A psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina, Dr. Fredrickson, writes that positive emotions compel individuals to take action. Her definition of positive feelings include: joy, contentment and love. Her belief and research show that through mindfulness, kindness, and even meditation, people can increase their level of positivity; thus, creating motivation.

Finding meaning in what we do can also be a valuable motivator. In his Ted Talk seminar, Dan Ariely talks about how when people feel they have a “purpose,” they are more apt to take action. Feeling value in what you are about to partake in can be a great motivator.

Reward

Finding ways to reward yourself for tasks completed is an important element in adding to your feelings of success. In the workplace, reward plays a big part in encouraging positive behavior and motivating employees. Reward also plays a large part in motivating students.

Understanding what compels you emotionally may bring you closer to an understanding of what can motivate you. And in learning what motivates you, you may find yourself feeling more productive, fulfilled, and overall more joyous.

 

Dr. Dave Campbell Commentary:

Everyone has their own motivating factors, triggers or events. For me, as a physician and humanitarian, our MSNBC Morning Joe medical reporting trip to the impoverished island country of Haiti, just after category 4 Hurricane Matthew devastated the homes, crops, towns and villages in 2016 was a life-changing journey. Then to read about Dr. Paul Farmer in Mountains Beyond Mountains by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder clinched it for me.  Dr. Farmer continues to dedicate his life as a physician to treating the poorest of the poor. His altruism is a beacon for all physicians that went into the practice of medicine to help others. Dr. Farmer has triggered and motivated me to practice medicine with the utmost safety, consideration and compassion, and highest quality.

For more interesting stories about motivation, health and wellness, check out GetThrive.com TODAY!

 

Tips On How To Control Depression

Depression has many levels of severity, from mild to clinical.  The National Center For Health Statistics (NCHS), claims more than 8% of adults over the age of 20, stated they had some form of depression over a two week period.  Women were over half of this percentage.  Depression is an illness that can be both debilitating and may effect physical health too.  How may we get a control of the disease and what, if any natural remedies may be used for such a complex condition?  

MILD DEPRESSION

Depression can be a very hard illness to diagnose with many labeling it as being sad or feeling down.  Don’t rush to get pills to solve mild depression, instead ask a doctor if there are any alternative measures you may try first. Feeling low for a period of time and suffering from at least three or more of the following may be a sign of mild depression:

  • Lack of motivation over a period of time
  • Lack of concentration
  • Irritability
  • Irresponsible behavior like indulging in drugs or alcohol
  • Insomnia
  • Desperateness
  • Non Social
  • Physical pain with no specific cause

 

KEEPING MILD DEPRESSION UNDER CONTROL

Many with mild depression wait and see if the feelings disappear over time and then seek professional advice if they don’t.  A doctor may recommend the following to help cope with mild depression:

  • Although exercise is not a conclusive therapy in the fight against mild depression (Medical News Today), many medical professional believes there is a potential, with further research, that exercise may help control the symptoms , believing that nerve cell improvement will begin to relieve symptoms following exercise.
  • Spend at least ten minutes a day doing something personally enjoyable like: walking, running, aerobics, or dancing etc.  Consistency and a daily routine is the key when it comes to exercise potentially helping depression
  • Counselling and Talk therapy. If the onset of depression has an obvious cause e.g. bereavement, anger, relationship problems; specific counseling may help in managing the illness.  Anything from group therapy to Mindfulness therapies like, meditation, gentle yoga and breathing exercises.

 

SEVERE DEPRESSION

With more than 3 million case of clinical depression in the US each year, the National Institute Of Mental Health conducts various trials into the illness.  If the following symptoms are present, visiting a doctor is imperative:

  • Low self esteem
  • Continuous low mood or sadness
  • Guilt
  • Intolerant of people and things
  • No Motivation
  • Anxious
  • Difficulty making choices
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Loss of libido
  • Lack of energy
  • Changes in appetite or weight gain
  • Insomnia
  • Moving or speaking more slowly
  • Avoiding social contact
  • Neglecting areas of your life like hobbies
  • In some sever cases an onset of psychotic symptoms

 

KEEPING SEVERE DEPRESSION UNDER CONTROL

These symptoms can be crippling so visiting a doctor is the first step in helping keep the illness under control.  In today’s society, people are more aware of the illness and the associated stigma is no longer haunting its sufferers.  Unfortunately, at this moment in time, an all natural solution is not possible when it comes to severe depression.  There are many options for patients, some of which include:

  • Antidepressant medications.
  • Psychotherapy or counseling
  • Somatic therapies. ECT (electroconvulsive treatment) is one of the options but this is avoided except in severe cases
  • Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs
  • Eat well (doctor may refer a dietician)

Due to the many variants of depression, seeking medical help is advised to help control the illness with each sufferer seeking an individual treatment plan.  With a professional support network, the illness can be controlled, leading to a positive future.     RESOURCES https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/problemsanddisorders/depression.aspxhttps://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ https://www.psycom.net/helping-someone-depressed

Ultimate Guide to Maximizing Your Willpower

Feeling slightly determined, but don’t have enough willpower to get the job done? Every commitment we make requires motivation and follow-through if we expect to be successful. Maximizing your willpower is possible, and the following guide can help you achieve your goals.

 

Where There’s a Willpower, There’s a Way!

The American Psychological Association describes willpower as the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals. It’s basically, “the psychological science of self-control.” So, if you can keep yourself from giving in to something that distracts you and stay focused on the big prize, you’ll be set!

 

How Can I Maximize My Willpower?

In order to meet your goals, you need to get motivated to take action. Motivation is compelled by emotions. You can have thoughts about what you want to do, but in order to get jazzed up, you really have to feel it.

Find your motivation and you’ll find the core of your willpower. Most often “reward” is the most powerful motivator. You can feel rewarded from:

 

  • losing weight
  • quitting smoking
  • buying something new
  • getting a promotion

 

along with a plethora of other positive goals.

Willpower is a muscle. You need to practice and work it. Picture your goal and visualize your ultimate aim. Learn to ignore temptation and distraction. What will your reward be?

Keep in mind, the reward for exercising self-control has to be more important to you than indulging in the immediate behavior.

 

Get Ahead with The Ultimate Guide

Is your lack of willpower affecting your productivity? Do you feel that if you could maximize your willpower that you would be more successful—in all areas? Then check out the following tips:

 

  1. Research suggests that willpower can be strengthened with practice. If something tempts you (like a chocolate bar), practice not eating it. Next time the same scenario comes up, it will be easier for you to resist. You will have gained willpower strength.

 

  1. Exerting self-control regularly increases willpower strength. Try and exert self-control throughout your day, everyday. Without regular practice, your power decreases.

 

  1. Make your goals specific and clear. For example, “I want to give up drinking alcoholic beverages for one month,” or “I want to be promoted to manager within a year,” or “I’d like to buy a new SUV in two years.”

 

  1. Make a list of what motivates you. Do you enjoy eating? Then, if you know you are allowed a dessert if you workout, you are more apt to go to the gym that day. Do you want to earn more money? Then, you may work extra hard at impressing your boss and colleagues. Figure out what you want and then hopefully you will be rewarded with it after your efforts of self-control and willpower.

 

  1. Make a list of temptations and distractions. Identify your weaknesses. If you love social media but have a work deadline, turn off your phone. If you love iced-flavored coffee drinks but you’re trying to shed some pounds, make coffee at home. Figure out your temptations and be proactive in avoiding them.

 

  1. Constantly remind yourself of the rewards if you stick to your plan. Practice an “if” and “then” philosophy—implement a behavior with intention. For example, you may say yourself, “If I exercise daily, then I will increase my weight loss and muscle tone.” What is the “if” that you have to do to meet your goal?

 

  1. Find meaning in your motivator. When you have a “purpose”, you’re more likely to take action. People want to feel as if their behavior and accomplishments have value. Will your actions “make a difference”?

 

  1. Eat well, sleep well, and exercise. These three are essential to optimum mental health. And after all, willpower requires brainpower.

 

Practice resisting desires that steer you off the path towards your ultimate goal. Congratulate and reward yourself when you succeed in implementing self-control. Before you know it, your willpower will strengthen and you’ll be able to achieve the maximum!

 

Sources:

http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-willpower-20151107-story.html

https://getthrive.com/tag/motivation/

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/willpower.aspx

Dan Ariely—Ted Talks

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/willpower-workouts-productivity

 

 

 

Tired of Feeling Tired? Here’s Your Vitamin!

There are several vitamins that our bodies cannot produce naturally. It’s only through diet (or supplement) that we can receive certain nutrients that we need. If you’re feeling super tired, day in and day out, it’s possible you are Vitamin B12 deficient.

B Aware

The B vitamin family is essential to our well-being, especially our moods and energy levels. Many of the B’s we have to get from food or supplement sources; they’re not manufactured naturally within our body. Even if you’re eating marginally well, it’s not uncommon to be deficient in particular B vitamins.

In the U.S. it’s estimated that over 30% of adults do not meet their vitamin B12 needs. Some common symptoms of B12 deficiency are:

  • tiredness
  • lack of motivation
  • brain fog
  • moodiness

More severe symptoms are:

  • muscle weakness
  • jaundice
  • numbness in hands or feet
  • anemia (low red blood cell count)
  • memory changes
  • poor balance

The Vegan Dilemma – to B or not to B?

There are a plethora of B vitamins available in fruits and vegetables. As for vitamin B12, there are only trace amounts found in Nori and a couple of other plant-based foods. B12’s primary source is from animal products.

For the most part, if a vegan wants to fulfill his B12 daily requirement, he will need to take a small supplement. Some vegans, however, don’t feel the need to supplement, and that is personal choice. Regardless, the body doesn’t store B12 very long, so whether you’re eating animal products or taking supplements, it is recommended to refuel daily.

Vegetarians, on the other hand, can gain their vitamin B12 from milk, cheese, or eggs. Poultry eaters and pescatarians can derive their nutrient source from turkey, chicken, and many types of fish. And of course, true carnivores can get their B12 fill from red meats.

Avoiding B12 Deficiency

A healthy diet (or utilization of supplements) should insure a proper intake of vitamin B12. However, there are other conditions that can cause a greater deficiency or decrease absorption of the nutrient. Some of these include:

  • Various autoimmune conditions. Certain cells (Parietal cells) in our stomach produce hydrochloric acid. If the Parietal cells are compromised from the autoimmune disease, they cannot separate B12 molecules from other dietary molecules.
  • Leaky gut syndrome. Any condition that weakens the stomach lining, such as: H. pylori, gluten intolerance or sensitivity, parasites, or bacterial infections—these all compromise the absorption of vitamin B12 (and other nutrients.)
  • Acid blockers and other heartburn medications. Over-the-counter and prescription pills that “help” with heartburn and GERD, interfere with the absorption of vitamin B12 (and other vitamins as well.)

If you’re concerned that you may be vitamin B12 deficient, speak to your health practitioner about availability of blood tests or an intracellular B12 test. In the meanwhile, you can be proactive by eating a healthy diet, getting rest, and, of course, daily exercise. All of these combined can help you regain your strength, energy, and peace of mind.

For other articles on up-to-date health and wellness topics, check out GetThrive.com !

Sources:

http://theheartysoul.com/lack-of-vitamin-b12/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=WR22&utm_campaign=The+Hearty+Soul+-+Weekly+Newsletter&utm_content=I+had+no+idea+these+would+help&utm_medium=email&utm_source=outmatch

http://www.webmd.com/diet/vitamin-b12-deficiency-symptoms-causes#1

http://nutritionstudies.org/12-questions-answered-regarding-vitamin-b12/

 

 

 

Lacking Motivation, Get Motivated? Try This!

You haven’t been exercising much, and from a dark pit, very deep in your stomach, a crabby voice nags, “Go to the gym.” You respond to that voice by ignoring it, telling it you’ll do it tomorrow, and/or shoving food in to shut it up. Bottom line: You’re having trouble motivating. Get Motivated!

“I’m taking care of my procrastination issues; just you wait and see.” – Anonymous

What Works For Some, May Not For Others

When that inner voice reminds you of what you “should’ be doing, there are several ways to react. Unfortunately, we often beat ourselves up just a little bit more. We call ourselves losers, rebel/act out, or withdraw and give up. Those aren’t really productive ways to deal with a slump.

One of the best ways to positively motivate just about anyone is to be kind, understanding, and respectful. Then, offer a reward. You can do that for yourself!

Start by making a list of the benefits you will reap from getting off the couch. In the meanwhile, read some of the quotes strewn throughout this piece—perhaps they will jar you into action.

“Many great things can be done in a day if you don’t always make that day tomorrow.”

Here is a list of suggestions to help you rekindle that motivation you had at one time to work that body:

1) You know you’ll feel better afterwards. (It’s so cliché but couldn’t be truer.)

2) It’s an excuse to wash your hair. (Not so often used, but it may work for someone…)

3) You can fantasize about food during your workout, without guilt.

4) Make a plan with a friend who will un-friend you if you cancel. Schedule a bike ride, run, walk, do whatever type of exercise with someone you like and who won’t cancel on you. You’ll get it done, and it’ll be fun.

“Do something today that your future self will thank you for.”

5) Download some movement-inspiring music onto your phone. Or, download a show or radio series you want to binge-watch/listen. If you’re not running outdoors, you can enjoy all of the above while on a treadmill, stair-stepper, or elliptical machine.

6) Start with small goals. You don’t have to go on a 9-mile hike. Take a brisk half-hour walk. That’s what will get you feeling successful and will reignite your motivation.

7) Buy something new and cute to wear while exercising. Baggy sweats do zilch for self-confidence. Even if you’re not in your best shape, something colorful, and trendy, without dryer fuzz balls or cat-claw pulls in the elastic will make you feel as good as you deserve.

8) Sweating releases toxins. If you imagine your body letting out the poison, you might get more motivated to perspire. Or, you might get grossed out. Hoping the “release” philosophy wins you over.

Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.”- Don Marquis

9) Workout now and then promise yourself a gift for later. It could be a cookie, a bubble bath, or a day off tomorrow from the gym.

10) Use social media as a way to get a pat on the back. Post a selfie while you’re working out like a beast. Or, after exercising, shower, then take a beautiful, clean selfie and brag about how hard you worked out earlier and how good you feel now. You’re sure to get many “likes”.

Whatever you have to do to manipulate yourself into exercising, just do it. You know you have to. So stop procrastinating. Don Marquis said, “Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.”

Why not choose this sentiment instead? … “A year from now you wished you started today.”  If you apply it, you’ll start today. Then a year from now, you’ll have no regrets, and you’ll be in some badass shape.

How To Get Back into the Swing of Work or School

No doubt after a holiday or a few days off, it’s tough to jump back into a routine. Whether you have to back to work, school, or everyday responsibilities, here are some ideas about how to motivate yourself.

I Don’t Wanna Go…

Even as adults, we can fall so easily back into that space where we used to visit (or live) as teenagers. It’s the, “I don’t want to go back to school tomorrow!” angst we felt every Sunday night. Even if you loved school, there was still that low-level dread of returning to accountability.

Seeking Motivation

Motivation is the charge in your brain that compels you to take action. If you’re hungry, your brain will compel you to eat. If you want to fix your car, you might look for a YouTube tutorial. If you want to dance, you’ll put on some music.

Now the key is to find the motivation that helps you get to where you need to go tomorrow. Every action we take supplies us with a reward. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t do it. We always need an incentive to act.

You can start by deciding whether your motivation will be intrinsic or extrinsic. An intrinsic reward is something that makes us feel good inside (feeling proud, helpful, successful, acknowledged, full, etc.) An extrinsic reward would be an outside factor (a home, money, a scholarship. a promotion, good grades, etc.)

Giving Yourself a Pep Talk

Basically, you have to talk to yourself. You’ve got to work with one part of your brain to get another part (the motivation center) jazzed up.

When we were youngsters, our parents helped us find our reason for acting. We went to school because then we wouldn’t be grounded. (The motivation was freedom.) We went to Aunt Mary’s house because we knew she’d give us ice cream. We did chores because we earned a couple of bucks at the end of the week.

Notice, that as younger kids, most of our motivation was based on extrinsic reward. Every once in a while, we’d get a good grade so we could hear a parent tell us they were proud. But for the most part, the inner connection to being accountable doesn’t click-in until we’re teens or young adults.

From One Part of the Adult Brain to Another

Yes, finding motivation can be a tremendous challenge. But, if you want to move forward (which even means getting off the couch), you must be your own one-person pep-rally. Research has shown that if you anticipate a reward, the brain processes this into positive feelings. Let’s head in that direction…

In the matter of, let’s say, getting back to work after a long weekend, how can we achieve the motivation to do so? Here are some simplistic ideas that you can customize for yourself:

-Going to work gives you a paycheck that you use towards your shelter
-Going to work provides insurance so that you can get the medical care you need
-Going to work provides a model of good work ethic for your children
-Going to work gives you the opportunity to be around others
-Going to work gives you a feeling of accomplishment and usefulness
-Going to work gets you out of house and away from other responsibilities
-Going to work will help you afford that (sweater, movie ticket, vacation, etc.)
-Going to work provides you with an opportunity to work as a team player
-Going to work may provide you with better skills and eventually more income
-Going to work makes you appreciate the days you have off

Hopefully at least one of the above offered a bit of incentive. Just remember to always be your best. You will feel good inside, and your positive outlook will rub off on others. For more articles on motivation, family, and helpful tips, click here.