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How Do You Motivate Yourself?

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  • How Do You Motivate Yourself?

    My motivation has been dwindling these past few months. It is so, so hard to do ordinary things: like catching a bus, going to my social group. My mental health seems to have deteriorated and I am struggling with depression. I take medication - and try to get on with things - but all I really want to do is stay indoors and do nothing, except read a book. The worst thing is, is I am feeling trapped and want more out of my life. But depression is keeping me trapped where I am.

    How do you motivate yourself? Deal with depression? Because I feel so lonely but it is a vicious circle: I want to expand my life, but then I get shoved down and have to get up back up all over again. This happens time-and-time again. It is like a catch-22.

    What do I do?

  • I think struggling to do things we know we should is part of the human experience. It's universal.

    I've learned to just get started and do a little. A little something is better than nothing. And sometimes, once I start, I do more than I planned.

    Exercise is also very important to me. Most of the time I'm not doing it for the physical effects, but for the mental. Really, they go hand-in-hand. Maybe I don't have the time to get a full workout, but if I just get down on the floor for literally 2 minutes and do some pushups, squats, or crunches, I get back up feeling invigorated. I don't know if it's chemical, hormonal, or psychological, but I'm more driven after even a tiny bit of exercise.

    I want you to succeed P&C.
    "Those sowing seed with tears
    Will reap with a joyful shout." - Psalm 126


    • found this advice from Martha Beck in an old magazine recently:

      "what leaves you feeling bad, do less of. what leaves you feeling good, do more of"
      "to achieve bigger goals, take smaller steps"
      "lie down and rest for a while"

      so lie down and read that book!


      • This is such a vast question !
        For me, motivation is about drive, drive to accomplish, to transform our thoughts into deeds.

        Starting by the last part:
        Transform our thoughts into deeds
        What are these thoughts needing transformation ? How elaborated are they ? is it needed ? Are we facing self-censorship ? What is our health status ? Especially the status on our liver functions ?

        About the drive: What is our purpose ? What impediments are we facing ?

        While we go through this process, we harness our strength to do what makes us happy.

        Being happy motivates me.

        Behold the presence of the Father in all beings...


        • This is such an encompassing problem P&C, and must be addressed in small bites. You mentioned awhile back, that you wanted to change careers, then decided to stay where you are. You've mentioned some other things along the way, that make me think you're stuck in a rut in your life, bored, and spinning your wheels. You're feeling trapped, as you say.

          What is it that you really want to change?
          What is it that makes you feel trapped?
          What are the things that are weighing you down?

          I encourage you to speak with a counselor to help get to the bottom of some of this. Sometimes a skilled practitioner will hear things in our words, give us feedback, and help guide us through the dark times.

          Do you have a strong social network to combat that loneliness?


          • You've hit the nail on the head, atskitty2: I AM bored, stuck in a rut and all that gubbins. To answer your questions:

            1. What is it that I really want to change:

            I want to be more adventurous and do more socializing. I feel I have gotten too anti-social and have let my social skills wain. I need to feel more self secure and comfortable around people, so I can do far more with my life. I can't stay alone forever. I want to travel far more often: not just abroad but also around Britain and just explore the world. I would also like more friends to enjoy my life with.

            2. What is making me feel trapped:

            As above, I feel anxiety is making me anti-social and - therefore - trapped. Again, I need to do far more socializing and live in the real world. Being alone too often is making me feel trapped.

            3. What the things weighing me down are:

            I have to say - as above - social anxiety. I still get along with people, but anxiety is making is difficult sometimes. I do try - and always will - but I feel I am alone far too often.

            I am just going to have to suck things up. Anyhow, thank you all for your advice. And I agree: if I want to sit quietly and read a book, I can!


            • I recommend you speak with a counselor then, to help you get some of this out of your mind and begin to work toward solutions. Being in the UK, I'm not sure what to tell you for gaining a social life.
              maybe take some classes for fun, and some self-enrichment ones.
              you like writing, so take some writing classes above your current skill level.
              Challenge yourself in small ways every day.

              Anxiety is no joke, my Dear. Learning how to manage that will be the biggest obstacle. Tackle it first, and once you're making progress, the other components of the problem will be more easily accomplished. My guess is that you're battling some depression too, so, a counselor can really help you sort out what's going on and help you improve.

              What social connections do you have already?


              • Well actually acknowledging you have noticed a change is a huge thing in its self. I reached a similar impasse with myself recently. To try combat it i started doing bikram yoga. The best thing about hot yoga is that even if you have been doing it for years and are a experienced yogi, you still find it incredibly difficult and challenging as someone new. I'm often one of the only guys in a class and im treated no different to anyone else because everyone is purely focused on themselves.

                The other thing I've recently started is going to a Buddhist meditation and wellness group once or twice a week. I found a free class on this site meet up. Most of the meet up groups are individuals on their own path and everyone is in the same position. I'm enjoying being on a bit of self discovery mission myself but in turn finding others who are the same


                • The mental health help offered by the NHS is truly terrible. They only offer medication as the first method of treatment which is totally wrong unless you really need it.

                  I am obviously not a doctor and you should not take what i have experienced as what is right for you. But i took my mental health into my own hands this year and i am finally seeing results that doesn't involve outdated medication.


                  • After leaving the forces doctors told me that pursuing a career in the fire or police service would severely affect my mental recovery. I always felt differently. After a year of self control of my mental health by doing the practices I mentioned i became a fulfilled my ambition. Now, this isn't something I want to do for a long time but I always knew i had the metal capacity to get there, i just needed to find the right way to get me there.

                    If you ever want to talk or get some information then I'd love to help. You can find solus in knowing that the most broken minds are the most brilliant and have the capacity to build to greatness.


                    • Thank you, MrMr. I will definitely ask for your advice and feedback as and when the need arises.

                      I do agree counselling could help. I may well be seeing a psychologist, funnily enough. My mental health is very important to me: I like being normal and rational. I AM a normal person who happens to suffer from anxiety. BUT I am going horseriding with a close friend next week. I also am resuming my social club in September. I go out & about with my sister every weekend. And I also continue with my office work.

                      So I have my fingers in many pies. I just have to bite the bullet and do things. If worst comes to the worst, I will make my excuses and leave earlier in the evening than usual. It is all good.

                      Thank you, too, Stillness, for wanting me to succeed. I also want to succeed! I am rather ambitious. I want to be a woman of achievement. This is why I carry on with my office work at the charity. It is a goal: something to accomplish.

                      Anxiety lifts more when I am being positive and get along with everyone. Because that is my goal: to get along with everyone. The world is full of people and living with all 8 billion people means I have to work: and work hard.


                      • Simply being able to talk about anxiety with others who understand how you feel is a huge thing. Whilst it's not likely to be a cure, it's certainly helps with the feeling of isolation and feeling misunderstood.

                        I've found for creative, independent goal achievers that anxiety is par for the course for complex minds.

                        I'm trying to understand my anxiety as a side effect of wanting to be or achieve something better. It let's you know that something isn't working for you in some cases too


                        • Writing down your daily and long term goals are great for visual motivation.

                          I have postit notes stuck all round my house. Also writing down long term goals and how you can achieve them simplifies the process.

                          Its great that you dream big. It's what makes life so exciting.


                          • Funnily enough, Mr Mr, when I was a lot younger [prior to 20 years old] I wrote a list on my then-computer of what I wanted to do with my life. It included getting more qualifications, getting my writing published, getting an office job, getting my own apartment, going to the theatre and cinema, etc. And the great thing is, I have done all of this and more! It took a few years but I achieved it. I still do activities, too: such as on the Bank Holiday weekend I went out & about with my sister. We ate out for lunch. We did lots of things. And it really cheered me up! My sister was happy I was enthusiastic, too. Just doing things made my mood much more positive. Because sitting alone in an apartment is lonely. And it can magnify fears. I definitely feel DOING things is key. Even if I'm nervous, once I do it, it is all good.

                            I am thankful for all your advice, too: you have all helped.


                            • Popcorn&Candy
                              that's great you have a sister to do things with and get out & about


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