For many people, motivation is an elusive idea.
No matter your big dreams, taking the necessary steps to reach the end goal can seem impossible. So much so, you may feel the least is all you can do, let alone the idea of accomplishing anything greater. This is especially true if you suffer from anxiety or depression. These mental health conditions rob you of your core energy, happiness and fortitude. You may experience difficulty living beyond your basic daily living activities.
If you are diagnosed or suspect you have anxiety or depression, consider seeking help. It’s the most important thing you can do to overcome its toxic effects. Medication and therapy are often effective, but this may not be enough to help you achieve your goals. But there are strategies to increase your motivation despite feeling anxious or depressed.
Continue reading for some tangible ways to help you thrive and not just survive.
1. Think About Those Who Need You
Generally, personal goals should come within for the goal to be meaningful. Yet, anxiety and depression can suppress internal feelings. It may feel difficult to muster any emotions outside feeling despair. At this point, intrinsic or inner motivation is not something you can muster.
A way to overcome this challenge is to think of ways your goal may benefit others. It works like this: Let’s say you have trouble getting out of bed. Instead of thinking about your getting out of bed helps you, think of those who depend on you for their care.
Thinking about caring for your child or pet’s needs can be the motivation you need to get up. What’s nice is that you can apply this approach to other areas of your life. Not a long-term solution, it can be enough to get you take the first steps toward further motivation.
2. Delegate Tasks
You don’t have to put yourself through unnecessary stress. Delegating the tasks you dread to others is productive and effective. For example, many anxiety suffers fear talking on the phone. A significant other or friend could make those calls for you.
Think of areas you can outsource that can also reduce stress. If finances allow, you can pay professionals to handle certain tasks for you. There are many apps for professionals to help you at a moment’s notice. If you are unable to delegate certain tasks, get creative. The relief is worth the effort required to get creative in delegating.
3. Do What’s Fun First
Experts usually recommend that you first tackle the tough or tedious items on your list to get them out of the way. The idea is you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment. And, it serves as motivation, making it easier to complete the rest of your goals.
The problem is that, when you have depression or anxiety, this approach is unrealistic. Depending on the severity of your condition, attempting any tasks is a challenge. The strategy is to reverse the advice and start with the easiest part first. Another point of view is to do the least or tackle the smallest part first. Once you’ve mustered the motivation to start, you increase the likelihood to proceed.
4. Be Kind to Yourself
If a friend was in your situation, you’d most likely have compassion for them. You’d offer words of encouragement and help wherever you could. Become your own best friend and show yourself the same compassion you would show a friend. Celebrate your accomplishments. Take a break – do something you enjoy or buy yourself a small indulgence like your favorite fragrance. Congratulating yourself with praise can be very effective.
With that in mind, make sure you do not chastise yourself for perceived flaws. Instead, focus on what you have done. Remind yourself that you’re only human and doing your best in spite of your challenges. Remember, negative self-talk is deadly self-sabotage – it kills motivation.
Anxiety and depression do not have to overcome you. You can increase your motivation by incorporating these steps into your daily routine. Like physical health issues, mental health issues are a challenge. But does not have to be the end of your dreams.
Use what you know and what you learned in this article to write your success story.