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Depression is more than just a passing feeling of sadness. It is a complex mental health condition that can affect every part of your life and affects approximately 280 million people around the world. Depression can cause an enormous emotional toll. It can be accompanied by a sense of hopelessness, persistent fatigue, and even a distorted perception of yourself and the world around you.

Why depression can steal your motivation

Depression can leave you feeling like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders with no end in sight. This can leave you feeling unmotivated due to many factors:

  • Chemical imbalances — Depression can disrupt the neurotransmitters of your brain. Serotonin and dopamine, two types of neurotransmitters, play a crucial role in helping to regulate your mood and motivation. When these chemicals become imbalanced, they can leave your brain struggling to transmit signals effectively. This lack of efficiency can lead you to lack motivation and energy. 
  • Negative thoughts — Depression can be characterized by having a continuous negative mindset. Constant self-criticism and a distorted view of your future can cause you to have a mental barrier, making it challenging for you to envision a brighter future. And negative self-talk can become a roadblock to motivation. 
  • Physical impact — Depression can have a physical effect that is often underestimated. It can cause you to experience persistent fatigue, develop changes in your sleep patterns and even affect your appetite. These give you a sense of lethargy, making it difficult to do simple tasks. 
  • Social isolation — Depression can cause you to have a desire to withdraw from having social interactions. If you isolate yourself, you will miss the support and encouragement friends and family can provide you. Lacking positive reinforcement can make your loss of motivation worse. 

How you can rekindle your motivation

The good news is that it is possible to rekindle your motivation even when you are experiencing depression and feel like that is impossible. Here are some strategies that you can adopt to help reignite your motivation:

  • Break tasks into smaller steps — If you find yourself overwhelmed by the weight of depression, you can feel like the simplest task is as challenging as climbing Mount Everest. Taking tasks and breaking them down into smaller, more manageable steps can make your journey less daunting. Celebrating accomplishing your small victories and tasks can provide you with a sense of accomplishment and boost your motivation. 
  • Establish a routine — Depression can disrupt your daily routine, making your life feel chaotic. Establish a structured routine, including regular sleep patterns, meals and activities. This can help to provide you with stability and a framework you can use to rebuild your motivation. 
  • Set realistic goals — Setting goals is important, but it can also leave you with a sense of failure if you don’t achieve them. However, you can make your goals realistic and attainable. Small, achievable goals can help pave the way for you to avoid disappointment and see your progress. 
  • Engage in physical activity — Exercise has been proven to affect mood and motivation positively. Even going on a short walk or stretching can release endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural mood boosters and can improve overall well-being. 
  • Seek social support — It’s crucial to break the cycle of isolation that can accompany depression. Reach out to your friends and family or even join a support group. It can help alleviate the burden you feel by sharing your thoughts and feelings with others. It can also provide you with an external source of motivation and encouragement. Friends and family can see your successes and progress even when you can’t. 
  • Challenge negative thoughts Cognitive behavioral techniques can be powerful tools in combating depression-induced negative thinking. It’s vital to recognize and challenge irrational thoughts to help you open the door to and build a more realistic and positive mindset. 
  • Practice self-compassion — Depression can bring along an incredibly harsh inner critic. It’s imperative to show yourself compassion when you are struggling with depression and a lack of motivation. Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would offer to a friend if they were facing the same challenges you are. Acknowledge that it is OK not to be OK. Recognizing this can alleviate some of the self-imposed pressure.
  • Explore hobbies and interests — Engaging in activities that once brought you joy can help reignite your sense of passion and purpose. Hobbies and interests can be your bridge from the shadows of depression back to rediscovering your identity. 

Depression can have a drastic impact on your motivation levels. However, it doesn’t have to keep you permanently unmotivated. Understanding the underlying reason for your motivation loss and implementing practical strategies can help you gradually reclaim your motivation and bring color back to your life. 

Active Path Mental Health can help you reclaim your motivation from depression

Active Path Mental Health can be your beacon in the darkness of depression. Our team of experts can help you learn strategies to recapture your motivation and strive for a brighter future. Depression doesn’t have to be a journey you go through alone. 

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

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