During this sad time of quarantine it can feel as if you have lost the will power to do things. Just because you can’t go out and socialize doesn’t mean you can’t get up and do something for yourself! Motivation is the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning. The source of reading a book or going to work out.
To try to understand why we should keep motivated lets understand where motivation comes from. Motivation all starts in the brain, neurotransmitters carry chemicals such as dopamine throughout your body to keep you going. These neurons are located in the ventral tegmental area of the brain or the middle of it. There are three distinct but sub-processes of motivation reward-driven, value-based decision-making, and goal-directed control. Reward-driven motivation is the most common form of motivation found in young children and young adults. This is the process in which you are motivated by reward anticipation and selective approach behavior to receive this award. Goal-directed control is a form of motivation that is a regulating motivation through cognitive control to achieve goals. This can be found in things such as working hard to get an A or taking the time to write a proper report for your boss. Value-based decision-making is the form of motivation that comes from evaluating various outcomes, learning from positive prediction mistakes, and calculating the value constantly. These three sub-processes interact with one another by sending reward prediction error signals to the prefrontal cortex.
Now that’s out of the way let’s take a minute and think about why you might feel unmotivated. Is it because you are looking on the bad side of this quarantine or because you set unrealistic goals for yourself with this free time and feel like you can’t possibly achieve them? Maybe you have an uncomfortable home life and feel like you need to stay locked away in your room or one of your loved ones are away and you feel alone without them. It could even be that you have some mental health issues and waking up in the day with nothing to look forward to has put you down in the dumps. Have you thought about it? No? Okay then take a minute and think to yourself.
Have your answer? Yes. Alright then, now lets set some simple goals that can help you get your will back. In the morning after you wake up make your bed! It has been proven that by starting your day by accomplishing one task will give you a sense of pride and will encourage you to do another. Eat breakfast! Eating when you wake up will kickstart your metabolism, give you energy, help with memory, and help with concentration. Keep your room clean! Keeping a clean room can help keep your mind calm and keep you stay focused. Staying in a cluttered or dirty environment has been proven to unmotivate and depress the person living in such an area.
Motivation is a reaction to doing something. You will not become motivated by sleeping all day or keeping a negative mindset. One simple thing can lead to a chain reaction of smiles and happiness. Just because at this time the world needs some healing doesn’t mean you can just let yourself go. Do something, go make something. Keep yourself healthy not just physically but mentally as well. You are important and loved, now get out there and just do one thing. ONE thing that’s all I ask, do one thing and see what happens.