How to Build Motivation to Overcome Depression

Don’t wait for the motivation to show up—action leads to motivation.

4/20/2021 2:17:00 AM

'You don't need to wait for motivation to actually do something.' And other things that people who are struggling with depression may need to hear, writes AICTCognitive

Don’t wait for the motivation to show up—action leads to motivation.

of being an effective person in your employment. Rather than ask about your motivation, you ask yourself about your purpose or your goal and then focus on committing to actions that lead to those goals.You can start by listing two goals for today and four goals for the week and six goals for the month. Then keep track of your progress toward these goals and recognize that you can accomplish goals even if you don't feel like doing it. You need to master the control of your own behavior. And this means developing the ability to do what you don't want to do.

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4. What did you do when you weren’t depressed?Act against your depression by doing some of those things. If you are currently depressed you might notice that your behavior is much different from what it was when you were not depressed. You might be avoiding people, exercising less, making fewer plans, and getting lost on the Internet or in your rumination. Let's call this your Depressive Behavioral Profile. What it reflects is what you look like when you are acting like a depressed person.

Now I want you to identify what you look like when you are not depressed. What are you doing, who are you connecting with, and what activities are you engaged in? The behavioral activation approach to dealing with depression places a great deal of emphasis on acting as if you are not depressed so you can behave your way out of depression. As one of the founders of behavior

therapyonce said, “When facing adversity, behave.” In other words, if you're feeling down, take positive action. Make a list of all of the activities you can think of that you engaged in when you were not depressed and start scheduling those for the next week.

5. Reward yourself for every step forward.When people are depressed they seldom give themselves credit for any of the positive things that they do. For example, one man who was depressed told me that over the prior week he had worked on his resume, he had reached out to colleagues in his network, and he had exercised several times. But then he said he did not think he was making progress even though he was feeling a little bit better. We can think of this as the lack of self-reward that characterizes much of depression and that underlies your lack of motivation.

If you don't reward yourself for even small steps forward you are going to become discouraged and give up and lose motivation. And in fact, anybody who has been depressed knows how difficult it is to engage in these behaviors when you are depressed. It's like climbing up 10 flights of stairs with a 100-pound weight on your shoulders and then wondering why it was so difficult. If you had employees and expected them to work 40 hours a week, would you think they would be motivated to work that hard if you never paid them? So you need to reward yourself for every step forward. In fact, even reading this post is something that you can give yourself credit for because you are trying to learn some strategies to overcome your depression.

The advantage of self-reward is that you are always there to give the rewards to yourself. You are always there to be the cheerleader that you need to keep you motivated in moving forward. Praising yourself, giving yourself credit for trying, and keeping track of your progress—even if it seems like small steps—is a way that can keep your motivation moving in the right direction.

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Keep in Mind…. Read more: Psychology Today »

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AICTCognitive Some of us gave up YEARS ago. Motivation? Why bother. I have 12 years left on the planet. Tops AICTCognitive Finding answers is the problems. Looking for solutions is the answer. When you can go from the first way of thinking to the second then at least you know that you're on a path that leads somewhere. It may not be over the rainbow but it will be somewhere nearer you want to be.

AICTCognitive Reading this article, if I had depression I STILL might not be moved to do anything... I would not BELIEVE those steps to be helpful... as encouraging as they may be meant to takes a technique. AICTCognitive Stop the negative emotions of depression, motivation naturally resurfaces without that suppressing influence. Even with PTSD!!! Best Wishes from an Emotional Researcher with the problem... This has been a good SOLUTION with no other steps. Target YOUR emotions.

AICTCognitive My podcast and ebook on how the technique works with suicide; book teaches the technique. I have used this MANY TIMES, stops my suicidal episodes of despondency. My motivation TO LIVE returned!!!!! The companion ebook: AICTCognitive Podcast 0010 is about emotions of 'Less-ness', like 'Hopeless' and feeling 'Worthless', and how the technique can help stop them. If you could stop these emotions MUCH of a persons depression would SOON LIFT!!! Motivation would RETURN!!!!

AICTCognitive Some of my podcasts.... Podcast 0009 is on Depression Emotions and how the technique can help stop them. AICTCognitive It is the emotional charge which suppresses, oppresses, and represses and thus depresses a person...that can be physical as well. The technique DISCHARGES emotional charge thus stopping the emotional signals...thus brings relief, even of SEVERE depression and suicide...

AICTCognitive THIS emotional research with PTSD and depression looks at it and did it a different way. I targeted the negative emotions of my depression!!!! Those stopped suppressing me. The state lifted, I felt better and my motivation INCREASED with no other actions necessary...