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Stuck in a Rut? How to get Motivated

It’s easy to dismiss regular feelings of tiredness, aimlessness, a lack of enthusiasm and plain boredom as simply being ‘stuck in a rut’. This is a well-known expression for a common problem, and too often we choose to sweep this feeling under the rug rather than listen to what our brain is telling us. If, however, you’re just finding it hard to get motivated, these positive lifestyle changes should hopefully help balance things out.

The importance of motivation

Motivation begins in the brain, with the chemical dopamine widely credited as its spark. While not strictly a medical issue, motivation provides the drive for people to accomplish goals, overcome boundaries, develop routines and establish a healthy and rewarding lifestyle.

Listen to yourself

Awareness is key to addressing any problem. If you start your day in a bad mood, take the time to acknowledge this feeling and see what you can do with it instead of letting it immediately take over and act on your behalf for the rest of the day.

Break things down

Feeling overwhelmed can be due to a number of factors. Whatever the specifics, take things one step at a time and focus your energy on separate individual tasks. Condensing the bulk of your feelings into more manageable pieces relieves pressure, and you might enjoy an endorphin rush from ticking off these boxes as you go.

Keep the mind and body active

Activities like yoga and meditation have a positive effect on your physical and mental state. Developing a routine that supports both your body and mind will also serve as a good way of spending your time and it should also gradually feel like a natural, no-pressure part of your lifestyle.

Be spontaneous

Maybe there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, but have purposefully avoided, using a tired excuse that can be overcome. Whether it’s taking art lessons, joining a gym, writing a story or signing up for a sky dive, maybe it’s time to embrace the present moment and throw some caution to the wind. Being spontaneous engages the brain and keeps the mind active, helps you adapt more readily to changing circumstances and develops a sense of inner trust.

Look at those around you

It’s worth turning to your social circle when you’re struggling. Are they a positive, supportive influence? Good friends will understand and offer support and ideas on how to make changes.

Alter your physical space

Take a look at your living space and see if it could use some sprucing up. Your physical interior can mirror your mental state, and decorative alterations can lift the mood, as well as being a fun and regular project to work on.

Remember why you started

Staying motivated is a task all of its own, so if you find yourself losing enthusiasm along the way, don’t worry! It’s only natural to take a break from work every now and then, so switch off when you need to. If you’re finding it tough to get back in gear, remember why you began in the first place, how far you’ve progressed and how much closer the end result is than it was initially.

Lastly, it’s important to note that feeling like you’re stuck in a rut can be a sign of depression, so be sure to speak to a friend, family member or doctor if you’re worried.