Did you wake up today and just not feel like doing anything at all? Do you lack the motivation to get done what you know you need to get done? Or maybe you are motivated to get things done, but you just don’t have the energy. A case of the “blahs” as some call it. We all have days like these from time to time.
The good news is that we have a solution for you. There are quite a few simple tips that you can implement to give yourself an instant boost of motivation and energy. Keep reading to learn how you can increase both motivation and energy right now!
Take a day off
It’s important to realize that those days when you’re lacking motivation and energy are completely normal, and it’s okay to take a day off. Such days can help you recharge, to regain your motivation and energy. Give yourself permission to have these days on occasion without feeling guilty and you’ll instantly feel more energized afterward.
However, if you’re taking multiple days (or weeks) off from what you need to be doing because you feel depressed, unmotivated, or sorry for yourself, that becomes a problem. Luckily, that can be changed – you just have to make the decision to change it! The following tips will help you to get out of this rut and increase your motivation and energy right now.
Decide that you’re going to have a fresh start
Guess what? It doesn’t need to be January 1st for you to have a fresh start! While January 1st marks the beginning of a new calendar year, it really is an arbitrary point in the lives of most people. In fact, a study by the Wharton School of Business proved this to be true. They called it the “fresh start effect”, which describes the tendency for people to tackle their goals immediately following a temporal landmark (i.e. the outset of a new week, month, year, or semester; a birthday; a holiday). The researchers found that these landmarks encourage people in two ways: by making people disconnect from past failures and by promoting a big-picture view of life. These factors motivate aspirational behaviors, helping you to get things done.
To increase your motivation and energy right now, first start by thinking of a recent event, be it a breakup, moving to a new home, a birthday, a promotion, or some other special occasion. Use this event to create your fresh start. In order to make your fresh start even more effective, mark the date on your calendar. By physically writing it down and seeing that you’re ready for your fresh start, you’ll feel motivated to make things happen.
When you’re lacking motivation, it’s easy to fall into a routine of binge watching Netflix on the couch, almost forgetting what the world outside is like. Yet the outdoors is one of the easiest and fastest ways to increase your motivation and energy! Going outside can boost your motivation in two ways: sunlight and the color green.
Exposure to sunlight affects two hormones that play a role in you motivation and energy levels: melatonin and serotonin. Melatonin is the hormone that regulates when you fall asleep and wake up. Serotonin, which is a precursor to melatonin, is a neurotransmitter that contributes to well-being and happiness.
Serotonin is normally produced during the day and is converted to melatonin in darkness. Whereas high melatonin levels correspond to long nights and short days, high serotonin levels in the presence of melatonin reflect short nights and long days (i.e., longer UVR exposure). According to an article published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, moderately high serotonin levels result in more positive moods and a calm yet focused mental outlook.
Melatonin researcher Russel J. Reiter of the University of Texas Health Science Center, says “It’s important that people who work indoors get outside periodically, and moreover that we all try to sleep in total darkness. This can have a major impact on melatonin rhythms and can result in improvements in mood, energy, and sleep quality.”
Thus, getting outside in the sunlight, even for just 10–15 minutes, could confer significant health benefits, including increasing your motivation and energy.
Even if it’s a cloudy day you can still increase your motivation and energy by simply going outside and surrounding yourself with the color green. This is because certain colors activate the brain to think of certain things. For example, sales signs are usually red because people react faster and more forcefully when they see the color red. It turns out green is the color that can provide you with an instant boost of motivation and energy.
A 2012 study published in the Journal of Environmental Science & Technology asked subjects to perform three cycling exercises while watching a video of a rural cycling course. The videos were randomly selected to have green, gray, or red filters. The researchers found that there were lower total mood disturbance and ratings of perceived exertion during the green filter video compared to both the gray and red filter video courses.
When you’re lacking motivation and energy, head outside and surround yourself with greenery. Plus, this could be a great opportunity to increase your physical activity, leading to even more motivation to get back on track with your fitness goals. Take a walk through a park or garden and notice how much more energized you feel once you’re done.
The studies cited above based on psychology and neuroscience suggest that there are quite a few simple tips that you can implement to increase your motivation and energy right now. Whether it’s taking a much needed day off, creating a fresh start, or just going outside, begin by trying just one of these ideas to see how your motivation and energy are impacted.
Do you have any tips for increasing motivation and energy? Share your ideas in the comments below!