Motivation might be all in the mind, springing from your attitudes, approach and focus but it might also be in the brain too! Recent research suggests an area of the brain which controls your motivation to work out might have been discovered. The Seattle Children's Research Institute study is interesting as a person who is motivated to work out can enhance their mood and this in turn could help researchers develop more targeted treatments in the fight against depression. It also serves to emphasize just how important fitness is for your wellbeing.
Let's face it when you are feeling 'down' or are suffering from some type of anxiety you are less inclined to be active. Instead, you might feel as if you are running on low batteries and have zero motivation. When life feels difficult, challenging or depressing your get up and go simply goes, leaving you without any inspiration to keep fit. This lack of activity can feed into your mood and create a downward spiral.
Exercise can make you feel good mentally
The reason the researchers in Seattle are excited by identifying a possible area of the brain which affects exercise motivation is that they know that being active can help battle depression. It is not just a case that if you act in a lively, active way that you will mentally feel alive but actually because your body releases feel-good neurotransmitters when you exercise. In other words, exercise impacts your mind in a physical way, as well as a psychological one.
Activity inspires motivation
If you are lacking in motivation to keep fit, regardless of your state of mind, then you can give your whole being a boost by making a concerted effort and focus to reinvigorate your activity levels. The fact is that if you are used to a sedentary lifestyle then that first push to activate your motivation and get going can be the hardest. Once you are up and running, perhaps literally, then it is far easier to keep on going and for motivation to stay on track.
Take control of your own motivation
There are many ways in which you can be the master of your own motivation levels. You could try meditating to relax the mind and deal with any stresses so that you are better able to focus on pure, unadulterated cardio action.
Believe you are in control and you will more likely feel capable, positive and motivated. If you feel that someone or something else is running the show then the ensuing feeling of helplessness is not going to get you moving in the right fitness or lifestyle direction.
Get started and keep going and you will soon teach your mind and body to accept a way of life and a fitness regime. Habits form easily and before you know it you won't have to talk yourself into exercise but automatically respond as your mind and body expect you to get moving.
Don't be an island in that you feel as if you have to achieve everything on your own. You might become isolated and your motivation will struggle to surface and sustain. Surround yourself with positive people that will bolster your motivation and keep your fitness goals afloat.
Motivation is about more than one part of your brain, or one element of your personality. The key is to fit all the pieces together and get a good fitness plan in place too which will engage you on every level.