But when does having no motivation go from a mental time-out, to a serious issue that needs your attention?
What is low motivation?
Motivation is when you feel driven to do things. In a very basic way, we are motivated to get out of bed. But we are also motivated to go to work, to see our friends, and tohave goals.
Low motivation means we feel uninterested in doing things. We start to cancel social events, perhaps call in sick to work when we aren’t, don’t make that gym class.
No motivation happens when we just don’t want to do anything. We avoid our friends, stop going to the gym at all, go to work only if we have to, and possibly start to self-sabotage. We mess up the work presentation, end relationships, miss important meetings.
It’s also normal during teenage years. The teenage brainand body are in flux during adolescence, and it and it can mean teenagers can feel spaced out, moody, and uninterested in such things as thinking about their future or cleaning their rooms.
Low motivation often happens when we agree to do something we don’t like, or don’t say no when we want to.
If you took on a project at work you hate, or you agreed to plan a friend’s wedding but really didn’t want to, low motivation is your mind’s way of protesting. Your energy often returns when you get honest and ask for help, or quit the project.
you aren’t sure anymore why you lack motivation (or there was no trigger).
Mental health issues and disorders connected to low motivation
If you are trying every tip you can find on the internet about getting motivated but it’s just not working, it could be you have an underlying mental health issue or mental disorder that needs attention.
Depression is the most common mental health issue that has low motivation as a symptom. The onset of low motivation is for many long-term depression sufferers a sign they are falling into another cycle.
What do I do if it’s a loved one with low motivation?
If your loved one is diagnosed with any of the mental health issues above, trying to push them to do things might be counterproductive.
Work to accept them as they are, and do not call them lazy. They are not. They are currently unwell, and need your patience.
Some encouragement is of course fine, but if they say no, do not make them feel guilty or flawed. They are likely doing the best they can, and what seems to you like just a bit of cajoling might feel to him or her, in their sensitive state, like a lot of pressure. Focus on small steps, keep your eye on the future, and try to remain as positive as possible.
If your low motivation has an obvious trigger like alife change or career issue, self help can be a good start. If your low motivation feels unmanageable, or has been going on for longer than you are comfortable with, consider talking to a coach or counsellor.
If your low motivation has been going on for months or even years, if you struggle in all areas of life because of it, if you don’t understand what causes it but can’t seem to push past it, or if you suspect you have one of the mental health disorders above, it is essential to seek support.
Harley Therapy is here to help if you have no motivation lately. We connect you to registered, experienced counsellors and psychotherapists both in central London, across the UK, and now globally via Skype.
Have a question about having no motivation? Or want to share your thoughts on motivation with other readers? Use our public comment box below.