Train Your Brain For Motivation

Train Your Brain For Motivation

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen

This is a blog on motivation based on what  I’ve found helpful, and it’s a mixture of biology, neurology and psychology.

“ Go out and face the dragon rather than waiting for it to come and devour you.”

Today’s dragon is laziness or  can’t be arsedness.

 

Everything you have ever felt, known, experienced, and will do in the future is all because of your brain. So that’s why we will discuss the brain in this  blog.

Repetition is a key factor when it comes to motivation, like being reminded to be grateful.  Hearing the same thing in a different way is good.  Keeps it fresh.

Brain basics

The brain is wired for survival not performance.  Your brain’s main priority is to keep you safe.

Your brain can go OTT  and get overprotective, and this can lead to anxiety and not wanting to come out of our comfort zones. This also why we remember and focus on negative comments rather than positive ones, as negative ones are a threat. Your brain feels you are under attack or threatened, so it remembers these threats or attacks. 

The Brain is a bit perverse,  as it likes to stay the same because it’s safe,  but on the other hand it thrives on novelty, even if we are a bit hesitant to come out of our comfort zones. 

The brain loves rewards.  This comes from a dopamine release.  Dopamine also motivates us to seek rewards,  and is linked to learning and addiction. 

Nerves that wire together fire together.

This means that stimulating nerves in one place of the brain affects neighbouring areas.

Like with neighbours, if somebody has a BBQ,  other people think ‘Ooooh,  I’ll have a BBQ too’. 

 

cortex brain motivation

The cortex or frontal lobe is involved in ‘executive functions’ like a CEO of a company, for example, thought, logic, planning, mood, motivation and decisions

The motor cortex which controls movement is also in the frontal lobe.

So moving about exercise will stimulate the frontal lobe,  light up the brain,  and you feel better.  Lights up the brain circuits like turning the lights on in a building ready for the day’s work.

Getting Motivated

Make a pain pleasure  list

You may have all sorts of goals.  Exercise more, sort out a room, stick to an eating plan, start a new project. What are yours?

Moving towards pleasure and away from pain is a helpful way to set the scene

List 3 things that you really dislike about your situation – how does this make you feel?

Then list 3 things that you are looking forward to feeling when you have achieved your goal?

For me it’s tidying. When my house is messy,  I feel ashamed, out of control and chaotic.  When the house is a mess,  it transfers to other parts of my life. (Pain)

I tidy up and feel in control, organised and proud of myself. (Pleasure)

Motivational quotes and people

Anything to do with religion,  politics, even history, are best not mentioned in detail but powerful.  They get us going,  fire up emotions… use that to your advantage.

Use imagery quotes from whom you like that resonate with your views.

Use old favourites or look for new ones. These are personal so you choose. 

That’s how I improved my history knowledge.  Looking up kings, queens, prime ministers, and presidents.  What did they overcome?  What did they say?

Motivation from another person whom you can identify with who is not famous

For example, my customer who is 75 with arthritis everywhere who walked 900 miles last year in the U.K.  Which is a whole country.  I now have a state and a province I am going to walk across, Texas and Quebec;  Rhode Island I could do in a few days!  I had to look up all the states and provinces to choose my goal. This improved my geography. 

Fix Your Dopamine System To Fix Your Motivation

Finally for biology. Dopamine is our reward brain chemical.

If you keep bombarding your dopamine system with food that gives you a dopamine rush,  eg junk food or sugar,  or too much social media,  movies, shopaholism, gambling, alcohol, drugs,  these create dopamine floods.  It overwhelms and desensitizes your brain to dopamine, so you need more and more to get a hit. 

Then simple things like being motivated to exercise just become too boring or not pleasurable. Your brain wants the exciting stuff.

 Going on a dopamine fast and removing all the dopamine flood factors  helps the dopamine system go back to normal.  Then they can get pleasure out of say exercise etc which is a dopamine trickle, which motivates them to do the exercise again.  Then the brain gets a trickle of dopamine,  and the person exercises again and again. 

It doesn’t have to be exercise. The aim is to get pleasure out of normal activities, playing with children,  working on your business, healthy food. 

Final notes

If you have a huge goal, don’t set yourself up with a mountain that you could fall down.

Start with a hill, then another hill.

Even if you just try, it’s better than where you are, so you have nothing to lose.

Thank you for reading. 

Best Wishes

Sara

 

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