Advertising

Last Updated on December 3, 2020

5 Tricks For Restoring Your Energy During Tough Times

Advertising
5 Tricks For Restoring Your Energy During Tough Times

Challenging times are a part of life. Though you might be feeling exhausted and even powerless while trying to restore your energy, you need to remember that it happens to everyone. It could be a difficult financial period, a complicated situation in your close relationships, loneliness, health issues, a harsh defeat, or a failure that has drained you of your energy; but either way, it’s temporary, and restoring energy is an important next step.

Everything in life has cycles. Sometimes you just feel down, and that’s ok. But eventually, the wheel turns, and you’ll get back on the horse.

It may be challenging to see that in the middle of your struggle, but it’s all temporary. In hard times, when it’s hard to see the way out, it’s important to remind yourself that you are the one that is making the decisions, and you’re the one that has the ability to choose.

You can choose how you are handling your situation. You can dwell and stay stuck on your difficulties and unfortunate situation, or you can help yourself getting better and restore your energy one step at a time.

How can you make tomorrow better than today?

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You just need to stay positive and change your current daily routine bit by bit. The following five simple tricks will also make a huge difference for you, enabling you to improve your mood quickly and help you in restoring energy during tough times.

Advertising

1. Connect to Your Inner Child

The first thing that you have to do when you’re working your way out of the hole is to forgive yourself and to be compassionate. If you’re going to keep dwelling on your mistakes and continue beating yourself up, it will be nearly impossible for you to find more energy inside you. When you’re forgiving yourself and being compassionate with yourself, you’re putting less focus and energy on the problem, and you’re on the right track for restoring your energy.

A powerful trick for accessing this energy is by connecting to your inner child. If your 8-year-old self was in this situation, what would you tell him/her? Can you connect to the feelings that you felt during hard times that you’ve been through as a young child? Can you remember how intense those feelings were?

How would you cheer him/her up? What would you tell your little self if he/she were in the same situation instead of you?

When you are trying to see things through this perspective, you automatically feel empathetic and compassionate. Every time you’re detecting negative emotions or thoughts, think about the situation that troubles your mind as if your 8-year-old self was going through it. You’ll be amazed to see how different your automatic responses to your 8-year-old self’s way of handling the situation is. Can you give yourself the same gift of compassion and generosity?

2. Change Your Physical State

Are you exercising? I’m sure that you know that exercising is an all-natural treatment to fight depression and stress and understand the massive advantages of physical activity. So are you exercising?

Your emotional state, quality of life, and level of performance are inseparable from your physical state. When you’re going through a rough patch, it’s time to restore your energy by changing this, as your physical state is a major factor determining how you feel. You don’t have to be the toughest person alive and begin running ultra marathons; you just need to instill more movement in your current routine and schedule.

Advertising

Understand that when you’re changing your physical state, your emotions change as well. If you are currently feeling that you are drained and have no energy, that you are powerless and exhausted, isn’t that the time to take a look at your physical routine? What are you doing most of the day? Are you sitting? Lying down on the couch or in bed? Stuck in your car or office seat most of the day?

If that’s the case, isn’t it obvious that adding more movement and activity to your daily routine can pump up your energy[1], it’s important to remember that a new day will eventually come when the challenge has been overcome.

And if you know that things will improve over time, why not imagine your ideal life? Why not go with it all the way and imagine something that really excites you and makes you feel alive?

When you are imagining an ideal picture of your future life and your future self, you’re connecting to a positive mental state. And when you are in a positive mental state, all of a sudden your problems seem smaller, and your energies and capabilities feel much more robust and accessible. How can you instill these 5-minute positive breaks during your day? How can you adopt this powerful, positive, and energetic visualization and connection in your daily schedule?

Advertising

This is something that is definitely worth the time, since you know how fun and relaxing it feels to daydream every once in a while. Five minutes of a positive mental state is a great way to energize yourself, to give yourself a little break from everything that’s going on in your life. And these 5 minutes accumulate as you’ll have more energy with every positive mental break that you’ll take.

After a while, you’ll see that these positive breaks are becoming your positive anchor, fueling you with energy and optimism and enabling you to find more in yourself as the power of momentum works its magic.

5. Find Someone to Look up to

Who do you look up to? Who do you adore? Whether it’s a friend or a relative of yours that you appreciate a lot, or a celebrity athlete, movie star, or singer, they’re people just like you. They have also had bad times! Take some time to listen to their stories.

Can you imagine what they went through? And what they did to bounce back? How did they restore their energy during tough times? If they were in your shoes, what would they do in this situation?

Furthermore, can you imagine what would they tell you if they were next to you right now? If you’d share your story with them, what piece of advice would they give you? How would that advice affect you?

Remember, they’re people just like you, with strengths and weaknesses, that overcame obstacles, and you can gain power and energy from connecting to their stories and seeing yourself in the same situation.

Advertising

Final Thoughts

Remember, tough times are temporary, but the techniques you build in learning about restoring energy in your life can last years and help you through countless challenges. Find what works for you and what helps you maintain a positive outlook in the fact of any difficult moment.

More Tips on Restoring Energy

Featured photo credit: Aditya Saxena via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Everyday Health: Why Exercise Boosts Mood and Energy))?

What kind of physical activity do you like to do? What kind of movement can you insert into your daily schedule? It can actually be something small, like stretching your back for 10 minutes in the morning when you’re waking up and before you go to bed. It could be taking a short 20-minute walk while listening to your favorite music before going to work, or after you’re coming back from work.

The level of intensity doesn’t really matter. What’s important is to be persistent and to insert a steady physical energy boost several times a day. Pump it up!

3. Connect With Your 80-Year-Old Self

Imagine now the exact opposite from trick number 1. Now you’re not a kid, but you’re looking at your old wrinkled 80-year-old self. You’ve seen so much, you’ve experienced so much, you’ve achieved so much, you’ve lived life for a long time. Now, when you are looking back at your long and rich life, do you remember what happened to you back then when you went through a difficult time?

I’m actually not talking about the current period. I want you to look at another difficult time that you’ve had, one that you’ve overcome and come out stronger than before. You know exactly what you did right and wrong, and what helped you in that period. And now, let’s get back to your current situation, as your all-knowing 80-year-old self. When you are looking back at this specific time, how do you feel?

Advertising

Do your feelings and thoughts suddenly look small and irrelevant? Over an entire life-span, does this period look consequential or more like a footnote? A typo?

When you are trying to see things through this perspective, you automatically feel calm, even stoic. Every time you’re detecting negative emotions or thoughts, think about the situation that troubles your mind as if your 80-year-old self were reflecting on it. You’ll be amazed to see how different your automatic responses as your 80-year-old self are.

Can you zoom out from your current situation and see it through a life-time perspective? You know that you’ve successfully got out of difficult situations before, so let your 80-year-old self perspective give you some experienced framing regarding your current problems.

4. Imagine Your Ideal Life

When you’re going through a rough time and are looking for help in restoring energy, it’s important to imagine and think of a better tomorrow. When you’re in a bad situation, or when you are giving everything you’ve got trying to achieve a big, challenging goal, fighting to stay determined when times get tough((Vision, Belief, Change: 5 Tips to Stay Determined When Times Get Tough

More by this author

Doron Hafner

Entrepreneur, Personal and Business coach

How to Find an Accountability Partner to Help You Reach Your Goal 11 Positive Thoughts for Your Everyday Motivation 5 Tricks For Restoring Your Energy During Tough Times 10 Ways to Stop Being Pessimistic 15 Characteristics of High Achievers You Need to Know

Trending in Staying Motivated

1 What Is Incentive Motivation And Does It Work? 2 6 Friday Motivation Tips to Help You Stay Motivated 3 How to Improve Employee Motivation in the Workplace 4 20 All-Time Best Motivational Books to Inspire You 5 21 Powerful Words That Will Give You Life Motivation

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Published on September 27, 2021

What Is Incentive Motivation And Does It Work?

Advertising
What Is Incentive Motivation And Does It Work?

We’ve all needed a bit of inspiration at some time in our lives. In the past year or two, that need most likely has grown. Who hasn’t been trying to shed those extra pounds we put on during the pandemic? Who hasn’t felt the need to fake a little enthusiasm at joining yet another Zoom call? Who hasn’t been trying to get excited about trekking back into the office for a 9 to 5 (longer if you add in the commute)? Feeling “meh” is a sign of our times. So, too, is incentive motivation, a way to get back our spark, our drive, and our pursuit of the things we say we want most.

In this article, I’ll talk about what incentive motivation is and how it works.

What Is Incentive Motivation?

Incentive motivation is an area of study in psychology focused on human motivation. What is it that gets us to go from couch potato to running a marathon? What spurs us to get the Covid vaccine—or to forgo it? What is it that influences us to think or act in a certain way? Incentive motivation is concerned with the way goals influence behavior.[1] By all accounts, it works if the incentive being used holds significance for the person.

The Roots of Incentive Motivation

Incentive motivation’s roots can be traced back to when we were children. I’m sure many of us have similar memories of being told to “eat all our veggies” so that we would “grow up to be big and strong,” and if we did eat those veggies, we would be rewarded with a weekend trip to a carnival or amusement park or playground of choice. The incentive of that outing was something we wanted enough to have it influence our behavior.

Advertising

Growing up, incentive motivation continues to play a major role in what we choose to do. For example, while we may not have relished the idea of spending years studying, getting good grades, pursuing advanced degrees, and graduating with sizeable debt from student loans, a great many of us decided to do just that. Why? Because the end goal of a career, a coveted title, and the associated incentives of financial reward and joy in doing something we love were powerful motivators.

One researcher who believes in the power of incentive motivation is weight management expert, co-author of the book State of Slim, and co-founder of the transformational weight loss program of the same name, Dr. Holly Wyatt. Her work with her clients has proven time and again that when motivation fizzles, incentives can reignite those motivational fires.

“Eat more veggies, exercise, keep track of my weight: These things and more DO work, but bottom line, you gotta keep doing them. Setting up rituals and routines to put your efforts on auto-pilot is one way. And along the way, the use of both external and internal motivators helps keep people on track. External motivation sources are those things outside of ourselves that help to motivate us. They’re powerful, like pouring gasoline on a fire. But they may not last very long. Internal motivators are more tied into the reasons WHY we want to reach our goals. In my State of Slim weight loss program, we spend a lot of time on what I call ‘peeling back the onion’ to find the WHY. I think the internal motivators are more powerful, especially for the long-term, but they may take longer to build. They’re the hot coals that keep our motivational fires burning.”

Examples of Incentive Motivation

In the way of incentive motivation, specific to the external motivators, Dr. Wyatt challenges her clients to commit to changing just one behavior that will help them reach their weight loss goals. Clients must then agree to a “carrot” or a “stick” as either their reward for accomplishing what they say they will do or as their punishment for falling short. Those incentives might be something like enjoying a spa day if they do the thing they said they would do or sweating it out while running up and down the stairwell of their apartment building a certain number of times as punishment for not following through.

Advertising

Whatever they choose, the goal must be something they really want, and the incentive must be something that matters to them enough to influence their behaviors in reaching those goals. Some people are more motivated by some sort of meaningful reward (a carrot) whereas, other people are more motivated by some sort of negative consequence or the taking away of a privilege (the stick).

Another example of incentive motivation is playing out currently with companies and government entities offering perks to people who get the Covid vaccine. Nationwide, offers are being made in the way of lottery tickets, cash prizes, concert seats, free admission to events and discounts for food, and even free drink at local restaurants and bars. The list of incentives being offered to the public to increase vaccination rates is pretty extensive and quite creative.[2]  These incentives are financial, social, and even hit on moral sensibilities. But is this particular incentive motivation working?

Remember that a key to incentive motivation working is if the individual puts importance on the reward being received on the ultimate goal. So, not all incentives will motivate people in the same way. According to Stephen L. Franzoi, “The value of an incentive can change over time and in different situations.”[3]

How Does Incentive Motivation Differ from Other Types of Motivators?

Incentive motivation is just one type of motivating force that relies on external factors. While rewards are powerful tools in influencing behaviors, a few other options may be more aligned with who you are and what gets you moving toward your goals.

Advertising

Fear Motivation

In many ways, being motivated by fear is the very opposite of being motivated by incentives. Rather than pursuing some reward, it’s the avoidance of some consequence or painful punishment that sparks someone into action. For example, married couples may “forsake all others” not out of love or commitment but out of a fear that they may be “taken to the cleaners” by their spouses if their infidelities are revealed.

Another example wherein fear becomes the great motivator is one we’re hearing about more and more as we’re coming out of this pandemic—the fear of being poor. The fear of being poor has kept many people in jobs they hate. It’s only now that we see a reversal as headlines are shining a light on just how many workers are quitting and refusing to go back to the way things were.

Social Motivation

Human beings are social creatures. The desire to belong is a powerful motivator. This type of social motivation sparks one’s behavior in ways that, hopefully, result in an individual being accepted by a certain group or other individuals.

The rise of the Internet and the explosion of social media engagement has been both positive and negative in its power to motivate us to be included among what during our school days would be called “the cool kids” or “cliques” (jocks, nerds, artsy, gamers, etc.). We probably all have experienced at one time or another the feelings associated with “not being chosen”—whether to be on a team to play some game or as the winning candidate for some job or competition. Social rejection can make or break us.

Advertising

Before You Get Up and Go…

Know that, especially during these challenging times, it’s “normal” and very much “okay” to feel a lack of motivation. Know, too, that external motivators, such as those we’ve talked about in this article, can be great tools to get your spark back. We’ve only touched on a few here. There are many more—both external and internal.

Remember that these external motivators, such as incentive motivations, are only as powerful as the importance placed on the reward by the individual. It’s also important to note that if there isn’t an aligned internal motivation, the results will more than likely be short-lived.

For example, losing a certain amount of weight because you want to fit into some outfit you intend to wear at some public event may get you to where you want to be. But will it hold up after your party? Or will those pounds find their way back to you? If you want to be rewarded at work with that trip to the islands because you’ve topped the charts in sales and hustle to make your numbers, will you be motivated again and again for that same incentive? Or will you need more and more to stay motivated?

Viktor Frankl, the 20th-century psychiatrist, Holocaust survivor, and author of the best-selling book, Man’s Search for Meaning, is quoted as having said, “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.” As important as external motivators like incentives may be in influencing behaviors, the key is always to align them with one’s internal “why”—only then will the results be long-lived.

Advertising

So, how might incentive motivation influence you and your behavior toward goals? Knowing your answer might keep you energized no matter what your journey and help to further your successes.

Featured photo credit: Atharva Tulsi via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Britannica: Incentive motivation
[2] National Governors Association: COVID-19 Vaccine Incentives
[3] verywellmind: The Incentive Theory of Motivation

Read Next