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Last Updated on January 14, 2021

7 Reasons Why You’re Feeling Restless and Unmotivated

7 Reasons Why You’re Feeling Restless and Unmotivated
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Plenty of people set out each year to change their lives. You may want to lose weight, increase your income, recommit yourself to your faith, or spend more time with your family. Yet, less than 8% of them actually accomplish their resolution.[1] Somewhere along the way, you face an obstacle that leaves you feeling restless and unmotivated.

It is essential to recognize that feeling restless is a normal part of life. Things do not always happen as quickly or as efficiently as you anticipate. Depending on why you feel that way, there are a variety of actions you can take to bounce back in life.

Below are the seven most common causes of restlessness, along with a few strategies to feel peaceful and motivated.

1. Suppression of True Passion

Everyone has two little voices in their head. One voice belongs to your inner self, while the other is your inner critic.

Your inner self is the voice of your imagination, confidence, and a sense of purpose. This allowed you to march to the beat of your own drum when you were young. If you wanted to play, you played. When you were ready to sleep, you went to sleep.

As you aged, though, you were conditioned to believe that following your purpose made you selfish or irresponsible. Your inner critic started to take over and told you why playing it safe was the best option. As a result, you started feeling restless because you needed to suppress your desires to please others.

This internal battle is exhausting. Thus, you must be true to yourself all the time. Allow your inner self to guide you and accept the fact that you can’t please everyone.

2. Battling on Too Many Fronts

When they say you can have anything you want, they don’t mean everything at once. You may be feeling restless and unmotivated because you set yourself up for failure.

For example, you may find it challenging to reduce your spending while trying to eat healthily. Most will agree that healthy eating requires you to spend more money on raw foods, after all. Since your goals run opposite of each other, you must prioritize your goals.

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The same would be true if your goal is to earn a promotion and be with your family more. Promotions usually require you to take on more projects while maintaining your current workload. Naturally, you will build efficiency as you become familiar with the new tasks, but you may need to work overtime on multiple occasions, too.

3. Negative Perspective About Life

Failure tends to make you feel like reevaluating your life. The following questions may come to mind as you deal with setbacks:

  • Was this really what I was meant to do?
  • Should I have played it safer?
  • Does this mean it is not for me?

Feeling restless is a natural feeling when you are wondering if you wasted the last few years chasing a far-fetched dream.

The problem with asking yourself, “What went wrong?” is that it will produce a negative answer.

Negative perspectives are difficult to overcome. In truth, it might show you that you could have always done better. That is why so many people never leave the analysis phase of changing their life. Right before taking action, they realize how something can improve, so they end up not doing anything.

Instead of consistently recognizing all that is wrong with the world, start to train yourself to identify what is right in your life. Try asking yourself, “What is one positive outcome of trying and failing?”

4. Lack of Confidence

Somewhere along this journey that we call life, you stopped believing you were good enough, which led to feeling restless.

A quick fix for this cure is to think of something that makes you feel incredibly confident. It could be as simple as your ability to ride a bike or ace a job interview.

Would it be fair to say you have not always had confidence in your interview skills? What changed then?

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What changed is the fact that you have secured several jobs over the years. The same idea goes with your confidence in your ability to ride a bicycle.

When you accomplish a goal, doubt vanishes from your consciousness. You no longer feel the need to spend three days preparing for a job interview or researching how to ride a bike. You are confident because you have successfully passed a variety of interview questions before[2].

Build Confidence to Stop Feeling Restless

    You lack confidence and feel restless if you haven’t prepared sufficiently for the task at hand.[3]

    5. Excessive Dependence on Others

    Depending on other people is not always a bad thing. As an African proverb states, “If you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.”

    When you work with others, you have an accountability partner who motivates you to continue. However, the problem arises when you depend too much on others.

    The more you depend on others, the more you relinquish control of parts of your life. (Check out more reasons to reduce your dependency here: 11 Reasons Why You Need To Be More Independent)

    It is comparable to those group projects you had in school. If you don’t like to procrastinate, you will be frustrated by a partner who does not look at the assignment until a week before its due date.

    To stop feeling restless and keep others from siphoning your motivation, you need to collaborate with people who share your core values.

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    6. Experiencing Burnout

    Burnout is no joke. It is usually the result of trying to do too much too quickly[4]. You feel as if you have lost time; you want to make up for the last five years in a short time.

    Burnout can make you feel restless

      A classic example would be someone who has gained 90 pounds over three years and now wishes to lose it all in three months.

      Is it possible? Probably, but what kind of diet would someone need to maintain in an attempt to lose a pound a day?

      Similarly, imagine someone has wanted to start a business for the past couple of years. They have always found a reason to push the date back, but now they feel a sense of urgency. They slave away in their day job and work and work on the business all night, causing them to get only an hour of sleep.

      You may undoubtedly feel like things are finally progressing in the right direction, but how long can you keep this pace up?

      When you eventually burn out, you will be feeling restless, significantly when your gains slowly erode. Because of that, you need to maintain a realistic timeline for your goals. Remember: You are building a life-changing habit, and that takes time.

      In the meantime, take care of your mental health through relaxation techniques like deep breathing

      7. Being an Army of One

      Whether it is difficult for you to trust others or you are attempting to conceal your setbacks, secluding yourself is a recipe for disaster.

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      There is a reason why the best among us have coaches and mentors. Seeing things from a different perspective is beneficial, especially if it’s from an expert at achieving the same goals you set for yourself.

      Too often, when you isolate yourself, your perception may become skewed to your own biases. From the numerous studies regarding diversity, one highlights the increased returns created by a diverse board versus one that lacks diversity.[5]

      Sometimes the only thing you are missing is the ability to run an idea by someone else. It’s not even that you need them to create the concept, but there is a benefit to talking things out with others. Don’t take the burden on yourself. Outside of feeling restless and overwhelmed, your results may suffer.

      Final Thoughts

      The first step to stop feeling restless and unmotivated is to start paying attention and acknowledge something did not go quite as planned.

      Whether you set an unrealistic timeline or you face an unforeseen setback, recognize you need to make an adjustment. This allows you to stop holding onto the past so that you can propel into the future.

      Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness tend to drain your motivation. You will find success by allowing yourself to make adjustments as you gain additional insights and knowledge. Remember: your past doesn’t dictate your future if you change the actions that have created your past results.

      More on Getting Rid of Restlessness

      Featured photo credit: Johnny Cohen via unsplash.com

      Reference

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      Published on June 11, 2021

      What Is Well-being: A Guide On How To Measure And Improve It

      What Is Well-being: A Guide On How To Measure And Improve It
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      Well-being is a term often utilized in psychology literature to describe healthy individuals. It is often associated with contentment, happiness, or fulfillment. However, there is debate about what well-being really is and even how to spell it.[1] With so much confusion around the definition, individuals are often left to wonder what well-being is and how to achieve it.

      This article will unlock the answers to three questions:

      • What is well-being?
      • How is it measured?
      • How is it improved?

      What Is Well-Being?

      Well-being includes a combination of feeling states and lifestyle factors. Feeling states associated with it may include happiness and contentment. Lifestyle factors may include feelings of fulfillment, achieving one’s potential, having some control in life, and engaging in meaningful relationships. Well-being is also associated with positive mental health.[2] In simpler terms, It is a construct used to describe many facets of life including psychological, physical, and social health. Synonyms for it include happiness, health, positive feelings, welfare, and wellness.[3]

      It may also be defined as a state of balance or homeostasis. This balance is achieved by having enough resources to cope with life’s challenges.[4] Both challenges and resources may be prevalent in three areas: physical, psychological, and social.

      When there is an abundance of challenges and inadequate resources, well-being is lost. However, humans are designed to work towards achieving a state of balance. Well-being is linked to interpersonal, professional, and personal success. It often results in greater productivity at work, increased learning and creativity, prosocial behavior, and fulfilling relationships.[5]

      Why is well-being difficult to define? Likely because it encompasses a variety of life experiences and feeling states that may vary among individuals. To help individuals assess themselves, several measures have been created.

      How Is Well-Being Measured?

      Researchers need to agree on a standardized definition of well-being to accurately measure it. An adequate measure must therefore encompass every facet of well-being, including as a feeling state as well as a lifestyle. In other words, an effective measurement takes both life satisfaction and functioning into account.

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      Well-being can be broken down further into two categories: objective and subjective.

      Objective Well-Being

      Objective well-being looks at standards of living. This is useful for research looking at cultures, countries, or groups of people. It includes measuring education, income, safety, and life expectancy.[6]

      The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United National Development Programme, and the Italian Statistics Bureau have identified six areas for study related to objective well-being:

      1. Health
      2. Job opportunities
      3. Socioeconomic development
      4. Politics
      5. Safety
      6. Environment

      Subjective Well-Being

      Subjective well-being includes an emotional and mental assessment of an individual’s life. Two prominent subjective measures are life satisfaction and happiness. Measuring subjective well-being is useful for predicting mental health patterns.[7] It is determined intrinsically by the individual. Regardless of how their life might be perceived by others on the outside, this measures how individuals feel on the inside.

      Subjective well-being can be broken down further into two categories: hedonic and contentment. The hedonic component relates to feelings, emotions, and moods. The contentment component relates to thoughts and whether an individual feels their life has been fulfilling. Individuals often measure their thoughts and life fulfillment against social and cultural backgrounds.

      In other words, it is important to consider the context in which an individual lives. Individuals may perceive their lives differently based on social and cultural expectations. Furthermore, individuals cannot be measured without taking their environment into consideration.

      In 2013, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development determined subjective well-being to be an important factor in assessing well-being. Because it is perceived by the individual, it is often assessed by self-report measures. In other words, individuals rate their own level of well-being through psychological tests.[8]

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      There are five areas associated with subjective well-being:

      1. Genetic factors
      2. Basic and psychological needs
      3. Social environment
      4. Economics and income
      5. Political environment

      How to Improve Well-Being

      There are many ways that individuals can improve their sense of well-being. It is a complex construct with a variety of factors at play. Therefore, there is no one, perfect solution for it. Instead, the goal should be to engage in a holistic approach the incorporates a variety of factors.

      The following methods are not comprehensive. What works well for one individual may not be the right approach for others. Instead, these approaches should be considered suggestions for improving well-being.

      Individuals looking for a truly comprehensive assessment of well-being should consider scheduling an appointment with a psychologist, therapist, or medical doctor. These individuals may also provide resources, prescribe medication, or share tips for making lifestyle changes to assist in overall improvement.

      1. Spend Time in Nature

      There is evidence to support the claim that interactions with nature increase well-being. This includes an increase in positive emotions, happiness, and subjective well-being. Time spent in nature is also linked with an increased sense of meaning and purpose in life as well as the ability to manage challenges in life.[9]

      One study found that spending at least 120 minutes in nature each week was associated with greater health. In the study, it did not matter if that time was spent all at once or stretched out over the course of a week. Peak gains in well-being occurred between 200 and 300 minutes of nature time, weekly.[10]

      2. Practice Gratitude

      Individuals who experience gratitude as a trait experience increased well-being. Trait gratitude refers to the willingness to see the unearned value in one’s experience. State gratitude is a feeling that occurs after individuals experience an act of kindness and, therefore, feel motivated to reciprocate.

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      One study assessed state gratitude, during Covid-19 in China. Individuals were instructed to journal while practicing gratitude for 14-days, which included a one-month follow-up. The study found that gratitude practiced in a natural setting during times of increased stress and anxiety resulted in increased positive feelings and increased life satisfaction. However, increased life satisfaction was not sustained after one month.[11]

      As a result of the aforementioned study, there is evidence to support a daily practice of journaling and gratitude for increased well-being. Individuals should practice both trait and state gratitude, whenever possible. Over time, these practices will become a habit and lead to lasting improvement.

      3. Develop Increased Awareness

      Increased awareness is associated with improvements in positive subjective experience, increased self-regulation and goal-directed behavior, and successful interactions with others.

      Increased awareness can be attained through meta-awareness. Meta-awareness is the ability to consciously notice an emotion, thought, or sensory experience. It is a skill that can be taught. Mindfulness-based meditation and psychotherapy are two ways in which meta-awareness is learned. Kindness and compassion meditations are both linked with improved well-being. Both Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) may help increase awareness.[12]

      4. Achieve Work-Life Balance

      An individual’s workplace has the potential to either help or harm them. Workplace factors that negatively impact well-being include:

      • Work-related pressure or demands
      • Lack of autonomy or flexibility
      • Poor coworker and supervisor relationships
      • Shift work
      • Longer workday length

      Employers can directly improve their workers’ well-being by providing paid leave, opportunities for salary growth, support for individuals with disabilities or those returning after injury, and access to health care. Improvements in the work environment and job structure may also be helpful.[13]

      Worker well-being is beneficial both for workers and their employers. It is associated with improvements in:

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      • Performance at work
      • Coping with stress and self-regulation
      • Satisfying relationships, prosocial communication, and cooperation
      • Immune system functioning
      • And physical and psychological health

      Workplace well-being is also associated with a decrease in burnout, stress, and sleep-related issues.[14]

      5. Seek Out Positive Relationships

      Individuals with caring and positive connections often rank higher in well-being. On the flip side, poor social relationships can be more damaging than excessive drinking and smoking. Positive social relationships also help to protect against mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

      Prosocial behaviors are important for forming social connections that lead to increased well-being. Appreciation and gratitude are both pro-social traits. For example, focusing on the positive qualities and actions of others. Empathy for others also contributes to higher levels of well-being. Lastly, generosity is also a strong predictor of life satisfaction.[15]

      6. Stay Hopeful

      Hope is a concept often related to spiritual and religious traditions. However, it entered the world of psychology around the 20th century. It is now an important construct in positive psychology. Hope can be defined broadly as the belief that things can get better, and that goals are achievable.

      Hope is associated with an increase in:

      • Emotional adjustment
      • Positive feelings
      • Life satisfaction and quality of life
      • Social support
      • A sense of purpose

      Takeaways

      Well-being is a construct that is hard to define, yet widely cited in psychological literature. It is linked with feelings of happiness and contentment. It might also be described as a sense of purpose or satisfaction with life.

      To accurately measure it, there needs to be an agreed-upon definition. In general, it has been separated into objective and subjective categories. Objective well-being considers social and cultural constructs. Subjective well-being refers to the individual’s felt sense and internal assessment of their own.

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      There are several things that individuals can do to improve their well-being. However, no one thing will improve everything. Rather, this requires a holistic practice of mental and physical health. Nevertheless, individuals who spend time in nature, develop positive connections, practice gratitude, stay hopeful, and develop awareness have a greater chance of experiencing better well-being.

      More Tips For Your Well-Being

      Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

      Reference

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