Social relationships are an inherent component of human life. You probably grew up living with your parents, siblings and the extended family. When you moved to college you had friends and perhaps a partner who you wanted to spend your life with.

Positive relationships are sources of motivation and guidance and can influence your emotional wellbeing. When these relationships wither away, you struggle with loneliness and depression, which can render you insecure and pessimistic.

Globally, over 350 million people across age groups are suffering from depression of which 16 million are Americans. The problem is most prevalent in adults. Women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression than men. A recent study proved that the lack of social connection leads to depression and increases the mortality risk by 32%. Scientists have found mounting evidence that links loneliness and depression to various physical and psychological ailments.

This can leave you feeling drained and demotivated all the time.

For those who battle depression, challenges arising from the lack of motivation seem insurmountable. When you are low on motivation, you feel empty, and less engaged with/excited about life. You fill your mind with mundane and even self-depreciating thoughts.

If you’re experiencing this, know that you are the only person who can do something to change it. Learning to stand on your own feet will make it easy for you to face the toughest situations when no one is around to help. You cannot always rely on others for your daily dose of encouragement.

Here are 7 effective self-motivation tips for when the going gets tough.

1. Ask Yourself Uplifting Questions

Each morning ask yourself 3 to 4 spiritually-empowering questions. A few examples are mentioned below:

What is it that makes me happy in life today?

What qualities in me make me feel proud of myself?

What are my greatest achievements in life?

Contemplate on these questions each day and feel positive emotions fill you. For example, when you consider what makes you happy, you actually smile when thinking about the answer. More often than not, depression leaves you in a pessimistic frame of mind and you forget the little pleasures of life.

The above morning questions will make you appreciate the small, but beautiful things that you otherwise take for granted. They will motivate you to be happy and grateful at all times.

2. Break Large Goals into Practicable Steps

We’ve all been through times when we’ve felt snowed under the sheer pressure of achieving our goals. If you’re facing such a situation, try and understand the nature of your goal.

If the task seems too daunting, write down simple steps that will take you closer to your goal. Take the simplest step and start. This will build the momentum for success. Little successes are great motivators.

Complete the simpler tasks first and ride on this achievement to create a ripple effect. Capitalize on your small wins to feel motivated and push yourself towards your goals.

3. Cut out Negativity

Self-motivation starts with you. Shake pessimism off and stay away from people who discourage or demotivate you. You can do the impossible when you believe in yourself, so turn a deaf ear to those who say you can’t.

Take inspiration from the little buzzing bee. In various studies, scientists have proven that it is aerodynamically impossible for a bee to fly as its body is larger than its wings. However, bees keep themselves in air by beating their wings 200 times per second.

4. Chant Your Motivating Mantra

A mantra, in literal terms, means a charm or a spell. A motivating mantra can magically slice through your cluttered mind and enable you to feel strong, capable, and at peace with yourself.

Develop a few motivating statements for yourself. Choose positive and action-oriented words that will recharge you when you feel low. A few examples of such mantras include,

I am the best!
This is my moment!
Go for it!
The sky is the limit!

Think of these mantras as personal pep-talk and repeat them to yourself for an instant dose of motivation and confidence.

5. Laugh at Your Setbacks

Contrary to popular belief, setbacks can take you a step closer to your goals. They are a necessary part of the learning process. Life doesn’t deserve serious treatment always.

Laugh at yourself, take constructive lessons from your failures, and move on.Humor can put things back into perspective and improve your problem-solving skills too.

Be kind to yourself and nudge yourself back to the right path when you err. Laughter reduces stress by releasing health-benefiting hormones called endorphins. Laughing keeps you smart, healthy, and motivated.

6. Celebrate Small Achievements

We always feel dejected every time we make a mistake, but many of our achievements frequently pass without applause. It is important to remember that positive memories and small wins are the best sources of self-motivation.

Maintain an achievement diary, treat yourself to an eclair, meet your friends, and talk about your achievements all throughout. Accomplishments release certain chemicals in your body that make you feel proud and motivated to repeat the feat.
Each day, take 2 minutes to look back at your successes and see how you feel instantly motivated.

7. Exercise

Physical fitness has a huge impact on your attitude towards life. Taking regular brisk walks affects your mood positively, releases tension, and is an instant source of motivation.

Fitness routines are evolving fast, and you can use technology to feel motivated and get more out of your workout sessions. Numerous fitness apps are available that challenge your and track your progress, and increase your accountability. These apps allow you to make your achievements public, which in turn, helps you stay motivated to participate in various fitness challenges.

It is often said, when life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you can have a thousand reasons to smile.

When you feel you are alone, you feel depressed and demotivated, and things feel heavy on the heart. It can seem hard to find the motivation to go on. It is crucial to have your own sources of inspiration. The above tips will help you motivate yourself under the worst circumstances and get you back on track.

Brian Zeng

Brian is the owner of Ponbee, a blog that shares useful resources on motivation, inspiration and success. He likes to write about self-improvement and achieving excellence, and believes that it is these qualities that ultimately make people successful in life. Apart from that, he is also an internet enthusiast and enjoys updating himself on everything that contributes towards creating rewarding and wholesome lives.