Coast Lifestyle

TACKLE YOUR TO-DO LIST WITH THE SCIENCE OF SELF-MOTIVATION

Two-days’ worth of dirty dishes sitting in the sink. That stack of mail that’s been “on its way” to the post office for a month. And a nail-biting habit you thought you’d kicked is rearing its ugly head. Sound familiar?

You’re not the only one with a to-do list and no idea about where to find the motivation to start. But deep within you is the power to set goals and accomplish them. And you can unlock it with the science of self-motivation.

This intro course will provide you with the tools you need to get motivated to complete tasks and learn new things. Tapping into self-motivation is a talent in constant need of refining. So, get in the zone and learn how to get motivated—and stay that way.

What is Motivation?

Simply put, motivation is desire that focuses your behavior on a goal. It has roots in needs and wants, so it compels you to provide for your family and drives you towards personal improvement. And there are two main forces of motivation—external and intrinsic.

External motivation arises from factors outside of yourself. Money is a prime example of an external motivator because it’s necessary to buy food and have a place to live. External motivators can be thought of as rewards, too. A trophy, medal, or ribbon for competing in an athletic event. A performance bonus at work. Praise from your family members after you prepare a delicious meal. Each of these rewards are considered external motivators.

No surprise, intrinsic motivation comes from within. Curiosity, an interest in a particular topic, and desire to improve a talent or skill are intrinsic motivations. These types of self-motivation help you learn and become more capable.

Examples of intrinsic motivators vary from person to person. They are fostered by individuals and manifest themselves in many ways. Mastery of a piece of music. Reading for pleasure. Playing a game because you think it’s fun. Intrinsic motivation provides you with the power to do things you enjoy, simply because you enjoy them. And accomplish tasks you don’t enjoy because it will ultimately be good for you.

Biological Factors for Motivation

Whether it’s external or intrinsic, motivation originates in the amygdala—a grape-sized portion of the brain located in each hemisphere. So, like most things, the science of self-motivation starts in your brain. The amygdala is part of the limbic system, which controls your emotions and directs memory storage.

Your amygdala works with a hormone called dopamine. This neurotransmitter (a brain chemical messenger) is usually associated with pleasure. But dopamine has recently been linked to motivation, too. It’s still not clear exactly what the connection is, but researchers are continually investigating its role in the brain.

Here’s what is known: Brain-mapping techniques show that highly motivated people have lots of dopamine available in the right parts of their brains. When compared to less motivated people, go-getters don’t necessarily produce more dopamine. Rather, the hormone is concentrated in different areas of the brain; specifically, the striatum and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VPC) in the brains.

The striatum is located at the center of the brain. It performs essential functions related to decision making, planning, and motivation. The striatum works in conjunction with the VPC. Located toward the front of the brain, the VPC also plays important roles in decision making and self-control. Both are critical to successful goal-getting.

Dopamine can also concentrate in the anterior insula, a section of the brain associated with emotion and risk. For individuals who struggle with self-motivation, it may be the case that a concentration in the anterior insula exists.

There is also growing evidence that you may be able to train your brain to become more motivated. That means directing dopamine towards the key areas of the brain mentioned above. This branch of science is still young, so you won’t find any tips right now. But as the understanding of dopamine and motivation grows, more valid methods for directing dopamine could also pop up.

Opposing Forces in Self-Motivation: Willpower and Procrastination

Two kinds of behavior meet motivation head on—willpower and procrastination. The former provides you with mental strength and fortitude. The latter distracts from the important tasks at hand. Both are extremely effective and can lead to dramatically different results.

Willpower is the ability to resist short-term gratification while chasing long-term goals. Think of ignoring the urge to indulge in high-calorie foods when you’re trying to lose weight. Whatever the end-goal, willpower is a tool to help you get there.

Armed with willpower, you may enjoy several positive life outcomes in addition to meeting goals. People with lots of willpower are shown to have:

  • Better grades in school
  • Increased financial security
  • Higher self-esteem
  • A greater overall sense of well-being

Motivation and willpower are teammates in the game of personal improvement. Willpower fuels the self-motivation you need to set goals and achieve them. By setting aside behaviors or habits that can derail your progress, willpower can make you a champion of personal betterment.

Procrastination is willpower’s nemesis. It’s the act of avoiding or delaying work that must get done. While willpower strengthens your drive to tackle your to-do list, procrastination is the ultimate challenger to that endeavor.

You may have a hard time recognizing procrastination. It has several forms. At the most basic level, procrastination is putting off a task to be completed until the last possible moment. You fail to start a work assignment until a day or two before it’s due. Or you ignore the low fuel indicator and wait until your tank is on empty to fill up on gas.

It’s possible that your brain uses procrastination to temporarily relieve emotional stress. There is some evidence to suggest that procrastinating important projects provides short-term mood improvement. But when the stress-reducing effects wear off, you’re left with a lot of work to do in a short period of time.

Procrastination in any form eats away at your motivation to meet your goals. So, do yourself a favor and shut it down early, before it snowballs out of control. Instead, ramp up your willpower next time you feel motivated to get something done.

How to Get Motivated with Temptation Bundling and Habit Stacking

There are lots of tips and tricks to improve your self-motivation and dedication to your goals. Two great ones are temptation bundling and habit stacking. Each method helps reinforce your motivation for a particular goal, habit, or behavior. Try each out and see what works best for you.

Temptation Bundling

It’s hard not to procrastinate when your favorite activities distract you from crucial work. Whether it’s exercise or household chores, these needs take a backseat to fun temptations. But what if you can actually mix work and pleasure?

Suppose you want to get caught up on your favorite TV show. Binge-watching TV is one of the least productive ways to spend your time. It’s relaxing, but spending hours in front of a screen dwindles your time to complete other tasks (and is terrible for your weight).

But if you pair your nightly TV time with something productive—like exercise or folding the laundry—you’ll fulfill your desire to watch the show and get things done at the same time. This partnering of activities you want to do with those you need to do is called temptation bundling.

It works like this: temptations (television) are only indulged at the same time as behaviors or tasks that need to be done (exercising or folding laundry). Associating necessary activities with a more pleasurable one helps essentials like household chores and physical fitness become more enticing.

This package deal is called a temptation bundle. And it can help you stop procrastination in its tracks.

Habit Stacking

This idea (also called habit chaining) relies on using old habits to support new ones. Daily actions that don’t require much effort (like established habits) can trigger the motivation to form new habits.

This concept relies on a phenomenon in the brain called synaptic pruning. Here’s how it works. Messages in your brain are carried across neurons via synapses. There are synaptic pathways all throughout your brain, but they are not all put to use. Some pathways are “pruned” or cut back, while others are used over and over.

Habits and routines are believed to mark the pathways you use frequently. That’s why it’s difficult to break old habits and create new synaptic pathways all at once. But this principle also allows new habits to “piggyback” on older, well-established ones.

Making small adjustments and adding new activities to your existing habit chain helps you take advantage of the previously developed synaptic pathways. Small incremental shifts in your daily routine allow for more manageable additions to stack on your brain’s well-established paths.

Soon, the struggle to begin a new routine is a thing of the past. Your brain is using its trusted synaptic pathways to support your growth and development.

Now imagine what habit stacking might look like in your daily life. Take drinking more water, for example.

Let’s say you have the habit of taking a 10-minute break each hour from your desk at work. You stand up, stretch, and use the restroom. If you want to work on staying hydrated, consider drinking a glass of water each time you head back to your desk. Adding a drink of water to your routine completes a new link to your chain of habits.

Pretty soon, drinking water regularly becomes second nature, just like your hourly leg stretch and walk around the office. Stacking new goals on top of existing habits supports their development and makes them easier to remember.

Here are some other examples of habit chaining:

  • Making a lunch for tomorrow as you put away leftovers from dinner tonight.
  • Adding flossing to your bedtime ritual after you brush your teeth and before you wash your face.
  • Hanging up your coat as soon as you walk in the house, then taking your shoes off and placing them in the closet, too.

Habit chains can be as long or as short as you need. After several weeks of practice, you may find your original chain has shaped a new routine of productivity. Put this motivational method to the test to achieve your goals.

Reinforce Your Motivation and GET. THINGS. DONE.

If there are goals you’re trying to meet or new habits you want to practice, know you have the tools to make it happen. You just need to put the science of self-motivation to work for you. Pull energy from whatever force motivates you (internal or external) and focus it on your goal. Draw on your willpower and put procrastination back in its place.

And if you need a little extra boost to see your motivation through to the end, implement temptation bundling or habit stacking. Make use of your powerful brain and the resources within you. They will support you and your dedication to achieving your goals.

It’s time to get motivated to do something great.

Many Thanks to Sydney Sprouse

Healthy Cove

Why Diffuse Essential Oils?

 

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At doTERRA we recommend using essential oils aromatically, topically, or internally depending on the properties in each individual oil. Nearly every oil and blend, with the exception of HD Clear® and Immortelle, can be diffused. Diffusing an oil helps us take advantage of its most noticeable characteristic—it’s scent. By learning more about how much of a role smell plays in our lives, the impact of essential oils can be understood on a deeper level.

The Power of Scent

Our sense of smell is one of our most powerful senses, and you have probably noticed in your own experience that some scents are more positively associated in our minds than others. Your body contains over 1,000 receptors for smell—more receptors than for any other sense. Dr. David K. Hill D.C., Founding Executive points out that even though our noses are not as acute as a bloodhound’s, “you can still detect thousands of varieties of odors in infinitesimal quantities.”

By putting essential oils directly into the air we breathe, we can influence the feeling of our environment, and, more powerfully, our own emotions. The doTERRA Emotional Aromatherapy® System contains six blends formulated to address specific emotions, but any oil can have this impact. We know that citrus oils, for example, are uplifting and energizing to your mood, while scents like Lavender or doTERRA Balance® are calming and grounding.

Other Uses and Benefits

While smell is a great tool, there are other reasons that diffusing essential oils can be beneficial to you:

  1. It can purify the air in your home. Juniper BerryLemonLimeMelaleuca (Tea Tree), and specific blends like Purify and doTERRA On Guard® are useful for this purpose.
  2. Some oils can help maintain feelings of clear breathing and open airways. For example, doTERRA Breathe®Douglas FirLavender, and Eucalyptus all have this ability, among other oils.
  3. To minimize the effects of seasonal threats. Specifically Arborvitae and doTERRA Breathe help here.
  4. Only a small amount of oil needs to be used if you’re using it in an ultrasonic diffuser. This means you can use one bottle of essential oil many times before you’ll need more.

How to Diffuse

The best way to diffuse is either nebulizing (cold air) or ultrasonic (water) diffusion. Heating oils to diffuse them can alter their delicate chemistry. Most of the diffusers doTERRA offers are ultrasonic diffusers, meaning that they use water to disperse the oil into the air.

To diffuse in an ultrasonic diffuser, put cool tap water to the fill line and add at least two drops or more to the water. Then, choose the time setting you desire and let it run. Diffusing in a nebulizing diffuser is waterless: take the cap and orifice off of your bottle of essential oil and attach it to the diffuser and choose your settings for time and amount at a time.

If you don’t have a diffuser, there are other ways to enjoy the benefits of diffusing. Try adding a few drops of essential oil to your palms and cup them over your nose while you inhale deeply. This is an easy technique especially when you’re on the go. Or, add some drops of oil to a glass spray-bottle with water and spritz around the room.

The combinations of essential oils you can diffuse are endless. And, like each of you, they are as unique as you would like them to be. Check out our post on creating blends to see what scents go well together, or follow us on FacebookPinterest, or Instagram for more ideas.

Healthy Cove

Make Over Your Mood

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Maintaining a positive mood and attitude can be very challenging at times. Life can get pretty stressful, especially when trying to multitask. Chances are you are familiar with managing several tasks at once. In today’s fast-paced environment, we often experience negative moods such as stress, discouragement, and fatigue. Just as being in a good mood gives you a sense of happiness and well-being, bad moods can also lead to negative feelings over time. When it comes to managing your mood, essential oils can help restore your emotional balance and improve your overall attitude in any situation.

Calm and Balance: Chill Out, It Will Be OK

WORRIED

  • Cedarwood: Diffuse after a stressful day to relax the mind and body.
  • Geranium: Diffuse aromatically to calm nerves.
  • doTERRA Serenity® Calming Blend: Diffuse to help promote relaxation and peace.

ANGRY

  • Arborvitae: Diffuse at night or rub on forehead, shoulders, or chest to lessen stress and tension.
  • Patchouli: Rub on temples or apply to the bottoms of feet to calm emotions.
  • Ylang Ylang: Put a few drops into Epsom salt bath for relaxation.

STRESSED

  • AromaTouch® Massage Blend: Add to bath or use with carrier oil for massage.
  • Frankincense: Apply to the bottoms of feet to relax and balance mood swings.
  • Roman Chamomile: Add 1–2 drops to herbal teas to soothe the body and mind.
  • Vetiver: Diffuse aromatically or use topically with other calming essential oils, such as Lavender, Serenity, or Balance, to better help calm stress.

RESTLESS/LACK OF CONCENTRATION

  • Rosemary: Diffuse aromatically or apply topically to help reduce tension, stress, and fatigue.
  • Lavender: Add to bath water to soak away stress.
  • doTERRA Balance® Grounding Blend: Apply to wrists or neck to help calm nerves.
  • InTune® Focus Blend: Apply to temples and back of neck to enhance concentration when feeling tired mid-afternoon.

NERVOUS

  • Clary Sage: Apply to feet or pulse points to balance hormones.
  • Bergamot: Diffuse in the classroom or at work
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Elevate and Energize: Lighten Up

TIRED/UNMOTIVATED

  • Grapefruit/Lemon/Lime: Rub underneath your nose to sharpen focus while studying or reading.
  • Citrus Bliss®: Diffuse aromatically or put one drop on your wrists and rub them together for an uplifting everyday perfume.
  • Peppermint: Apply to the palms of hands and deeply inhale for a quick pick-me-up.
  • Wild Orange: Energize the mind and body by placing two drops each of Wild Orange, Peppermint, and Frankincense in the palm of your hand. Rub palms together and inhale deeply. during high stress levels.

SAD/DISCOURAGED

  • Sandalwood: Apply to the neck at bedtime for a restful sleep, or use during meditation.
  • Elevation: Diffuse in the mornings to start the day with a positive, uplifted mood.

FEELING BLUE

  • Myrrh: Use aromatically to help promote awareness and uplift your mood.

Mood Boosting Diffuser Blend

RELAXING BLEND:

  • 3 drops Vetiver
  • 3 drops Lavender
  • 3 drops Sandalwood
  • 2 drops Ylang Ylang

HARMONIZING BLEND:

  • 3 drops Patchouli
  • 2 drops White Fir
  • 2 drops Lavender

VITALIZING BLEND:

  • 5 drops Frankincense
  • 5 drops Peppermint
  • 5 drops Wild Orange
  • 5 drops Lemon

TIP:

You can make topical blends by adding essential oils diluted with Fractionated Coconut Oil to a small roller bottle.

Questions – eastcoastlifesolutions@gmail.com

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