Veterans Experiencing Apathy: How Meditation Can Help You Motivate Yourself
Categories: Blog, Meditation and Military
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental illness many war veterans suffer from upon returning home from active duty. It is classified as an anxiety disorder and encompasses a wide array of symptoms. One of the common symptoms of PTSD is apathy, which is generally defined as a lack of caring and motivation. When you are experiencing apathy, you suddenly lose interest in the things that used to excite you; you no longer feel motivated to set goals and achieve them – in many cases, you assume your goals will not be met before you even make them – and you develop a “what’s the point?” type of attitude.
Having an apathetic attitude towards life is very dangerous for someone who is experiencing PTSD or any other form of anxiety and/or depression. If you are in a situation where you need to improve yourself and get help for yourself, but you lack the motivation to take the necessary steps, you are walking down a slippery slope. The longer you feel like your goals do not matter and are not worth achieving, the farther you push yourself back from ever reaching them. Struggling with apathy, however, is not hopeless. Through meditation, you can improve your state of mind and unleash the motivation you need to succeed.
How Meditation Increases Motivation and Eliminates Apathy
When researchers look for the causes of apathy, they turn to the limbic system. The limbic system is the region of your brain that has to do with the regulation of emotions, moods, and motivation. Although apathy is indicative of a lack of feeling or caring – the absence of emotion – it is still a mood, and like all other moods it can change. Scientists have discovered that meditation affects the limbic system and can make real, physical changes, to the structure of your brain. Many people assume that meditation is nothing more than sitting alone in a room with your eyes closed while literally doing nothing, but that couldn’t be further from the truth – meditation is actually an active process.
Studies have now confirmed that people who meditate experience many real benefits, and one of those benefits is a reduction in stress and anxiety, which apathy is related to. Another real benefit that comes with meditating is an increased feeling of compassion towards others. When you begin to feel your stress and anxiety melt away, and you start feeling more compassionate, you are moving away from apathy and towards motivation.
Note: Specifically, with regards to medical issues, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Web site.