Parts of your Brain that Control Motivation
What does Motivation Mean?
Motivation is a buzzword many people use daily, but what does it mean? According to Merriam Webster, 1 a) the act or process of motivating, 1 b) the condition of being motivated 2 a) a motivating force, stimulus, or influence, incentive, or drive. Did you know there are many parts in the brain that affect and control motivation daily? Throughout this article, I will share the main parts, the type of motivation, and some tips to maximize it.
What are the five main parts of the brain that affect motivation?
The PFC (Prefrontal Cortex) is nearest the front of the frontal lobe, which occupies all three surfaces. The part of the brain crucial to motivation and decision-making is well-versed in anticipating rewards and evaluating outcomes from action to be taken. It gets input from several brain regions to process and adapt accordingly.
What are dopamine pathways in the brain and why do we need them?
The Dopamine pathways are located in our midbrain and are the main reward central for detecting and analyzing pleasing stimuli such as food, sex, emotion, and abuse of drugs. This system contains the VTA(ventral tegmental area), which regulates reward consumption, education, memory, and addiction-type behaviors through the controlled release of dopamine to downstream parts of the body. This process is known to be one that can have several root causes depending on the patient’s health, attitude, genes, etc.
What is the hypothalamus and where is it located?
The hypothalamus is located in the ventral brain above the pituitary gland and below the third ventricle and is the traffic cop for keeping your body in homeostasis. Using hormone regulation can control how your autonomic nervous system reacts. Science has shown that it is directly linked to controlling our hunger, thirst, and even sex drive.
What and where is the amygdala located?
The amygdala is located in the medial temporal lobe before the hippocampus and regulates emotional feelings. Did you know the word amygdala comes from the Greek word amygdala, meaning almond, which makes sense since it is an almond-shaped organ in the brain? This component controls emotions and memory; however, it has been considered for years to be involved with fear and other unpleasant stimuli.
What and where is the nucleus accumbens?
The nucleus accumbens is situated in the front cerebral hemisphere in the ventral forebrain. This organ is the unbiased party between motivation and action. The main force of this is to thrive on sexual, reward, stress-related, and drug-administering behaviors. Thus, it is involved in daily cognitive, emotional, and psychomotor functions.
What are motivation and learning?
Motivation is what propels or drives us forward to achieve a specific promise or action to get a result. Now, learning is the process of understanding something, adding it to the foundation we already have, and then often making different choices that are better the second time. Science has shown us many times that motivated people will generally remember more of what they are attempting to learn.
How does the brain process motivation so it will help us fulfill our promises?
The dopamine moves between neurons and receptors inside the synapses of our brain to enable signals to flow. The brain operates on these four premises, which are the cycle of need, drive, incentive, and promise achievement. The need is something someone lacks, and thus, if strong enough, will drive them to the first incentive and then the result or original promise. It is the dopamine that provides a strong feeling in the body to keep going.
Did you know there are two types of motivation?
One type of motivation is intrinsic, and this deals with things we want to achieve that are inside the body, such as autonomy, purpose, mastery, or doing something because of how it makes us feel. For example, you may want to learn a new skill because of the sense of accomplishment you feel once you have learned it.
Another type of motivation is extrinsic and fuels us because of something we want to gain externally, such as getting a good grade, earning money, helping others for praise, volunteering because it will shine on your resume, and visiting the same stores because of their loyalty programs.
How can motivation be affected besides internal or external rewards?
Motivation is not just based on internal or external rewards but also on a person’s genetics, past personality, and even past experiences. Did you know that motivation may be directly related to one's mental health and disorders, including but not limited to depression?
How do I fire up my motivation?
Now that we know how important motivation is to our happiness, health, and that of others, let’s talk about how to ignite your fire to do something. One easy way is to log or write your accomplishments with a pen/paper or electronically via computer or mobile device. Share your work and experience with others as it will re-excite you to do more and compel them to replace their current habits. Commit to exercise at least weekly or daily, such as walking, weights, bends, stretches, planks, etc. Realize that it is nice to be kind and helpful to others, but remember first to prioritize your well-being.
What else can I do to crank up my internal fire to get things done?
Start by setting small, achievable goals, celebrate each, including the milestones, and gradually set larger ones. Listen to your favorite music, make time for yourself, eat a balanced diet, fix your sleep schedule, and excite yourself to achieve.
Do you know the difference between a positive addiction and bad habits?
Did you know the bad habits you may have formed didn’t happen overnight? That’s right, you just got comfortable doing something, got comfortable with it, and it stuck. Some of these may include pulling up your socks constantly, overeating, and never wanting to say no to people. A good addition is eating a balanced diet, exercising, drinking water, getting up early, etc. The challenge with bad habits is they happen before you have a chance to notice or sometimes stop them.
How do you replace bad habits?
Realize it is a bad habit, and you want to replace it with another action. To build a new habit, commit to being conscious about an activity and focus on performing it daily until it becomes automatic.
What is brain neural plasticity?
Neural plasticity is the brain's ability to adapt, change, grow, and learn in response to the environment and current activities. Thus, our nervous system has the power to repair and modify its structure to enhance our performance.
What are the steps of Neuro Science of Motivation?
Neuro Science Motivation comprises six basic steps that must be achieved for it to function. First, there has to be a memory, next, there must be some form of pleasure or enjoyment received; attention must be focused on that activity while being in a great mood. Then our learning engine has the fuel to run and attach the new knowledge to our existing foundation so it can permanently stick and be remembered. Lastly, the stage that most people forget is there has to be sufficient sleep or the process will never be completed.
Did you know our Lips have the most Nerve Endings?
Thus, in closing, our brain is a powerful part of our body, and taking the time to understand how motivation affects it will increase the speed at which we achieve the promises we set for ourselves. Realize that our body sends messages through our nerves and at each end there is a gap or synapse that uses our natural chemicals to convert the digital signal to a chemical one and vice versa once it reaches the other neuron end. Did you know that our lips have more sensory nerve endings than any other body part which is why kissing has a dramatic sensory effect? I hope that you learned more about our brain and how to use it as a tool to get your body to push toward your passionate promises.
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