Hope is something that we all wish to have, yet very few of us are able to maintain long-term. It’s only human nature to hope that things will be better in the future, even if they’re less than ideal right now. But did you know that hope actually has healing qualities? Let’s go over five ways that hope can heal you physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

1 – It Can Improve Your Mood

In a study published in the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research in 2018, researchers were looking for a link between being optimistic or hopeful and a patient’s mood. They recruited 38 people suffering from diabetes mellitus, a condition that can produce chronic pain and depression.

Patients underwent a type of therapy, hope therapy, that focused on a patient’s strengths and good qualities rather than their weaknesses. By the end of the study, scientists learned that the presence of hope resulted in a greater overall mood and a lower risk of severe depression.

2 – It Can Reduce Physical Pain

In a study formally published in the Journal of Palliative Care in 2013, scientists studied 78 individuals who were being treated for a cancer diagnosis. They were looking to see if there was a connection between levels of hope in cancer patients and the physical pain that they experienced post-diagnosis.

The researchers in this study ultimately determined that more research would have to be done in this particular area of science. However, they did note that those with higher levels of hope experienced reduced physical pain intensity.

3 – It Can Limit Anxiety

In research released within BMC Research Notes in 2011, 50 people undergoing cancer treatment were recruited by scientists. The study was centered around the idea that there was a possible link between hope or optimism and anxiety or depression.

What the researchers found wasn’t surprising in any sense, but it did show the importance of having hope for the purpose of mental health. The researchers discovered that those with higher levels of hope and optimism were less likely to experience anxiety in serious situations (like a cancer diagnosis).

4 – It Can Help You Cope With Stress

Stress can be absolutely debilitating in both a mental and physical sense. Not only will you experience sleepless nights and an inability to control your mood, but there’s also a greater chance you’ll experience gastrointestinal issues and a weakened immune system.

With hope, you’ll be able to identify negative events in your life and see the positives in every situation. Instead of letting the stress hold you back physically and mentally, you’re allowing the hope to bring you forward toward the future.

5 – It Can Relax You

There’s so much going on in life that it’s easy to let the stress, anxiety, and depression bring you down. You’re unsure of what’ll happen in the future and it terrifies you that you don’t have much control in the specific situation. By having hope, you have trust that things will get better on their own. This allows you to focus on the things in life that truly need to be focused on and let the universe take the wheel for the rest. This can be quite the sigh of relief and takes a little bit of responsibility off of your hands.

Final Thoughts

Telling somebody to simply “have hope” is a suggestion that’s much easier said than done. Developing hope means reaching into your soul and relinquishing responsibility for things that are out of your control. It might take some time to truly develop hope, but it’ll be life-changing when that day finally arrives.