Hope is an essential part of the human experience. Without it, we can lose drive, a sense of security and even our imagination. To have hope for the future means we can rely on our ability to continue living in a way that’s pleasing. Even if that means adjusting to a new reality.
What Exactly Does Having Hope Mean?
Hope stems from a certain form of optimism. By expecting a positive outcome, hope can create a sense of confidence. Hope often helps us to anticipate a future with joy while staving off feelings of depression.
We can have hope in a probable or improbable outcome. Hoping to become a famous film director by producing home movies may not be likely. Hoping to get over the flu before the end of the week, may be entirely plausible. Interestingly enough, the expectation of something positive can create happiness even if the final outcome does not turn out as planned.
Common Characteristics of Hopeful People Include:
- High self esteem
- Low levels of anxiety
- A positive outlook on multiple areas of life
The Correlation Between Hope and Health
Some studies suggest that hope can positively influence the outcome of physical health issues. By using determination to achieve goals that are perceived as realistic, the brain can create new pathways to overcome obstacles.
Hope often leads to motivation. By improving a current situation, the future is more likely to have a positive outcome. In turn, this can lead to more hope for the future that promotes a positive cycle of mental well-being.
Since having hope can decrease anxiety, many health issues associated with stress can effectively decrease with time. The immune system, sense of control, social life and even the time it takes for certain injuries to heal can all benefit from a hopeful attitude.
How To Be Hopeful
Most people are wired with a sense of desire. When trying to attain it, hope is part of the process. While hope may be second nature to many, there are both environmental and biological reasons that hope can dwindle.
While depression, life circumstances and advanced age can all impact mental and physical energy levels, there are still ways to feel hopeful.
Setting realistic goals is crucial. When certain situations seem overwhelming, breaking them into smaller chunks can help you set realistic goals. Setting a deadline can help people chart their progress and remember it for when they may feel overwhelmed again in the future.
Focusing on a positive outcome is also a common tactic. By visualizing a desired outcome, the brain can make subconscious steps toward making it come true. This can be achieved through active meditation or just by imagining it on a regular basis.
Having hope for the future often means letting go of certain aspects of the past. Ruminating or dreading an outcome that has not happened, will usually lead to depression or anxiety. To anticipate a positive outcome, realistic goals often prove helpful.
Right now, is the absolute best time to take advantage of all that hope has to offer. Amidst all the turmoil of the pandemic, there is so much fear, uncertainty, suffering and pain. Hope can heal all of these issues. Hope can help your outlook and it can heal you from within, including greatly improving your mental and emotional health.
Humans are social creatures that depend on one another for specific emotional needs. Since hope can be fused by multiple human needs, interacting with others, setting goals, and focusing on the positives can create a healthy sense of optimism.
Let hope be your healer!