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what is hope
Why is hope so important?
How do I find hope?
These are the questions we are trying to answer in this article.
So let's begin.
If you are struggling right now, speak to an accredited and experienced therapist to help you find hope for the future. You might want to tryto speak to one about BetterHelp.comfor quality care in its most convenient form.
what is hope
Of all the thoughts and ideas a human being can have, hope is probably the closest thing to trust.
If you have hope, put your trust in thempotentialfor something positive to happen.
They trust that the right measures will lead to a positive resultmore likelythan taking the wrong action.
If you hope for a better future, trust yourself to make good decisions in life.
When you trust someone, you hope that they will act in a way that embodies that trust.
When you jump out of an airplane, you hope to land safely and you trust your parachute.
The very act of moving on and living your life is in itself a sign of hope. It's the confidence you have that when you go to bed at night you'll wake up to a new day full of possibilities.
which hope is not
Look in a dictionary and you will see definitions for hope that include words like desire, anticipation, and expectation.
But that's not really what hope is about.
The problem with craving, anticipation, and expectation is that when something isn't imminent, they can disappear, leaving a void for negative thoughts and feelings to invade.
Just think of a child opening their birthday presents. He desires, anticipates and expects something specific - for example a toy or a bicycle.
What does he do if that thing doesn't come? He gets upset. He's throwing a tantrum. He is not grateful for the gifts he received.
But hope is not tied to a specific outcome.
Hope does not depend on certainty. Hope is just believing that there is potential for something good.
That something good is not specific. It is merely the idea of a positive outcome.
As Desmond Tutu once said:
Hope is to see that despite all the darkness there is light.
The light is nothing special. The light is just something good - the potential for something good.
Why is hope so important?
Now that we know what hope is and isn't, why is it so important?
What are the reasons for having hope in life?
1. Hope is a healer.
We all face difficult times and we all get hurt. It's inevitable.
But hope helps us see that there are many positive opportunities ahead.
Hope whispers, "It gets better."
Hope puts the hurt and pain into perspective and reminds us that things are changing forever.
When we're at our lowest point, it's hope that lifts our heads and shows us a way back to something good.
Remember, hope is related to trust, and if your general feelings are negative, you must trust them to pass.
2. Hope shows us how to act.
Although hope is not tied to any specific outcome, it can still be a guiding force in our lives.
When we have hope, we are more likely to see the opportunities that come our way.
When we have hope, we are more likely to choose a path that leads to something positive.
When we have hope, we are more likely to act in a way that promotes a peaceful and joyful life.
Hope is a bit like an invisible compass, pointing us in the direction of something beneficial to our future.
3. Hope is a motivator.
Hope is a source of energy. It helps us see something better ahead of us and put one foot in front of the other to move forward.
When we look to the future with hope, we wake up in the morning ready to face the day.
We are more willing to work hard, make an effort, be willing to tackle andovercome the obstacles we face.
Hope keeps us going when we hit a brick wall. It reminds us why we are walking this path and the potential that something good can come of it.
Hope allows us to answer Y-E-S! when life asks if we have what it takes.
4. Hope breeds self-confidence.
Hope not only helps you believe that something better is coming, it gives you belief that you are the person who can make something better come true.
If we only wish for something to happen, we don't empower ourselves to trydoit happens.
But when we hope for something better, we tell ourselves that we have the power within us to change the direction of our journey.
William Faulkner summed it up well when he said:
You cannot swim to new horizons until you have the courage to lose sight of shore.
If all you want is new horizons, chances are you won't see them.
It's hope that gives us the confidence (or courage, as Faulkner put it) to hop on a boat, cast off from shore, and set sail, even if we don't yet know our destination.
5. Hope fights negative thoughts.
It's difficult to have negative thoughts and be hopeful at the same time.
Hope lets us see light at the end of the tunnel and that light acts as a challenge to all unwanted thoughts.
When you think, "I can't do this," hope reminds you of how capable you are.
When you think, "This is a disaster," hope reminds you that things will get better.
When you think, “I hate my life,” hope reminds you that the future is full of potential.
While hope cannot erase all negative thoughts immediately, the more we can nurture a sense of hope, the less likely these thoughts will appear in our minds.
6. Hope brings inner peace.
As with negative thoughts, hope can help alleviate negative feelings.
Hope is the opposite of despair.
While despair breeds self-loathing, inaction, and depression, hope breeds joy, enthusiasm, and a quiet contentment.
Even when a challenging situation persists, hope can transform our inner landscape into one less influenced by the outer environment.
7. Hope is contagious.
People want to feel hopeful. They really do.
They want to believe - into trust– that the future is bright.
That is why they are so willing and able to take on the hope of others.
Hope spreads quickly. When the possibility of a better future is proposed, people are willing to listen and believe.
And so the ultimate reason why hope is important is that the more hope we have, the more hope we will inspire in others.
How to find hope for the future
Now that we have hopefully convinced you of the importance of hope, let's turn our attention to some ways you can find it.
1. Realize your power.
Believe it or not, your every action affects things.
Every action drives you to a certain result.
This is your power.
It is up to you to harness this power in ways that benefit your life.
Learn to recognize cause and effect in your life and be aware of the choices you make.
2. Ask what positive action you can take.
Once you understand the power you have in life, it's time to ask yourself how you can influence things in a positive way.
Look for ways to take action that will increase the likelihood of a positive outcome.
NotexpectorDesireany particular outcome - remember these things are not hope.
Just try to act based on your values and you should be headed in the right direction.
3. Connect with people who have experienced similar circumstances.
Whatever you are going through that has taken your hope away, know that many other people have been there too.
Try to find and connect with these people and allow them to both support and guide you.
This can mean following personal blogs, finding online forums, or going to meetings in real life.
The key is finding a community - even if it's just sitting quietly and reading or listening to others.
It makes it easier to find hope again when you know you're not alone.
4. Lean on those closest to you.
You may be good at hiding your feelings from family and friends.
Or it could be written all over your face, body language, and actions.
Anyway, these are people who love you and care about you. They will want to help you rediscover hope.
They may not be able to offer you the knowledge or guidance that comes from the communities described above, but they can still give you plenty of time and energy to help you through this time in your life.
This support network can help you with the practicalities and emotional healing. As difficult as it may be to admit that you have problems, trust that they are there for you.
5. Talk to a professional.
Both the #3 communities and your #4 more personal support network will likely advise you to seek help from a psychologist.
Heed this advice.
A professional has the expertise and experience to help you address the very specific thoughts, feelings, and challenges in your life.
They can provide you with specific tools to change the way you think and find hope again.
As much as we want to say that this article is all you need, we know it's just the starting point of your journey.
A good place to get professional help is on the websiteBetterHelp.com– Here you can connect with a therapist by phone, video or instant message.
While you can try to work through this yourself, it may be a larger problem that self-help cannot solve. And if it's affecting your mental well-being, your relationships, or your life in general, it's an important matter that needs to be resolved.
Too many people try to muddle through and try their best to overcome problems they never really get a handle on. If at all possible in your situation, therapy is 100% the best way forward.
Here is that link againif you want to learn more about the serviceBetterHelp.comDeployment and the getting started process.
6. Work on your confidence and self-worth.
People often feel discouraged and hopeless when they look in the mirror and don't really like the person they're staring at.
Part of the process of bringing hope back into your life is liking who you are and seeing the value you have as a person.
Again, a professional will help you, but here's an article that might help you in the meantime:To increase your self-esteem over time, do these 10 little things on a regular basis
7. Don't expect answers to every question.
Remember that hope is a sign of confidence in the likelihood of a positive outcome.
But it cannot predict the future.
If you're struggling to find hope because you don't know how things will turn out or even the steps you need to take, don't worry.
You cannot know the answers to every question.
You just have to trust that something will happen and that something good will come of it.
Sometimes you know what to do, and sometimes you just have a feeling that something is right.
Walk with that feeling - it's your intuition that is strongly connected to hope.
8. Be a source of hope for others.
If you don't know where to find hope, look to those who need your help.
Even when you are struggling, you have the power to bring hope to other people by devoting your time and energy to meeting their needs.
This may mean helping with a community organization or showing kindness and generosity to friends, neighbors, or strangers.
You will find that a source of hope for others becomes a source of hope for you.
Make this something you do even after you've regained your hope.
9. Enjoy the little things that make life worth living.
When hope is lacking, life can seem drained of all its color and vibrancy.
But you can fight that feeling and find your hope again by recognizing the small things and brief moments of stillness in your life.
Showing gratitude for the positive things that already exist in your life makes it easier to trust in the potential for even better things.
If you find it difficult to think of such small things, read this post:The Simple Things in Life: A List of 50 Little Pleasures
To summarize things...
Hope is not only important, it is one of the most important things in life.
Hope keeps us going. It reminds us that bad times can't last. It spurs us on to greater things.
When you've lost hope, the challenges you face can seem insurmountable. That's why it's important that you try to find hope again - even if it's just a glimmer at first.
Talking to a professional should definitely be your first step, and we hope the other points above will help you along the way as well.
Hope is the thing with feathers that sits in the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops.– Emily Dickinson
weYes, reallyrecommend that you seek professional help from one of the therapistsBetterHelp.combecause professional therapy can be very effective in helping you discover hope where you don't see it now.
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