Hope is the ability to see the light amidst darkness, a feeling of expectation, and desire that something goods await in the future. This emotion helps a man to keep going in his life, despite challenges and obstructions. It anchors a feeling of self-belief and faith that supersede all negativity. We all have different kinds of hope—some for ourselves, some for our family and friends, and some for life in general. Hope helps people to transcend forward in life, instead of being caged in doubt or cynicism. Being hopeful builds resilience, which is the ability to either recover quickly from events that are challenging or to be relatively unaffected by these events. If someone finds it difficult or even silly to feel optimistic or hopeful, it is important to know that being hopeful doesn’t necessarily mean thinking that everything will always be amazing or deluding oneself into thinking that everything will be fine. Hope is just a realistic expectation that something good will happen and that you will have some control over it. Inculcating HOPE starts with being able to authentically identify how you are feeling at a particular moment, identifying how you would rather be feeling and building or drawing on a paradigm to help you feel that way.
However, tough times question this “hope” for life, and most of us tend to feel weak and helpless. These tormenting times viciously force you to crumble your confidence and inculcate a sense of doom and despair. You might feel mighty and strong one day and can feel just as lost and scared the next—the hardest part of tough times is not to lose hope. You might feel trapped under miles of rock, with no light seeping through and no one at your rescue. It feels like a concoction of angst, fear, and apprehension which ultimately leads to deflation of dreams. But the beauty of life is- as long as you are breathing, you have a chance. Whether you think its God, the universe, or some alienated civilization casting a spell from outer space, there is hope for everyone!
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Ideas to reinstate HOPE
You may think that the predicament is perpetual, but it’s not. Things can be done, and actions can be taken when hope is lost. Here are some ideas
You aren’t alone
When life is overwhelmingly tormenting, and you feel like nothing can be worse than this, just take a moment and look around. You are not alone. It is typical of a person to feel forlorn and desolate, amidst any predicament of crisis. The world seems to shrink, and you feel like there is no sailor to anchor your ship; you are all by yourself. At times like this, keep reminding yourself that you are not alone. Neither are you so insignificant for the universe to let you go so easily? You are a part of something much bigger than you, which is way beyond human perception and cognizance. You matter and are a part of a brighter future, playing an indispensable role.
Speak to someone
With no hope, you will be drenched in misery and hopelessness. It is a vicious cycle of self-pity and shame, which ultimately has a detrimental impact on mental health. So it is very important to open up to someone and honestly accept as to how you feel and experience. By doing so, you will be giving these emotions, less power to contain your mind. You are empowering yourself that you, too, deserve to be loved and appreciated. Speaking to a confidant can make you feel lighter and boost your self-esteem. You will be speaking the truth, and thus hope prevails within!
Connect to the bigger picture.
You are a part of something much bigger and greater than you are even aware of. When the world is becoming smaller and smaller, and you’re feeling terminally unique, take a step back and value. Value your existence. Remember that you have the ability to connect to someone or something whenever you choose. The day you decide on your matter, things will change. The more you resist this, the more the feeling of hopelessness and despair amplify. So, you should disparage that sense of resistance and believe in yourself. Let hope permeate through confidence.
Resist Self-fulfilling prophecies
Your thoughts and beliefs have the ability to shape who you are as a person. How you think can influence what goals you set for yourself, what career you pursue, and even the friends you choose. Maybe you have huge potential to achieve greatness in life; your thoughts may have handicapped you into settling for something ordinary or mundane. So stop feeding your mind such false prophecies and notions which hold no water in the long run. Be confident of all your strengths, and try working on your weaknesses. Sitting and cribbing about your shortcomings won’t help in making your life any better. Know that you can do great things in life, and you will see rays of hope lighting up your life.
See Yourself as Worthy
Generally, people with helplessness struggle with poor self-esteem. You may not recognize the power you have in your own life. You see yourself as a fragile good for nothing person, who can achieve nothing in life. You question your own existence and feel worthy of nothing. So it is important to self introspect, diving deep into your inner consciousness, and seeing your positive characteristics. Dig deep, analyzing both minor and major traits. Make a list of things you are proud of, and go through the same whenever you start to doubt your worthiness.
Goal setting can be a powerful activity to overcome helplessness and start feeling hopeful about the future. The mere suggestion of planning your future can actually help you feel more in control. Also, make sure to set realistic goals for yourself. Planning to achieve everything in one day will be a foolish endeavor. It’s okay to take baby steps towards a better future. They all count. It is advisable to try the SMART goal strategy of setting goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. This can also abstain from being upset or disheartened in case the goal isn’t achieved as you will have a comprehensive analysis of your deviation from the set standard and can eventually bridge the gap of your performance.
This is one of the most important steps that can instill a ray of hope during the dark times of your life. If your goals are spread over long periods, you can easily become fatigued or bored. So it is necessary to develop small milestones that mark your progress. Then celebrate as you cross each milestone. It may also be punctuated with attractive rewards, which will motivate you to go further and get there. This may include a dinner with your family or family getaway. During vulnerable times, you need to be your own cheerleader and tap your own back every time you do good or achieve something.
Speak to yourself like a friend
Our minds have the capacity to speak negatively to us. Negative self-talk is known to deplete self-esteem and confidence and make you susceptible to judgment and feeling unworthy. By believing these thoughts, feelings of hopelessness become a permanent companion in your paradigm of thoughts. Imagine if you would talk to your best friend like this. Practice some compassion for yourself and remember you are not your mind or your thoughts. The more you attach your identity to your mind, the more you lose your innate power of achievement and victory.
Think about the present
Many of us tend to live in the future. We are constantly hounded by the thought of what’s next? It takes us away from the present moment. It leads us to live in the future and go after a mirage of satisfaction and relief, which is unattainable most of the time. By thinking only in terms of today, things are much simpler and easy to comprehend. This, in turn, makes life easier, and a softer way of living can be adopted, leading to a deeper sense of hope and faith. A morbid mind is vulnerable to uncertainties anyway. It institutes many conjectures and judgments about the future, which affect the state of mental health. Hence, it is important to live in the moment and be grateful for what you have today, rather than running after the future, ignoring the present.
Hope is lost when negativity overshadows happiness and positivity. So, when negative, stressful events do occur, be gentle to yourself. You might be susceptible to fall back into the old pattern of negative thinking. Instead, build a toolbox of positive habits that you can turn to instead. To perform self-care, try including activities like meditation, journaling, or taking warm bubble baths to your routine. It is also advisable to spend some time with nature, so as to imbibe the peace and tranquillity of the same. Adulting does not mean that you need to keep yourself at the end of your priority list.
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