This Daily Habit Can Cultivate Hope (When We Need It Most) + How To Do It Right

This Daily Habit Can Cultivate Hope (When We Need It Most) + How To Do It Right

I hope you can find hope.

Life without hope is very difficult; I know.

Unfortunately I’ve lived way too many years and days feeling hopeless and helpless and at the risk of stating the obvious, it’s not fun.

But the good news is that hope is possible; it can be fostered and developed and as it is, it can bring multiple benefits.

So if that’s something in which you’re interested, check out this Mind Body Green article by Jeffrey Davis …

Hope is a reaction spurred by unexpected experiences of wonder that occur amid extreme difficulties and crises. Specifically, hope as a facet of wonder can arise from a surprising moment or sign that lets you see a glimmer (sometimes algae-sized) of possibility toward an otherwise uncertain or dark future. The psychologist and renowned hope researcher C.R. Snyder offers a metaphor. Snyder, who developed the Adult Hope Scale, a model that measures an adult’s level of hope, stated, “A rainbow is a prism that sends shards of multicolored light in various directions. It lifts our spirits and makes us think of what is possible. Hope is the same—a personal rainbow of the mind.” It’s a telling metaphor because the rainbow has been the central study of wonder for centuries among theologians, philosophers, and scientists. Hope is the rainbow facet of wonder.

The science-backed benefits of hope.

Both bewilderment and hope as facets of wonder can build fortitude and resilience. Hope, as we will discover, is more than just an optimistic state of mind; it is an action-oriented vision. If we can still track wonder while we face grief, adversity, illness, and other critical setbacks, hope will allow us to find purpose and creativity no matter what the circumstance.

It turns out that there is a science of hope that has led to many therapeutic practices. Recent research correlates hope with higher academic and athletic performance, higher levels of physical and psychological well-beingimproved self-esteem, and enhanced interpersonal relationships. Shane Lopez, Ph.D., a former student of Snyder, said, “Hope is the belief that the future will be better than the present and the belief that you will be able to make it so.” In his formulation, to truly access hope, you must have optimism, a sense of personal agency, and plans for how you will act. He found that people who measured high on scales of hopeful attitudes were much more productive. “Hope for the future,” he wrote, “pays off today.”

People who track hope have commonalities. For one, hopeful people set their sights on future goals, however close or far away. Lopez’s research shows that they define and pursue two to three goals doggedly. Even if you think yourself goal averse, consider how this simple act could shift your experience. Setting and taking small steps toward two to three goals provides meaning and purpose under otherwise distressing crises or setbacks.

Hopeful people also tend to interpret adverse events more as challenges than as threats. Hoping, Lopez emphasized, is notably different from wishing. With a wish, the energy behind the thought is more like a magic spell. You don’t connect your actions to the desired outcome, which can disempower you. Think of it this way, metaphorically. You’re stranded in the middle of an ocean. If you rely only on wishful thinking and optimism, you simply say to yourself, “Everything is going to work out fine. Everything is going to work fine.”

Hope, on the other hand, helps you forecast how to get from the middle of the ocean to a safe shore and to take small actions accordingly. Like the people I work with who expect some things to go wrong, hopeful people believe they can overcome those obstacles because they know they can be flexible and find a new route. As the 17th-century philosopher Baruch Spinoza understood, both fear and hope are responses to an uncertain future. He wrote, “There is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled with hope.” Fear and hope can spur each other when you are in danger, as they did van Schyndel in the sea storm…

… keep reading the full & original article, with tips on how to cultivate more hope – HERE