Hope for Better Days
What do you do when it seems like everything is going wrong?
What can you do when it feels like you’ve got too much burden to bear and can’t go on?
How can you possibly cope when you’re experiencing profound grief?
Hope for better days ahead.
There are many benefits to fostering hope, whether you’re going through a difficult time right now, or not.
And it IS possible to foster hope, even if you’re in the midst of profound grief. In fact, that’s when you need hope the most. Sometimes it feels like that’s all that’s left. And it is powerful, and healing.
Hope fosters trust. Hope cultivates more meaningful and stronger relationships. Hope helps to assuage anxiety, despair, and grief.
Six Ways to Foster Hope
Here are some simple ways to foster hope:
- Remember that difficult times do not last forever. When you’re in the midst of a difficult time, it can feel like it will last forever. It is helpful and important to remember that tough times do not last forever. You can refer to your own difficult times that no longer exist as evidence. If you’d like more about this, you can refer to Chapter 21 Know That the Toughest Days will Pass in my book, FEELING Good. It may also be helpful to read books about how people have held on to hope in the darkest times. Just to name a few – Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand, and Into the Magic Shop by James Doty, MD.
- Visualize a positive future. Imagine it in full detail, including how you will feel. If you need any help with visualization, read Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain or read and do the Action Steps in Ch. 24 Use Your Imagination in the book, FEELING Good: 35 Proven Ways to Happiness, Even During Tough Times.
- Be Careful of Words You Use. Be mindful of your use of “extreme” words, such as “always,” “can’t,” and “never.” This kind of thinking and speaking does not help you move toward the future you would like to live. For example, statements such as, “Bad things always happen to me,” “Things are never going to get better,” and “I’m always going to feel this sad.” If you need any help with this, read the chapter “Be Impeccable with Your Word” in the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.
- Cultivate Positive Relationships and Support Network. We are affected emotionally by the people we spend time with. Psychologists call this “Emotional Contagion.” This is not to say that you should not spend time with people who are suffering who may need your help. Rather, this is about being mindful of spending time with people who are special to you, and who make you feel good, whether they are feeling down or not. If you need some help with this, read the chapters and follow the Action Steps in Ch. 2 Connect with People and Ch. 10, Surround Yourself with People who Make you Feel Good, in the book FEELING Good.
- Think about all you have overcome. It is helpful to remind yourself of all of the difficulties you have overcome in your life. You are the same person, and you have the same characteristics that got you through difficult times in the past. If you need help with this, read and do the Action Steps in Ch. 32 Focus on How Far You’ve Come in the book FEELING Good.
- Bring Hope to Others. When we give to others, this helps to foster hope and other positive feelings within ourselves. If you are going through a difficult time, giving to others in a simple way can be one way to help foster hope and feel better. If you’d like to learn more, read Ch. 12 Give to Others and follow the Action Steps in the book FEELING Good.
Read more from Dr. DeLong on Open to Hope: https://www.opentohope.com/75654-2/
Check of Dr. DeLong’s book, FEELING Good: 35 Proven Ways to Happiness, Even During Tough Times