How To Stay Hopeful

We recently lost a family friend suddenly, and it was hard to see his remaining family members going through their early grieving process.  It reminded me of when I lost my father many years ago in an equally sudden fashion, and I thought of some of the ways I had coped with the loss at the time.

I also recently attended a loved one’s wedding, and it was the first time I had been to a funeral and wedding within such a short time.  It got me thinking about hopefulness in the face of darkness and the resilience of the human spirit.

How to Stay Hopeful

What is a Hopeful Mindset?

We often define hope as our vision for the future fueled by positive feelings and inspired actions.

Positive feelings are those that help us to stay hopeful as we work towards our goals and dreams in life.

How Can I Stay Hopeful?

From simply going for a walk with a friend to being thankful for the smaller things we often take for granted, there are many things we can try to stay hopeful during difficult times.

Hope can mean something different for everyone. It can be anything from lifting our mood, to giving ourselves something to focus on, or something to look forward to in the future. It doesn’t have to mean that you feel like everything is going to be wonderful right away, but it’s about building belief in ourselves that things can improve.

When we find it difficult to be hopeful, remember that hope is something that we can practice and build upon little by little.  No matter how small we start, allowing ourselves to linger on positive and hopeful moments every day can help us start to feel more resilient.

When I don’t feel hopeful, I try going to my happy place. For me lately, that’s hiking in nature, especially the freedom and control it gives me. I can get out with no distractions and walk, jog, or run at whatever pace I want, where I want, and I can change how far I go as I see fit. Just having that control really helps me.  Just getting outside itself can make a big difference instead of being inside where we can sometimes start to feel overwhelmed.

Try doing a breathing exercise. Taking a minute to slow down and focus on our breathing can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. We can practice this technique anywhere. Start by breathing in for a few seconds, holding a breath for several seconds more, then slowly breathing out.

Take the time to appreciate life all around us. When we feel stressed or overwhelmed, it can be hard to slow down and recognize the positive moments in our day. When something good happens, try to give yourself the time to enjoy the moment.

You can start by doing this with something small like a cup of your favourite tea. Try to find a quiet moment where you don’t have to rush. Take small, slow sips, reminding yourself to notice and appreciate every mouthful. Savouring these positive moments can help us to stay in the present moment longer. It can help create strong memories we can return to when we need them.

Challenge your negative beliefs. Sometimes we think negative things about ourselves without questioning those thoughts. Take a step back and ask yourself why do you think you believe these thoughts about yourself? Is there another, more positive way I could look at the situation?

Practice Gratitude

Like hope, gratitude is something that we may need to practice and build into our everyday lives. There are a lot of different ways we can reflect on the things we’re grateful for, whether big or small, to help us feel more positive.

We could try keeping a gratitude journal. It can be useful to write down the things we’re grateful for. This can help give us the opportunity to be more mindful of how we’re truly feeling and help improve our optimism. By writing things down, we can also return to them if we ever need a reminder.

Final Thoughts

Remember there’s nothing too small we can feel thankful for, and we can start with just a few things.

Try starting or ending your day thinking of a few things to feel grateful for. Picture these things in your mind and focus on how you’re feeling for a few moments.  Thanks for reading, I’m wishing the best for you.

Sources and Further Reading:

How to Stay Optimistic

Why Positive Thinking Is Important

How to Look Forward in Life

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