The ability to feel hopeful is so important! Many people fail to realize the importance of hope. Besides helping you feel better when times are tough, feeling hopeful will increase the chances of things working out for you.
In this article, I will explain what hope is and isn’t and why it is important.
I’ll cover the benefits of hope and how to know when you’re feeling hopeful (and when you aren’t). You will get a clear understanding of the importance of hope. I’ll finish with some practical tips and strategies to help you become more hopeful as a person.
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What is Hope?
If you watch or read the news regularly, you often hear about crimes, disasters, failures of governments, health systems, banks or companies. All this can create a feeling that you have no control over your life, that there is no hope.
Hope is wanting a goal or an outcome that will improve your life and make it better. It’s about being optimistic, looking on the bright side and seeing challenges as opportunities. It’s hoping for the best and having a desire for things to change for the better.
Hope is also believing in something that you cannot see yet. Or as Napoleon Hill says, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve”. In a spiritual context, it is believing that good things will happen to you through faith in a higher power.
What Hope Isn’t?
Hope can sometimes get a bad rap because some people misunderstand what hope really is. To help you with that, I will explain what hope isn’t.
Hope isn’t being so positive that you ignore potential danger. Let’s say you get a pain in your body, maybe a chest pain, and you hope or believe that it will heal by itself. As a result, you don’t bother seeing a doctor. However, what if it doesn’t heal and you don’t get the medical treatment you need? You could end up potentially much worse off with devastating consequences.
Hope is not traveling to a part of the world that requires vaccinations with the belief that “Nothing bad will happen to me”, so I won’t bother getting vaccinated”. That’s not hope. That’s taking an unnecessary risk!
Hope is not running a marathon with little or no training because you believe you will be absolutely fine. Sometimes your level of confidence can be higher than your level of competence. Having hope in that situation is not helpful. That kind of hope is blind or false hope.
Why is Hope Important?
Hope will help you get through a tough time and make it much more bearable. It will help you improve your future by thinking, feeling and imagining the life you want. It will motivate and inspire you to take action.
Having hope is of crucial importance for your future. Hope helps you identify how you want your life to become. Hope encourages you to stay focused on what you want.
You also need hope to set realistic goals. Without hope, you either don’t set goals. Or set goals that are very easy to achieve or extremely challenging. With a good level of hope, you are more likely to set realistic goals.
Martin Seligman says that “hope reduces stress and the feeling of helplessness, boosts happiness and improves the quality of your life”. Well known psychologist Shane Lopez was quoted as saying “hope has the power to make bad times temporary”.
Benefits of Hope.
The benefits of hope include:
- Being more positive.
- Better health and an improved immune system.
- Better emotional control.
- Less stress and anxiety. Anxiety comes when you negatively imagine your future. Feeling hopeful creates positive thoughts and images about the future. This naturally lowers stress and anxiety.
- Higher levels of self-esteem and self-worth.
- Better social life and relationships because you are more fun to be with.
- Healing quicker from injuries because of higher levels of dopamine, endorphins, and other neurochemicals that help the healing process and also give you more energy.
- Being more creative, productive, and better at your work.
Now that you can see the importance of having hope in your life. Let’s see if you are already hopeful.
How to Know if You Are Hopeful?
When you are hopeful,
- You believe in the present and have fewer regrets about the past or worries about the future.
- You are more creative, and better at solving problems.
- You have a positive view of your problems and challenges, and your ability to deal with them.
- You appreciate yourself and others more, and you are grateful for the things you already have.
- You are willing to try new things and find out what works for you and what doesn’t.
- You see failure as feedback and as a learning opportunity, a chance to do something different and change your approach.
How to Be More Hopeful?
Now that you know the importance of hope, here are some ways to help you become more hopeful.
1. Do something that excites you.
For me, getting out in nature and exploring new walks is always exciting. It also gives me a sense of perspective on things. Find out what excites you and do more of it.
2. Surround yourself with hopeful people.
When you surround yourself with hopeful, positive people, it will rub off on you and you’ll learn what they do to be more hopeful.
3. Remember times when things went well.
There were certainly times in your life when you achieved something amazing, something that you didn’t hope or believe you could. Notice those times.
What are they for you? Perhaps it was getting a certain job, maybe your first job. Perhaps it was a change of career or finding your soulmate and getting married.
There are lots of things you achieved in life. Go back and look at them. It will help you feel more hopeful about your current challenges and the future.
4. Set goals and create a plan.
The act of setting goals and creating a plan will increase your level of hope because you are doing something about it.
The great thing about having a plan is that you can measure your progress and tick things off as they are done. This will boost your hope. It’s almost like a compounding effect – as you achieve more things, your level of hope increases.
5. Have a gratitude list.
List everything that you’re grateful for. List what is going well in your life. If you don’t know how to start, my article on gratitude will help you.
6. Keep taking action and be patient.
Be persistent and don’t give up. Have the patience to see things through to their logical conclusion.
7. Research other people that have overcome similar adversities.
Some people have already overcome the challenges you are experiencing right now. See how they developed their hope, and what they did to improve their life.
Seeing other people already achieving what you want to achieve will dramatically increase your level of hope. You may also learn some actionable steps that you can do to change your life situation.
I hope you found this article on the importance of hope useful, helpful, motivating, and inspiring. Don’t underestimate the importance of hope. It could be key to changing your life for the better.
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