Hope is a powerful motivator that can guide us through even the darkest of times. It gives us the optimism and determination to keep moving forward despite whatever comes our way.
Hope is the desire for something to happen and our inspiration to make it come true. Vital to our happiness, hope acts as a catalyst to reduce our feelings of helplessness and despair. It opens us up to a more promising future by provoking us to think, feel, and behave in ways that trigger rewarding outcomes.
Hope enriches your well-being by:
Giving you a reason to wake up in the morning.
Reducing your level of stress and anxiety.
Improving your confidence and self-worth.
Creating a “can do” attitude.
Strengthening your mental outlook towards the present and future.
Opening your mind up to new possibilities.
Yet like most good things, hope can be fleeting. So, whenever your hope begins to wane, refer to these key strategies to keep it alive.
6 Key Strategies to Strengthen Hope
(1) Surround yourself with positive and supportive people.
Maintain a close circle of friends and family members that are optimistic, competent, and supportive of you. Encouraging people will lift your spirits, relieve your stress, and give you a different perspective on life.
(2) Engage in activities that make you happy.
Take time to pamper yourself by doing things that lift your spirit and nurture your soul. Be sure to choose those activities that are guaranteed to promote a happier, healthier lifestyle.
(3) Practice gratitude.
Take time to feel thankful for the many blessings you have and for the beauty around you. Appreciate even the smallest of things like watching a gorgeous sunset, hugging a friend, or spending time reading a good book.
(4) Value your strengths and achievements.
Acknowledge your accomplishments over the years and the sacrifices you have made to achieve them. Congratulate yourself on being a strong, capable individual who deserves the very best in life.
(5) Take care of your health and well-being.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key to your success. Be sure to get plenty of sleep, eat healthy food, exercise regularly, and practice some form of yoga or meditation.
(6) Execute a course of action.
Hopefulness is the gateway to something better but how you get there belongs to you. To move forward, explore your options and execute a course of action that will take you to where you want to be. Assume the best but back yourself up with a contingency plan for the unexpected.
To execute a viable course of action, establish a plan that includes these simple steps.
(1) assess your current situation, including what needs to be changed.
(2) determine where you would like to be in the future.
(3) map out how you ideally plan to get there.
As you move forward with your plan, monitor your progress and be willing to adjust as needed. Be flexible, realistic, and purposeful.
A better tomorrow is within your grasp when hope is your guiding force. So, take charge and be hopeful. It’s something you won’t regret.
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Written by: Patricia K. Flanigan, Smart Strategies for Successful Living
Patricia K. Flanigan has worked in higher education for over 28 years. She holds a doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne as well as a M.A. in Latin American Studies and B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Before retiring and moving to Idaho in 2015, she served as the dean of online education and learning resources at Saddleback College, a large community college in Southern California. She currently consults in higher education, volunteers for AARP, writes for a local magazine, and serves as an Affiliate Faculty member at Boise State University and a contributing member to LEARN Idaho. Since February 2017, she has been the founding director for Smart Strategies for Successful Living, a community-based website designed to promote quality aging. As an educator, her focus is to inspire others to live and age well.