Lately I’ve been seeing a light at the end of the tunnel in a bunch of ways – I’m getting close to the end of my school semester, I’m getting closer to the end of my degree, and I have a little vacation coming up. I’m getting that “I can do this!” feeling, that “Push just a little bit longer!” feeling. I can’t deny, it is a nice feeling! And as I was thinking about that feeling I started thinking about the importance of hope, so I decided to do a little reading about hope.
I read about how hope is different from other positive emotions: “Most positive emotions arise when we feel safe and satiated. Hope is the exception. It comes into play when our circumstances are dire – things are not going well or at least there’s considerable uncertainty about how things will turn out….Hope literally opens us up…because deep within the core of hope is the belief that things can change.” This quote made me even more hopeful! That means even when things are at their worst, I don’t have to let the darkness around me get me down – I can choose hope instead! I knew that, but it still feels great to really think about it, doesn’t it? We always have the option to choose hope!
I read about how giving hope to others helps us have hope ourselves, like in this cool quote: “We have parts of our brain and nervous system linked to dopamine and oxytocin circuits that are activated when we give and serve, so when we give hope to others … we derive very deep pleasure–pleasure that is as strong as when we receive hope, ourselves.”
I even found out about the Project Hope Exchange – a website where you can give hope (by recording a 30 second message for others to listen to) or get hope (by listening to messages from others! It looks like a newer project, so go record a message about something you’ve overcome (and I’ll bet you find yourself feeling very hopeful – after all, when you’ve done it before you can do it again, right?!)
Finally, I found some suggestions for what to do if you need hope, including thinking about past obstacles overcome, reading and hearing stories that give you hope, spending time with others that give you hope, and envisioning your better future.
All of this made me very hopeful, and I hope it helped you feel hope too! But here’s the other thing I think it is important to remember – we aren’t going to always feel hopeful. Our feelings of hope do come and go – as a matter of fact, I felt great on Monday and Wednesday, but not so great on Tuesday! So, when that happens, don’t beat yourself up! Just remind yourself that you will be hopeful again and consider using some of the strategies above to help you choose hope.
If you’re having trouble finding hope or seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, it might help to have a partner on your journey. Give us a call at Life Skills Resource Group Orlando at 407-355-7378 to schedule a free phone consultation with one of our Orlando counselors! If you’re missing hope in your relationship, Orlando couples counseling or Orlando marriage counseling can help. Or if you’re missing hope for yourself, Orlando individual counseling or Orlando life coaching can help you get back on track and keep moving towards your better future!
With belief that you will get there, ~Krista Bringley