It is deemed as one of the hardest sensations to harness and to get under control. When the circumstances are dictating that there is little enthusiasm to go around--our souls sink deeper into desolation and despondency.
Perhaps hope was always there as a light, but we need to work harder to find it when life becomes darker. Many would find this advice trite. This is because those who are entrenched in hopelessness don't see the point in bothering anymore.
We can understand this sentiment. But hope is also a decision.
"It’s always been a choice," wrote author Josh Daffern. "You are not a slave to your personality. You are not a victim of your circumstances. You have the Spirit of the God who created the Heavens and the earth." While there is a good chance that you are playing the victim, sometimes we are entitled to feel sad as life can hurt. If this continues to be a daily phenomenon, we need to go on a hope finding mission. Turn the page and wake up your hope today with the following insightful tips.
Think about your achievements.
Reflect on your blessings and what you have accomplished in life. If you are a good parent, if you rock at a sport or if you overcame poverty--celebrate this. Recondition your mind and change your perspective. Learn to change your mindset and recognize all those amazing things that you conquered in the past. If this doesn't work, try to think of 3 things that happened to you during the day that made you happy. It can be riding a bike or having coffee outside on a dreamy day. This will start a habit that will contribute more to your hope and to your joy.
Start setting goals.
Giving yourself a goal will re-inspire you and give you a sense of purpose. Setting goals encourages you to look forward to something and keeps the mind busy! "The simplest way to foster hope is to examine the goals that emerge from our desires and ambitions," Stanley J. Gross, Ed.D revealed on Psych Central. Make sure that these goals are concise and fun to reach. Taking action will also help you feel more in control over your life.
Deal with any loss.
When we lose something, this can automatically hinder hope. It needs to be dealt with head-on if we are going to get back on track. Allow yourself to lament. "By grieving, we acknowledge the loss as something that simply happened and opens ourselves to learning something from the experience and how to get on with our lives," Gross shared. This will take stamina to do, but soon you will be on the other side of gloom.
Get out of your own head.
There is nothing wrong with pondering life and examining ourselves. Yet, when we become too engrossed, it can make us depressed and feel hopeless. Change your focus by getting out of your head and staying in the present. Reminiscing on what worked and what did not work, will not bring you joy. All this will do is keep you in knots. Not only that, but you are really wasting your energy. Learn to meditate and to pray to feel more grounded.
Nature can really help you put things into perspective. Taking in the trees and getting fresh air can really make you feel better. There is a bigger picture for all of us and being in nature can help press the reset button as we recognize God's craftsmanship. Walking through nature could help you discern that hope was always there and could make your troubles appear less dramatic. "The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God." wrote Anne Frank.
Hang out with positive people.
If you need to refuel your hope, get around more positive people. We are very much affected by the people in our lives. If you are around anger, gossip and just miserable people, you will emulate these behaviors. Proverbs 13:20 shared the following about the company that we keep. "He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm." If you are finding that the people you are spending time with are more contaminating than energizing, you need to rethink the relationships.
Start trusting God.
You need to start trusting God more and lean more on His word. This will offer encouragement. Trust God to sustain you and to use your circumstances for good. The Bible said in 2 Corinthians 1:3-8, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." Our hope is in God where we can remain unshaken and unmoved when the storms of life work to unnerve us. Trust that there is a better plan for your life and that there is hope.
Start to worship.
Psalm 100 recorded that we "Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His spirits with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.” When we worship God we forget our own troubles and shift our thoughts to a higher purpose. This honors the Lord, but it also gets our minds off of ourselves. When you do this, God can move without you getting in the way because you want to control everything. Worship really can spark hope again, if you let all your cares go.
Without hope, we will lead a simplistic existence where we are just trying to survive. Challenge your hope today and invite it to come out of the dark and come into existence no matter what the circumstances may be.