SUGGESTIONS TO DEVELOP YOUR HOPE
Caregivers need powerful suggestions for developing and strengthening hope. Any of the previous suggestions will help. In addition there are a few other principles which are known to work well and could be recommended to the readers of this book because they might help those who feel hope is lost. So below are principles that need more attention. Making progress in these areas may change a caregiver’s life and future outlook.
Develop Meaning In Your Life - Do you often find yourself struggling to see any meaning or purpose in your day-to-day activities? Do you want to break out of bad habits but can’t find the desire to do so? Hope might seem like a vague word with perhaps little to no relevance in your life, but insofar as it means seeing the possibilities inherent to your life, it might just be the precursor for you to get out of the rut you are in. Follow the steps below to get on your way to seeing more possibilities in your life:
Realize You Need To Work On Your Attitude Every Day - Don’t expect to become more hopeful all of a sudden, as if there’s a switch you can simply turn on or off. Becoming hopeful requires you to work on your attitude every day. Take this process one day at a time and focus your attention on the aspects of your life that you actually have control over. (66)
Challenge Your Negative Thoughts Rather Than Ignore Them - To have real hope, it is important to work on your ability to deal with negative thoughts and stop letting them get the better of you. By learning to engage with difficult emotions when they arise, as opposed to ignoring them, you can begin to understand why you are having those feelings. Understanding your feelings will help you to deal with them in a constructive manner, rather than allow them to get the upper hand. (66)
Recognize You Need To Be Resilient In Challenging Situations - In order to cultivate a sense of hope, one needs to learn how to function in situations that cause distress and derail a valid sense of motivation. Research has found that learning to be more comfortable in threatening situations can actually reduce the risk for physical health problems and improve overall psychological functioning. (66)
Accept Your Situation – There is a pervasive and destructive misconception, that life should always be easy, and that any difficulties met, are a red flag of some sinister plot against us. If you could only learn to accept that the journey and the dream are inexplicably bound, and if you are to realize your purpose, one cannot be had without the other. You must come to realize that hopefulness comes through accepting and embracing both. (74)
Prepare for the Day Things Get Better – So many of us get discouraged and lose hope as a result. Although disappointments are natural, there is nothing natural about living a “less-than” life. Internalize this: The funny thing about change is; it happens in an instant. For days, week, years, things stay the same, and then one day they’re not. You won’t be down forever, so prepare for that day, now. Hopefulness is gained by knowing that this too shall pass, and by getting ready for the day that it does. (74)
Hope Brightens Our Charity for Others – A very respected and admired religious leader had the following to say about how hope braces our resolve and urges us to care for our patients in an extended and tender manner. Charity for others matters a lot:
“When disobedience, disappointment, and procrastination erode faith, hope is there to uphold our faith. When frustration and impatience challenge charity, hope braces our resolve and urges us to care for our fellowmen even without expectation of reward. The brighter our hope, the greater is our faith. The stronger our hope, the purer is our charity.” (73)
Final Thoughts About Hope - Never give up! Never give up hope! Never give up hope for achieving real happiness. Hope and happiness are enabling powers that allow individuals to have the courage to keep going, to look for better ways, to encourage others and to believe – believe in your self and in others. Hope is the safety cord that when pulled enables individuals to hang on when others feel hope is lost. Dare to believe that through your efforts and your hope, you can bring about any desired result you seek. Never, ever, give up hope! Never, ever, give up on yourself!