Hope: Why it matters (now more than ever)

What exactly is hope?

Depending on who your are talking to, the concept of hope might be different. When individuals talk about hope in a spiritual setting, they may be referring to the belief that good things will happen as a result of their trust in a higher force. They might pray and aim their hopes outward.

Others may see this as constantly looking on the bright side of things and viewing obstacles as opportunities. To put it another way, you’re always “hoping for the best.”

According to Merriam-definition, Webster’s “hope” is similar to “wish”: “to nurture a desire with eagerness: to want for something to occur or be true.”

Whatever the specifics, hope entails a strong wish for things to improve and a strong yearning for that better condition. So why is it so important? Let’s find out.

1: Hope implies that something better is coming

According to C.R. Snyder, a renowned hope researcher, hope indicates the potential of a better future. It appears at the worst possible time, when things are dreadful and tough, yet it may help us get through them. If we can glimpse a sliver of optimism amid a tough situation, hope “opens us up,” according to Barbara Fredrickson, a positive psychology researcher. And point us in the direction of something greater.

Hope isn’t just a wishful thinking exercise; it’s a proactive approach to life that emerges when there’s something we desire and a definite objective in sight. And, despite the difficulties, we’ll devise a strategy to move us closer to our goal.

2: Hope helps us manage our stress

Hope, according to research, can help us manage stress and anxiety as well as cope with misfortune. It adds to our happiness and well-being and encourages us to take constructive action. People that are optimistic feel that they can influence their aims and that their efforts will have a favorable outcome. They’re also more likely to make healthy choices like eating healthier, exercising, and doing other things that will help them get closer to their goals. Then additional good feelings develop, such as bravery and self-efficacy (self-efficacy), as well as happiness. They become our coping mechanism, the feelings that assist us in surviving. They enable us to see things from a different perspective, to be more creative in our problem-solving, and to think beyond the box.

3: Hope acts as a shield for us

Hope may be a particularly effective shield against the fear of a chronic or terminal illness. It doesn’t have to be about a cure to be beneficial, but those goals are appealing. Rather, even when faced with a terminal disease, a person’s optimism might be directed toward finding joy or consolation. Hope can provide a way for us to absorb circumstances that appear to be insurmountable.

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