(STATEPOINT) – With seemingly constant negative news reports telling of school shootings, suicides and more, you may feel like there is little to feel hopeful about these days, but experts say that having hope can be a powerful tool in good times and bad.
“Whether you’ve lost a job or a loved one, or you’re experiencing general feelings of despair, hope can give you strength and renew your potential and purpose,” says Dr. Rosalind Tompkins, founder of the National Month of Hope. “Finding hope in everyday challenges is the first step to creating a solution.”
To help you find hope in your life, as well as spread hope to others, Dr. Tompkins, a recognized “Hopeologist” and life coach offers the following advice.
• Take a Hope Break. Schedule five minute “hope breaks” into your normal routine. Find a quiet place, take five to 10 deep breaths and think about good things happening, instead of the worst-case scenario. Make an affirmation and speak it out loud. Repeat as often as needed.
• Take Action. Set goals and move forward, focusing on results. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your progress.
• Volunteer. Spread hope to your community by giving time, food and money to those in need. Whether you clean up a local park, read to children in schools or volunteer in a food pantry, you’ll be spreading hope to those who need it, which can help you feel more hopeful too.
• Have a Chat. Is there someone in your life who needs hope? Prepare yourself for a conversation with that person by turning on your own belief that things can get better. Start the conversation with something like, “I care about you and wanted to check in with you to see how things are going.” Ask them to share what they are going through and be prepared to listen. Let them know that you are there for them and reinforce feelings of hope.
• Get Involved. In the spirit of spreading positivity, Dr. Tompkins has a goal of seeing 10,000 “Hope Connections” take place throughout the year. After talking about hope with a loved one, you can share your story by joining the conversation online using #HopeChallenge. To learn more about the movement to make 2018 the Year of Hope, visit makeahopeconnection.com.
While despairing often comes naturally in times of personal and public crisis, consider empowering yourself to move forward by adopting a hopeful attitude.