It’s easy to be optimistic and hopeful when things are going well in your life. But it’s part of the deal that you will be confronted with difficult, dark times at some point. Everyone has periods in their life when they have to cope with the significant stresses of life. Relationships can break down; you might lose your job or have a serious illness. Bad things can happen without a moment’s notice. Things like war or economic crises are totally out of your control.
So how do you maintain some form of composure in the face of life stresses? You can still find hope, no matter how bad things might seem.
The first step in building hope is to accept what has happened. It’s a natural human instinct to try and find someone to blame or to feel that it’s somehow your fault. But chances are no one is to blame for your situation. And blame is not helpful. Nor is guilt. Guilt just makes you feel bad and can’t change a thing.
If you’re going to pick yourself up and keep going, you need to accept the situation you find yourself in. Then you can adapt and plan for the future.
- Reject Despair
You can choose how to react to your circumstances. Many people will choose to feel helpless or angry or bitter. And it’s ok to run through those emotions in your first reaction. But you can also decide to move on.
You can stay in despair if you really want to, but it won’t help anyone, and it won’t change a thing. If you stay stuck in feeling rejected or anxious or angry, all your energy will go into feeling bad. Your worst self-beliefs will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
It is better to accept the cards you’ve been dealt with and make the conscious choice to be optimistic and hopeful. Positive feelings will boost your energy and motivation and help you move out of that dark place and into better times.
- Be Kind to Everyone, Starting with You
Choosing to practice kindness can be one of the most healing things you can do for yourself and for others. When something terrible happens in your life, when you’re hurting, sad, and angry, you should make it a priority to be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for what you did or didn’t do. Cut yourself some slack and turn up the self-care.
Choose to be kind to everyone you meet, and you’ll notice that not only is kindness contagious, but it also makes everyone feel better.