What is HOPE?
Hope, harmony and happiness allows belief, creates desire, eager anticipation and gives relief. Hope is an optimistic attitude based on an expectation that one will progress toward positive outcomes related to one’s input, circumstances, and one’s environment. Hope provides one with confidence and motivation. If one is alive, one can attain HOPE.
The presence of HOPE, or the lack of it, can have an impact many aspects of life such as one’s health and well-being, education, employment, and interpersonal interactions.
Psychologist Charles R. Snyder suggests that there are three main instruments that are the foundation of hopeful thinking:
- Have a goals-oriented life.
- The ability to envision pathways toward achieving such goals.
- Possess a belief that one can instigate change toward achieving such goals.
In summary, HOPE is the capability or awareness to formulate pathways to one’s desired goals, and to self-motivate via agency or choice toward such goals.
Hope has the ability to cure everything.
“There is never a problem so big that it defeats and holds hostage the sunrise of the next day” ― C. Neil Linton
A life of harmony, balance and spirituality?
Harmony is a condition that occurs when all parts of one’s life are balanced, both internally and externally.
Everything in the universe is interconnected and inseparable. From this perspective, our health, well-being and happiness are dependent on a holistic interconnection with everything one does within one’s environment. One’s health and well-being isn’t as simple as having a doctor or naturalist treat the symptoms of disease with medications and potions ( both pharmaceutical or herbal ), but rather, it is having a holistic approach to being able to fully digest, absorb, and extract what is nourishing and also being able to expel or eliminate that which is not. Nourishment not only pertains to food and drink, but all life experiences to include, but not limited to, one’s interpersonal relationships, employment, social activities and what we do within our environment.
Illness is a manifestation of a disruption in one’s balance. Symptoms and sickness are feedback from your body that indicates that one needs to reassess and restore that balance.
One of the many feedback mechanisms of the body is the presence of stress. Stress is a fact of life; however, stress does not have to dominate one’s life. Stress is an effective feedback mechanism, an indicator that one is either relatively prepared for potential or current stress ( low-stress levels ) or under-prepared for stress ( higher stress levels ). Self and environmental awareness can help avoid or prepare one for potentially high-stress situations if one has created a prevention plan in advance.
One of the clearest signs that you may be overstressed, or mentally or physically drained is that you feel overwhelmed, that things seem pointless or meaningless. Being overstressed can quickly sap your energy, cause anxiety, panic, or potentially lead to depression.
Sometimes life can seem as if it is permanently fixed to a merry-go-round-like routine of busy, endless tasks that lack direction, meaning or purpose. If this is you, then stop and take the time to reflect. Losing your vision or purpose for life is unproductive, in a spiritual sense. The disconnection with one’s vision or life purpose is a self-destructive behaviour, a habit that one can control and change. Reconnecting with a higher purpose or connecting for the first time for some, can be an exhilarating transformative experience that can boost your energy, vitality and zeal for life.
It’s time to reset priorities
If one lacks balance, then it may be the time to reset one’s priorities. The best way to accomplish balance is through spiritual discovery. Spirituality is a broad concept and is tolerant of many perspectives. Generally speaking, spirituality means a connection to something much bigger than the sum of one or more experiences by one or more individuals. It is an ongoing pursuit of the meaning of one’s life and the personal interconnectedness with all things in the universe.
Some define spirituality with an association with a church, temple, mosque, or synagogue. Others have a relationship and connect in varies ways to a higher power while others seek meaning through a connection with nature. Like one’s sense of purpose, one’s definition of what spirituality is may change throughout one’s life, adapting to the changes in one’s life and their environment.
Spirituality should not scare one off, as being spiritual is a universal human experience with no end, but rather a continual adapting journey from birth to one’s physical death.
One’s life should be so much more than trying to impress or live up to other’s expectations. If you want to bring the most happiness to your life and the world around you, then you must have a vision, a purpose, set goals, prioritise and become aware. The most important concept to understand is that you have to make time to accomplish these things, or you will find yourself in five years, ten years, or twenty years from now on that same merry-go-round-like routine of busy, endless tasks that lack direction, meaning or purpose.
Find your passion, live your passion
Finding balance toward being fulfilled means that one needs to connect to one’s passion and focus all energy toward that passion. Write down ten specific times in your life that gave you the greatest happiness or joy. Once you have written them down, analyse each event to find what caused that happiness or joy, then look at the other events to find a connection or grouping of emotions or actions related to that happiness or joy. These activities with their associated positive emotions are what trigger happiness and are your passion. Finding what you love to do, in an environment that sustains that action, that causes positive emotions is how one creates happiness and is the road toward contentment and a life of fulfilment.
What does it mean to be happy?
Human beings experience a range of emotions triggered by various stimuli within one’s environment. Happiness is the mental or emotional state that will reflect an experience of intense joy, pleasure, contentment, or positive well-being. If one were happy, one would hold the belief that life is good, meaningful, worthwhile, and would also be satisfied with the quality or standard of his or her performance and existence.
Happiness can be created, no matter how many obstacles one believes may be at play or against them, including one’s mental health. It’s a shift in mindset that needs to occur. If you live a life, thus far, with sadness, it may not be your fault. However, if you live the rest of your life in sadness, then that will be your fault. You have the power to create positive change, maybe not each day, but some days or some weeks. We all face adversity in some form or another ( our winter ), but spring always follows. Wait for it, then during that season of rebirth, do what it takes to find a pathway to healing. Find ways to sustain positive change and make a difference in your life.
There will be challenging days ahead, but not every day needs to be one of adversity. The good days will provide a well-needed break allowing an opportunity to build strength and prepare a strategy to face the inevitable coming winter/s. Eventually, and with practice, the winters that follow will become less and less of a demoralising weight.
A simple strategy to gain more happiness and create a positive attitude for life.
A proven and successful strategy in creating increased happiness is to focus on consistent gratitude. The truth is, the less happy you are, the more dramatically successful this strategy will be. Recognition of the diverse beauty around us and deliberately giving gratitude for these miracles is uplifting and will be universally infectious.
Create a daily Gratitude Journal. Start by noting down one or two items or events that have been positive to you during that day. It is important that if you feel overwhelming negative, and feel that there is nothing of value to mention, that you seriously rethink, give this task your deepest attention, and force yourself to complete this task regardless of any thoughts to the contrary. No matter how small or irrelevant you may think the item or event is, it is important to make a start on this task. As the days pass, and you are consistent with your input, you will find that as each day passes, the task will get easier and easier.
The consistent repetitious input will change you, usually within a month. Don’t give up after the first month has been completed. Feed that positive energy and replace the self-loathing and pity seeking self-destructive activities with gratitude. This task WILL change your mindset.
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