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How being more hopeful can change your life

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How being more hopeful can change your life.

By Antonietta Marinelli | Nov 13, 2020

This month at Mentor Education we are focusing on hope as we are involved in the 2020 Hope Barometer. The 2020 Hope Barometer is an international research initiative involving over 15 countries worldwide. The Barometer itself is formed by a scientifically broad-based study of the hopes, desires, and future expectations of our population, designed to investigate the fundamental aspects, conditions, and interrelations of a positive attitude towards the future. For more information surrounding the Hope Barometer
Visit https://www.mentor.edu.au/hopebarometer/

It will be marked as the year that was, as 2020 wraps up we look back on the year all of us had, bad or good. We have faced many challenges, obstacles and experiences which made us come out with a different perspective in both life, and ourselves. .

Us as humans can live without a lot of things but living without hope can potentially cause a detriment on our well-being. On those days where you wake up feeling like the world isn’t exactly the way it should be, you turn to hope. It inspires us to aim for greater, be better, and do more. “It is our fundamental belief in the power of hope that has allowed us to rise above the voices of doubt and division, of anger and fear that we have faced in our own lives...Our hope that if we work hard enough and believe in ourselves, we can be whatever we dream, regardless of the limitations that others may place on us.” (Michelle Obama, 2017)

Hope makes us happier

Belief and expectation - the key elements of hope - can block pain by releasing the brain’s endorphins and enkephalins mimicking the effects of morphine (Groopman, J. 2005). A study by Harvard’s “Human Flourishing Program” researchers examined the impact of hope on nearly 13,000 people with an average age of 66. They found those with more hope throughout their lives had better physical health, better health behaviors, better social support, and a longer life.
So if maintaining hope in the long run is good for us, how do we increase it? Or build hope if it is not present? Here are some ways to being more hopeful:

Treat yourself like a friend

When giving a friend advice, we speak in a warm and kind manner offering positive words of advice and outlooks when extending a hand. Treat yourself like a good friend, with talking kindly and soothingly to yourself. It is very easy to be a good friend and offer advice, but we hold the tendency to forget that we must also be a friend to ourselves. By befriending and caring for ourselves, we grow strength and courage with a healthy outlook to engage with a more positive life.

Write down your goals and aspirations

We have heard it all before “write a list!” - but really, write a list. Writing down your goals whether they be big or small, as well as your aspirations is therapeutic for a lot of people and gives them a better vision and drive to aim for something. Write down your goals and set personal targets for yourself.

In taking part last year in the Hope Barometer for 2019, we got some truly amazing data and results on what not what people are hopeful for or their perception and views of the future, but what things influenced their levels of hope including the importance of family, job security, and even politics. Furthermore, you can contribute to this year’s research via the following link: https://www.efs-survey.com/uc/Uni_St_Gallen/27cd/

References:

- SOS Method, 2015. “How the Power of Hope can Change Your Life”. SOS Method [Accessed November 10. 2020]

- ABC News, 2017. “Michelle Obama Final Speech as First Lady”. ABC News [Accessed November 11]

- Worthington E. 2020, “How hope can keep you healthier and happier”. The Conversation [Accessed November 12. 2020]

- Hopkins Medicine 2014., “Forgiveness: Your Health Depends on It”., Health and Diseases, [Accessed November 11. 2020]

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