Why do such emotions as hope, optimism, and a positive outlook seem to benefit health? Hope has benefits that extend far beyond the realm of health. To have hope is to want an outcome that makes your life better in some way. It not only helps make a tough situation more bearable, but also can eventually improve our lives because envisioning a change, better outcome or future motivates you to take the steps to make it happen.
Hope is not a passive exercise in wishing, but an active approach to life, arising when there is something we want when we've got a clear goal in mind. And though it may be tough, we’ll develop a plan to get us closer to where we want to be or go.
Hope isn’t delusional. It isn’t denial. It doesn't ignore the real challenges and details of the diagnosis. It doesn’t ignore the trouble, or make excuses, or deny danger. It is not pretending. It is acknowledging the truth of the situation and working to find the best way to cope. It’s showing up and working through the hard stuff, believing that something better is possible. It’s resilient.
What are you hopeful about? Can you share one thing you are thankful for today?