Finding Hope – Some Practical Steps

“Hope is being able to see that there is light, despite all the darkness.”

It can be hard to find hope when we’re battling despair. But there are some strategies that can help with hopelessness, and the feeling that “it’s pointless – because nothing’s going to change.” They include: 

1. Try joining the dots: Think of how you would like your life to look like (This should be something you can actually picture. Something that’s different from how things are today – but which you believe is achievable). Chances are you will need to break that picture down into smaller goals, things you can work on one by one. Now put these steps and goals in order. Which would it make sense to work on first? What would you work on after that? Try to picture how you will feel after reaching the first goal, and the next goal, and the next goal.  

2. Look around for role models who have walked this path already: A lot of people face adversity – and yet they survive, and create a life that is inspiring, meaningful and beautiful. Look for those people and, maybe, emulate them. What lessons and secrets can they pass on to you? What enabled them to rebuild from the rubble? How can you apply that to your own situation? It is going to take time – but it’s good to have ideas, and to see how other people have turned their life around.

3. Do what you can for now: Tough times and trauma turn our whole world upside down. It is often hard to think, and you have no energy. So take the pressure off yourself. You will need to start small. Maybe start with something simple … like going for a walk. Perhaps another day you could yourself a meal. You build from there, one small step by one small step

4. Check in with a kind and caring friend: It’s ok to withdraw when you’re low on energy. But a kind and caring friend can offer us encouragement. And we need that support to overcome inertia, and to resist the powerful urge to give up when things are tough. A friend who understands can be worth their weight in gold!

5. Try to keep your focus on the here and now: It’s natural for our thoughts to wander back into the past. To replay all the failures; all the times when things went wrong. Or, to stare into the future with anxiety and fear, and think that there’s no way things are going to change.

But staying focused on the present, and on what you’re doing now, or working on being mindful helps to keep the hope alive.

I’d also love to know what has worked for you ….

6 thoughts on “Finding Hope – Some Practical Steps

  1. These are some very realistic and good points. Looking ahead to what you would like your life to be like and then breaking them down to smaller goals is really good.


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