Every day in life we encounter situations that cause us to despair. Hopelessness takes away from us the power of positivity and the ability to find and navigate through life. Being in this state can be demoralizing and can erode the willpower necessary to pursue our goals in life.
Knowing how to overcome hopelessness starts with the acceptance that positive changes in mood and hopefulness are possible and that we have a strong inner ability to cope with difficult situations. Aside from engaging in hopeful and mindfulness exercises here are some strategies for overcoming feelings of hopelessness.
- Celebrating Small Wins: Learn how to always take time to celebrate your achievements, however small or seemingly insignificant. By so doing you induce feel-good hormones that boost your moods and increase hope levels, through which you can get back to being your real self.
- Developing Yourself: Invest in yourself a little bit more. You can do this by taking up a wide range of life skills, personal development and educational courses that inspire, train and equip you with skills that enable you to flourish.
- Building Partnerships: Be intentional about socialization and network building. Seek out people or organizations with whom you can do the things you love and see your hope restored and multiplied. These partnerships will also come in handy to offer support when you need it the most.
- Creating New Opportunities: Always be on the lookout for new opportunities to try out new and interesting things, for example through volunteering for causes you’re passionate about. You can also find ways to listen to the stories of others and share your own to encourage other people and release hope in others.
- Developing a Support System: Build authentic relationships with your spouse, family members, colleagues, or friends. This helps to have around you trusted people you can always talk to freely about how you feel. They can be instrumental in helping you cope with situations of hopelessness and motivate you when you’re down.
- Keeping an Open Mind: Mastering emotional intelligence is critical to you maintaining stable mental well-being. Always keep an open mind that things may not always go your way and that you’re bound to face challenging situations. This help to build resilience and better manage your expectations in any situation.
- Focusing on What Matters Most: Many disappointments in life come from unfulfilled ambitions. To avoid this, always try to prioritize things in your life – be it at work, in relationships or in your life goals. Understand your present situation, and your limitations and be honest with yourself when making decisions affecting your life.
In all the most important thing is knowing yourself, mastering your emotions and understanding that feeling hopeless is a natural response to many life events. Knowing this offers you a better chance at successfully navigating through difficult times that make you feel inadequate or hopeless. Develop a positive mindset that feeling hopeful again is possible and that you can regain enthusiasm and optimism. Don’t hesitate to seek help from a mental health professional to help you assess your situation and find ways to move forward again if need be.
Nelson Opany is a Communicator, Leader, Humanitarian, and a Scout. (firstname.lastname@example.org)