Hope & Why it Matters
Let’s look at the meaning of hope. For some, it’s simply “wishful thinking.” For others, there is more power behind being hopeful. We may go through life with an expectation of how it “should” look, yet life delivers us something different.
We make plans and then something gets in the way of those plans: the actions of others, circumstances beyond our control like a job loss or divorce. One of the hardest the hardest things to accept is that we are not always in control. However, the beauty of hope lies within what we can control – our reaction.
When we take on being hopeful, we take back our power. The art of being hopeful allows us to understand that, while we cannot control the circumstance in this moment, we can take on a hopeful attitude for something better in the future. When we are hopeful, our actions emanate from that positive belief. Being hopeful puts us in the driver’s seat and we can head in a different direction.
Optimism & Why It Matters
While being hopeful is essential in maintaining our equilibrium when life throws us a curve, being optimistic is different. The power of optimism is key to sustaining a healthy balance in all areas of life such as relationships, career, and health. What is optimism? The best way to describe optimism is having a positive expectation, a certainty, that all things will work out in your life with the most optimal result.
The more optimistic you are, the more you expect to get positive results. When you maintain an optimistic outlook, your brain attempts to produce results that are in alignment with your mindset. Your actions stem from your beliefs; if you believe things will work out for the best, your thoughts, feelings, and, actions reflect that belief.
The Power of Positive Thinking & Why it Matters
While hope is an intentional mindset for future goals, wishes, and desires and optimism is a way of living life from a habit of being certain of positive outcomes, positive thinking is more of a conscious lifestyle. Some would say positive thinking is a pre-cursor to living with an automatic way of being optimistic in life.
Positive thinking is a way of looking at a situation and finding the silver lining. For example, if someone loses their job, they can view it as an ending of something or a beginning of something. The possibility exists of finding an even better job or starting their own company. Reframing something negative with the power of positive thinking and seeing the potential gives you the power to see the possibilities inside of that experience.
While we may not always control our circumstances, we can control our mindset with the possibilities inside of the power of hope, optimism, and positive thinking. That is one choice which is always ours.
Positive thinking can add so much to your life – and now we know that positive thinking can add years to your life. When you think positive you get rid of stress and tend to live a healthier life and make better choices. If you’re naturally a negative thinker, there are ways you can change that thinking and get on the path to a life-changing way of thinking.
If you really want to begin to think positively and change your life for the better, look at the following ways you can incorporate into your own lifestyle:
- Be responsible for your thoughts. No one can tell you what to think or controls how you react to your thinking. When you begin to take responsibility for your thoughts, you’ll face the reality of what they’re doing to or for you and be more able to change those negative thoughts.
- Plan to think positively. So many of our thoughts come from the subconscious mind. When you plan to think positively, you won’t be as apt to take what you’re thinking as reality. Instead, you have the time and opportunity to think it over and come to the conclusion that reflects the reality of the situation.
- Avoid negative people. Negative people can ruin your best laid plans to think positively. They can feed the fire of self-doubt and anxiety. It can sometimes be classified as a crowd-mentality, so don’t fall prey to it. Think for yourself.
- Write down your thoughts. It’s helpful if you can see at the end of the day what your thoughts have been. For awhile, take the time to write them down. You’ll see what went wrong with your thoughts and be able to improve them.
- Consider the repercussions. For example, if you have a deadline for an assignment and it becomes clear that you’re not going to meet it, consider what might happen. If you finish it on time, it won’t be as good as you wanted. If you take more time, it may cause other problems. Also, consider solutions. For example, you could ask for an extension to the deadline.
- Minimize catastrophic thinking. Rather than thinking the worst about a situation, try to minimize it and lower your anxiety level by being practical about it. If you’re susceptible to those thoughts, avoid situations (such as television news) that might cause you anxious thinking.
- Live for the moment. When you spend too much time trying to guess or analyze the future, you’ll convince yourself of failure – especially if you’ve failed in the past. If you think you’ll fail, you probably will.
Accept the reality that you can control your thoughts. You’ll become more empowered to face stressful situations in your life and to change the way you think. It will become easier to maintain a positive attitude the more you practice thinking positively.