It is understandable that, for those experiencing chronic or enduring mental health challenges the concept of hope will seem alien. When you have tried different interventions over a long period and those positive outcomes haven’t happened, it’s easy to lose hope right? Without any hope, the possibility or opportunity for change is absent. When someone is feeling hopeless and helpless, lending hope and compassion to them could make all the difference. Like on a candle, sharing the flame doesn’t diminish your own light – that’s what hope can be.
If there is only one thing to carry throughout your entire life, hope would be an incredibly wise choice. During adversity, being able to hope that there are better times ahead can be what gets you through it. Hope is a source of positive encouragement, your suffering is a strength. You can recover and become more resilient through the challenges you face. Being hopeful is also akin to being more optimistic. Even if the expected outcome hasn’t worked out, the optimism experienced prior is still a happier experience than being pessimistic. There is no joy to be had at all when you predict the worst which then happens.
The good news is that hope can be restored and cultivated. We can learn to be more optimistic. It is available to all of us. We just need to be open to it.