Many times, in life, we feel as if we've taken a terrible beating. With every step we try to take in the direction when need to go, a wall shoots up in front of us. We bang on that wall with all our energy, but we have very little strength because of the pounding we've taken. Darkness engulfs our life, and we think we will never see the light again. Does any of this sound familiar? if it does, you're not alone. It’s the feeling of hopelessness.
It's unfortunate the number of people who experience loss of hope. Another sad fact is that many people do not know how to turn their outlook around. Suppose you have come to a point where you don't know how you will pay the mortgage next month. Maybe you lost your job due to downsizing. Or you have a terminally ill family member. In any of these cases, you may feel hopeless. Even though you are feeling hopeless, there are ways to find hope and have a bright outlook on the future.
What Is Hopelessness?
Hopelessness is an overwhelming feeling or state of doom and gloom. It's the inability to feel hope for the thing a person longs for. Here is an example of a difficult situation. A job means a sense of security for a person and their family. Money from the job allows them to pay their bills, keep a roof over their head, and enjoy buying the things they want. If a person loses their job, their mindset could change to one of such negativities they become discouraged; or feel hopeless.
Feeling hopeless can lead to emotions of depression, anxiety, and trepidation. But what if we take the above scenario and turn it around? What if the person is confident in their skill set? They know they are valuable and can bring a high level of professionalism to a new company. Or they can take this time to gain new knowledge and skills and be more of a needed commodity in the field. This is the confidence that fuels real hope.
Confidence in oneself is one way to defeat hopelessness. People must have a level of hope to continue to push toward their goals. Hope has built communities, discovered medicines, saved lives, and makes the present moment better. In this article, five practical ideas will detail giving hope to the hopeless. These five ideas are empathy and active listening, building resilience and coping strategies, encouraging spiritual connection, providing support and encouragement, and creating a positive environment. Spend time on one of these ideas, and you will improve your current situation.
How to Give Hope to the Hopeless
If you are someone who has been through tough times and was on the verge of giving up but didn't, you have a gift to share with the world. People need one another for courage, guidance, wisdom, and hope. If you see someone who is hopeless, here are the things you can do to give hope to their lives. And remember, “Tough times do not last. Tough people do.”Robert H. Schuller.
Empathy and Active Listening (Practical Tip 1)
Having empathy means you can understand and share with another person. You feel what it's like to be in their shoes, going through life's challenges. We can feel their negative emotions and how depressed they are; they can use uplifting. One of the simplest ways to uplift a person is to listen to their stories.
Listening to the Hopeless
People may think no one understands their situation when they go through hard times. Sometimes, the person doesn't think anyone wants to listen to their troubles. They do not want to be burdensome to others. But they cannot carry the burden on their own. As a friend, you want to lend your ear to them. Being heard helps to take pressure off the person. It helps them feel more hopeful about their situation.
There is power in empathy and listening carefully to what a person has experienced. When a person begins to think about what they are going through, it puts them closer to solving their problems.
Seeking Help When Feeling Hopeless
An unspoken rule plagues many people, not wanting to seek help. Many people feel they should try to solve their problems on their own. There is nothing wrong with this. But when we get to the point of feeling hopeless, we must step back and look honestly at our situation. If a person is feeling hopeless about their finances, trying to figure it out on their own leads to negative thoughts. They need expert advice for certain aspects of life. Getting the advice of a financial advisor, in this circumstance, is finding hope.
You can receive help from family, your church congregation, close friends, professionals, or a therapist. The important thing is to seek help when you need it. Knowing someone is there to help will do wonders for your mental health.
Building Resilience and Coping Strategies (Practical Tip 2)
Importance of Resilience and Coping
Resilience is a person’s capacity to endure difficult circumstances and triumph despite them. It takes work to build resilience. If you are resilient, then you have faced difficult times. Resilient people know it's darkest before dawn. They may be going through hopeless situations now, but there is a way to overcome it. The truth is they will come out of their situation stronger than before.
Resilience builds coping skills from the very thing that is negative. If a person has been unsuccessful in achieving their goals, learning positive thinking can help them cope with the lack of success. Resilience builds hope.
Practical Ways to Build Resilience
Time builds resilience. Suppose you have a family member who is terminally ill. In that case, you may be overwhelmed by negative thoughts because of the impending loss. The illness of a loved one or friend is one of the hardest things a person can experience. In such a matter, realize many people find resilience in God. Depending on your religious beliefs, this could mean turning to your Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord teaches his flock not to worry about a sick loved one. Instead, to feel hopeful because God will embrace them.
A feeling of comfort washes over people through their faith. Finding faith is finding hope. When people practice their faith through prayer and hope in God, they come to another level of understanding and rejoice in a seemingly hopeless situation.
Engaging in Self-Care
How often do you take care of yourself? How often do you fill your well? Life comes at us hard. The weight we feel from bills, repairs, accidents, affects our mental and physical health. When we get to this point, it's challenging to have resilience and face the problem taking our hope.
Self-care is simply taking the time to tend to your physical health, mental health, and spiritual needs. For some people, fishing is a self-care activity. For others, it's to write. For many people, it's opening their bibles and reading specific passages. Living in the moment is one that many people enjoy. Your self-care is a personal journey. It’s a journey you must make time for to refill your well.
The benefits of self-care are increased focus, lowered stress, increased productivity, and putting you in a relaxed state of being. Your self-care activity has a bonus benefit; it allows you to experience happiness, become resilient, and rebuild your hope. Many answers to the problem you're facing will come from self-care.
Encouraging Spiritual Connection (Practical Tip 3)
Role of Spirituality and Finding Hope
Our spirituality connects us to a larger purpose. Because of this purpose, God's wisdom and love guides us. Our connection to Him fills us with strength. In that strength, people are hopeful with power. When they pray and reflect on the life God has given them, they remember what hope is and can be refilled whenever needed.
Seeking a Spiritual Connection
Connection is everything. For some people, their connection is daily readings of their bible or holy book. Many people practice meditation, focusing on a mantra that puts them closer to a higher power. For others, it's being in nature and feeling universal energy flow through them. When people find their connection, it helps them find the answers they seek through peace and understanding.
Cultivating a Spiritual Connection
People lose their connections with spirituality when they allow life to bog them down with trivial circumstances. Practicing your spirituality is another form of self-care. It may be the most crucial self-care you can conduct. One of the great things about practicing spirituality is there will always be something new to learn. Something that can continue without ever growing old or mundane.
The Holy Spirit and Other Higher Powers
Remember that your connection to a higher power is a personal one. You may find hope in the fact the higher power is always everywhere. No matter where you are or what you are going through, you are not facing your troubles alone. You are in the presence of something far more powerful than your hardships. And with your strong relationship with the Holy Spirit, you can take comfort in knowing you can triumph in real hope.
Providing Support and Encouragement (Practical Tip 4)
Power of Support and Encouragement
There is power in support from a friend or different people. Everyone wants to feel supported by the people they know and love. When people feel hopeless, they also feel powerless. Support from others helps to bring happiness back to the person. They do not feel alone, knowing others are with them through hard circumstances.
Providing Support and Encouragement
People finding hope also need encouragement. They must hear they have the tools to get through their "impossible" situation. Some people just need a little push. Others may need strong support. There is hope, energy, and strength in the words people use. The person who has lost hope may be using negative language. You must inject positive language into their life to help them have a better outlook.
Seeking Support - Don't Feel Hopeless
As said earlier, we are a society that teaches people to solve their problems independently. We are not alone, for God is with us always. A person without hope must be encouraged to seek support from those who understand. But especially seek support from those who care. Knowing someone cares about them and what they are going through can help make sense of what they are experiencing.
Creating a Positive Environment (Practical Tip 5)
Impact of Environment
A person’s environment can have a significant impact on their life. If a person has a messy car or house, this is a sign of disorder. When we are in a state of confusion or chaos, it can worsen the hardship. Such an environment is a breeding ground to be more depressed and hopeless.
Creating a Positive Environment
If you have a messy car, room, or house, you can start creating a positive environment by cleaning it. Order will ultimately clear your mind. A clear mind is a better-focused mind, helping to overcome what may seem impossible with a positive frame of mind.
Surrounding with Positivity
Who are you surrounding yourself with? Your environment reflects the physical world and the people you are surrounded by. There are enough people in the world who focus on the negative and willingly that negativity with all around them. Recognize that these people may listen to you, but they do not support you.
Reduce or eliminate your time with these people. Turn off the news. Seek people who are positive supports. Talk to them. Create calm in an environment in your house or room. Little moments with good people will boost your self-care.
We all experience hard times. As we go through those valleys of fear, it is easy to become hopeless. But light can find its way back into our lives when we put ourselves and others in a position to receive it. Through empathy, we can understand another's pain which helps us build resilience. Our spiritual connection to a higher power eliminates fear. Support and encouragement surround us the more we give it. Creating a positive environment where hope can grow and strengthen is essential to living a life of peace, happiness, and fulfillment.
Look for the place in your life lacking in one of the above tips. Make it your daily goal to address that place, fill your well and find hope.