Hope: to cherish a desire with anticipation: to want something to happen or be true.
Habit: an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly involuntary.
Building a habit of being hopeful takes time. Here are some small steps that could lead to a happier, more hopeful outlook.
- Every Day is a New Day
Saint Francis had a hopeful perspective on life and he was known to say “Today, I begin”. When you start your day, center yourself in prayer or quiet reflection. Trust that God has already has plans for your good, “plans for your welfare, not for woe” (Jer. 29:11). Recognize that the successes or defeats of yesterday are past. Today is a new beginning.
- Acknowledge Difficulty
It is detrimental to say “I shouldn’t feel this way” or “what is wrong with me”. Don’t bottle up fears and hurts. Instead, acknowledge what makes you feel sad, angry or hopeless. Write them down in a particular notebook and keep it in a convenient place. When you feel your mind circling around something upsetting, write it down. This is a way to admit the pain. Then close the journal, which is a signal to yourself to keep moving forward.
Allow yourself to have hope. Everything from grandiose dreams to small hopes for good things. Big dreams may include taking extravagant trips, writing a book, or becoming a millionaire. Keep a record of these hopes, but focus your energy on the smaller but deeper desires of your heart:
The hope of building friendships with particular persons.
The hope to quit a bad habit, such as smoking.
The hope to learn a new skill or master an art.
- Accept Disappointment Gracefully
Things don’t always go according to plan. When a hope isn’t realized it’s natural to feel disappointed. Admit when there has been a let-down but don’t dwell on it. New opportunities are arising every minute.
It takes time to develop a habit, but why not give it a try? Hopefully these tips will help to brighten your day – every day!
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