Finding hope and inner peace in life is not always an easy task. Still, a hopeless life can be gloomy, depressed, and anxious. In this article, I write about ways to find hope in life, thus happiness and inner peace.
It is essential to find and sustain hope in order to lead a happy and peaceful life. Yet most of us know what it’s like to live a desperate life. A life where nothing is going towards us and nobody understands. The ‘take him out’, ‘sleep’ or my favorite, ‘get through’ incentive doesn’t help at all. If only it was that easy to overcome the feeling of despair.
Hope is a mechanism of the human brain
Hope is a mechanism developed by the human brain to deal with contexts and situations that are not conducive to survival. Without, where can we find a sense of hope in the future or hope in someone’s talent, our motivation, our will to go forward? In the worst times, it’s hope that keeps me going.
That “knowledge” that says there will be better things in the future. Hope forces me to find the impossible possible because I believed it was possible and therefore claimed that the possible was already real.
Author and evangelicalist Hal Lindsey put it beautifully: “Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air…but only for one second without hope.”
The hope and inner peace of helping others
There are many challenges faced by those who provide care for others. Yet they know the inner peace and joy that comes with helping others.
“Studies have shown that even simply volunteering can change a person’s health and outlook. A United Health Group study stated that ‘We now know people who volunteer feel better physically, mentally and emotionally better. And our volunteers tell us that they are convinced their health is better because of the things they do when they volunteer.’” (hopegrows.net)
It’s natural to care for others’ suffering, and we’re reminded of this important attribute by recognizing how we can heal in our own lives. It’s important to be patient with ourselves and others in this process. If we all contribute to this healing process, then we can break through those walls of self-sabotage and start to see changes in ourselves that are positive and significant. These changes will lead us to inner peace.
What’s the best way to deal with your fear and anger when witnessing other’s suffering? Stop to consider what else is going on, what message the suffering is trying to convey, and what you can do to help the sufferer heal. Their healing may teach you about yourself, giving you the gift of healing yourself.
… “(W)henever you feel overwhelmed, go back to the basics: pause, ground yourself, take a few very deep breaths, exhaling negativity, inhaling calm. Take the time to notice what you are feeling, holding the pain of the world with compassion, … breathing in Peace and Hope” (shamanicspiritualhealing.com)
My suggestions for finding hope in life
Do what you know you can do. Move forward by doing the things you know you can do. Maybe you can make the bed or get out of bed, celebrate small victories, as these will eventually become the necessary lessons for finding hope.
Take some kind of action. Helping someone else not only shows that there are good people in the world, but it also gives you the success and external pride of supporting another person. This feeling of pride that makes you feel healthy will lead to a sense of hope knowing that if you can help someone else, you can help yourself too.
Surround yourself with optimism. The attitudes of those around us affect our mood. Surrounding yourself with positive and hopeful people makes you positive and optimistic. Find out who are the positive people in your life and follow them.
Allow inspiration. Read inspiring books or quotes, strengthen your faith, return to your place of worship, do whatever it takes to believe and feel the existence of something greater than you. Knowing that a prayer community wants to help you and believe that something is higher than you gives us hope that we are not alone.
Spend time in nature. It is great to see and feel the depth of nature’s beauty. Look for the tiny insects and creatures. Think about how they survive and even thrive in their environment, given their size and lack of intelligence. If the insect can do it, you can too!
How you find hope in life is essential to finding the motivation to move forward, grow, and be the best person you can be. Do not lose your hope. Hold on and enjoy the ride.
Anxious feelings are understandable when returning to everyday life after the pandemic. There will be a process of readjustment. There are bound to be thoughts or worries about the changes that are happening in your life. It is natural for people to want to stay in their comfort zone. Entering the unknown is what causes our anxious feelings. However, there are several benefits to returning to everyday life, so it is crucial to fight those thoughts.
Many states are relaxing the pandemic restrictions allowing us to “freely move about the cabin.” We’ve been physically away from people for over a year, communicating primarily through the computer. Interacting with people after so long of a time can be anxiety producing. We’re either unsure of the safety of our health or uncertain about how to interact with people again. “So, as more people get vaccinated, and we accelerate toward a new normal, is it any wonder that some people are feeling hesitant to let go of precautions?” Source: NYTimes
Nearly half of Americans say they feel uneasy thinking about in-person interaction once the pandemic ends, according to the American Psychological Association’s 2021 Stress in America report. (USAToday) These anxious feelings happen most often when we feel out of control in a situation, or when the change is unknown. As humans, we prefer to think that we are in control of our life.
We spent many months adjusting to a “new way of life,” so it will take some time to again adapt to another new way of life, even if that life is what it used to be. Your lifestyle may return to what it used to be, but you aren’t who you used to be. You have been affected by living through a pandemic. Your mindset and outlook on life are different from what they used to be.
What is normal? Typically, normal is referred to anything we sense as a known or an expectation of a way life is to be. In other words, normal can be fluid, changing as we change. So, why be anxious about going back to normal? Let’s create a new normal!
In June 2020, I wrote an article, “The New Normal – 7 Valuable Lesson Opportunities To Learn Now” suggesting that we take the positive changes the pandemic caused in us, keeping them as we return to “normal.” My suggestion of almost a year ago remains valid. An LA Times article reports that some 46% said they do not feel comfortable going back to living life like before the pandemic. (LATimes)
How to cope with the anxious feeling:
1. Take it slow – No one is forcing anyone to immediately jump back into society. As you feel comfortable, start slow. Join a group of close friends, branching out from there.
2. Don’t wait for the anxiety to go away – A strong reason for your fear is the unknown. Until you venture into society, it will remain unknown. Therefore your anxious thoughts will remain. It’s only by venturing out of your comfort zone that you’ll reduce the anxiety.
3. Let go of resentments – We can’t control other people. There is no reason to hold resentment about other’s actions or the government’s actions. Control what you can control, your emotions, and your responses to what is happening. If you’re blaming others, let it go. Don’t let someone else dictate your happiness.
4. Change your perspective – Look at the world and those around you in a positive manner. We get what we look for. In other words, if all I see is negatively, then all I’ll experience is that negativity. So look to the positive, and you’ll get positive experiences in return.
5. Teach others – As you’re learning to cope and feel less anxious, teach others how you are doing it so that they too can move forward. Not only will you help another person, but altruism is proven to make the giver feel positive and more at peace.
If you’re feeling anxious, know that you aren’t alone. You can do things to reduce your anxiety, but the key is not to go through this alone. Reach out to others for support and camaraderie. And if you need a professional, find one of those, too.
Happiness has more importance than just feeling good. Happiness is also essential to your health, longevity, success, and relationships. This is all proven by research and science. Happiness is healthy!
We’re seeking something more out of life, and happiness is what we think will solve our issues. Yet happiness comes and goes; it’s a fleeting emotion. As I’ve written in previous articles, our goal should not be happiness. Instead, our goal should be inner peace.
Therefore, happiness is not the end; it’s a means we use to get to the end, inner peace.
The importance of happiness is often discounted in a culture obsessed with material success. Still, it’s hard to purchase something that will make you happy in the long term.
Your happiness isn’t just important to you. It’s also important to your friends, family, and your employer.
Consider these ideas:
- Happy people are healthier. Happier people get sick less frequently and less severely on average. Happy people visit the hospital less often. A bad mood is bad for your immune system, too.
- Happy people are less likely to suffer from anxiety and depression. Your physical and mental health are at greater risk when you’re not happy.
- Healthcare is costly. Happiness can be a great way to save a lot of money.
- Happy people live longer. Several studies suggest that the happiest people live up to 10 years longer than those that are the least happy. Since happy people are healthier, they also tend to live longer too. Happiness can do more to boost your lifespan than just about anything else. It’s free, too.
- Happy people are more resistant to stress. Unhappy people are more easily overwhelmed when stressed. Happy people are better able to handle stress, and the effect that stress has on them is decreased. Being happy makes you more capable.
- Happy people are more successful. It’s worth asking if successful people are successful because they’re happy. Or are they happy because they’re successful? It’s likely a little of both. Happy people are more productive, have better relationships, and handle stress better.
- Happy people enjoy more robust relationships. Would you rather be around someone that was happy most of the time or someone that was not? Being happy can boost all of your relationships, including those with your partner, family, friends, and coworkers.
- Think about the happiest people you know. They tend to have great friendships and intimate relationships. They are close to their families, too.
- Unhappy people are often alone and have challenging relationships when they do have people in their lives.
- Happy people get more done. Happy people are more productive and are better employees. Think about how much better you take care of your home when you’re happy versus those times you’re unhappy. If you have an open position at work, consider happiness as a factor when hiring.
- Happy people have more friends. Of course, they have more friends. Happy people attract others. We enjoy being around people that are in a positive emotional state. We avoid those that aren’t. If you want to have more plans for the weekend, be happier!
- Happy people are more creative. A happy mind is more open to new ideas and concepts. A happy person is more likely to have a sound creative idea than someone unhappy.
- If you’re struggling to find a solution to a problem, put yourself in a happy state first. You’ll be much more likely to find the answer you need.
We often postpone happiness for a later date. We decide that we’ll be happy after we finish school, buy a house, save a certain amount of money, or find the person of our dreams. This is a mistake. Being unhappy harms yourself and everyone else in your life.
Do yourself and everyone else in your life a huge favor and make your happiness a priority!