One way to reduce the suffocating weight of anxiety is to learn to change our mental focus . Thus, something as appropriate as cultivating the sense of hope in everyday life would help us dissolve the imprint of this psychological condition. Moreover, a series of recent studies explain that it could be a very interesting source of “cure.”
Now, it is very possible that more than one questions this idea. After all, the concept of hope is for many more than a romantic concept, a well-intentioned idea but perhaps, with little therapeutic rigor. Nothing is further from reality. The writer and activist Helen Keller said that one cannot go through life without hope and self-confidence , because without these two dimensions, strength is lost.
An idea helps us understand the implication of this term in relation to everyday anxiety. Hope is basically trust, thinking that our expectations will be fulfilled in the future . It is, in turn, desire combined with optimism, where one is able to focus on a kinder and even more exciting horizon.
The opposite of hope is fear . Even more, it is the almost absolute conviction that what is to come is threatening and against us. The anxious mind has this same thought pattern. Knowing it, understanding how our mental approach works in these circumstances is the first step to make changes, to assume other perspectives.
Cultivating the sense of hope would help us reduce anxiety
Anxiety disorders constitute a very complex theoretical set where a large number of chaotic microuniverses intermingle . There is permanent anguish, there are those often disturbing and limiting ideas , as well as a series of emotions that have to further inflame worry, pressure and even fear.
We could say that it is our society and the current lifestyle is what generates these types of situations. We could affirm it, but it would not be quite right.
Anxiety is by no means the total and absolute result of a context or a series of concrete circumstances. It is in part, but what most influences when a person suffers a mood disorder is the way he faces his day to day.
In essence, it is not what happens to us, it is how we respond to what happens to us. There, they influence from genetic factors, tendencies inherited from childhood and often, a lack of psychological resources to handle the difficulties, however small.
Now, understanding all this … how can we help cultivate hope?
The sense of hope as a key to psychological well-being
When treating anxiety there are different therapies and approaches . Sometimes, drugs are necessary, other times we complement the treatment with relaxation and meditation techniques, such as mindfulness. There are undoubtedly various strategies and all depend on the patient and what best suits their needs.
We are neglecting a highly significant aspect: the sense of hope . Thus, in a study conducted by himself and his team during this year it was shown that if we include this factor in psychotherapy, the changes are noticeable.
It is, in essence, to add that philosophical, spiritual and emotional component where to get the person to change their way of thinking, feeling and perceiving reality.
Turning off the anguish undoubtedly requires the internal conviction that maybe, things are not going to go so badly, that if today has been a bad day tomorrow things can improve.
The components of hope
Dr. Gallagher, author of this study, showed that the sense of hope integrates more than a philosophical component . It is not just telling us that what we want so much will happen; It actually hosts some components that can favor our mental health. They are the following:
- Resistance: ability to face adversity with strength and security, but in turn, with adequate cognitive flexibility. That is to say, before any problem, far from being blocked in the negativity, one must be skillful and ingenious to know how to respond.
- Growth mindset : the sense of hope is also composed of this exceptional value. It defines our ability to always think positively, surpassing ourselves, combining motivation and resolution to move forward in life and under any circumstances.
If we included these approaches in our day to day, our reality would give a change. It would reduce the anguish, insecurity and the feeling that we do not have control over what happens to us. Developing a sense of authentic, useful and healthy hope takes time; however, if we commit ourselves to it, we can achieve it .