Hope in general means a desire for things to change for the better. Hope is the belief that circumstances will get better, no matter how big or small.
Having hope reduces feelings of helplessness, increases happiness, reduces stress, and improves our quality of life. Hope can come in all forms as stimulated by breathing, sleep, meditation, prayer, spirit, and quiet. Witnessing or experiencing acts of love, goodness, and kindness.
Based on theories by Charles R. Snyder, Kaye A. Herth and Barbara Fredrickson, hope can be gained through:
- Goals, approaching life in a goal-orientated way
- Agency Thinking, the determination to achieve goals despite obstacles
- Pathway Thinking, the ways in which we believe we can achieve these personal goals (the plan if you like, especially regarding the obstacles we know will appear). Imagine multiple pathways towards your goals and persevere, even when those obstacles get in your way
- The need for change (or a crisis), which allows us to open new creative possibilities. Great need usually brings a wide range of ideas. The technology alone that has come out of a world wide Pandemic for example has been astounding.
Hope is what keeps us moving forward, it helps us sustain action towards our goals. It helps with personal motivation, which will result in a greater sense of optimism.