With the challenges of life so many people face today, more people are likely to feel hopeless than sad. Having no hope feels as if nothing really makes a difference and that nothing is ever enough, as if there is nothing you can do even if the entire human race unravels. It is not exactly the same as feeling sad. Quickly building up hope against life’s challenges is an important life skill to get you through the direst of situations.
Face Your Hopelessness
Rather than keep trying to resist your uncomfortable feelings of hopelessness, why don’t you try and embrace it. Get off the roller coaster of hope and despair. Realize that maybe the situation is hopeless indeed! This gives you a different perspective immediately. In the midst of finally accepting that it may indeed be hopeless, you will still need to be responsible, intentional and joyful.
Doubt Your Hopelessness
To begin to build hope against a hopeless situation, the first step is to doubt your hopeless feelings. You have been wrong before about a few things, maybe you are wrong about this seemingly hopeless situation. Experiment and take initiative as if things were not hopeless. Make the best of things, be upbeat, see friends and exercise. Who knows, your hopeless situation might change as you make attempts to prove your helpless feelings wrong.
Think of Creatures in the Wild
Wild creatures, just like young kids, don’t live with tons of hope. They live only in the present, in the real world. They live naturally, value their time and are generous. They can teach you how to live in the moment, take a walk and exercise. When you are living in the present with no thoughts of the future, you give yourself a much needed break from feelings of hopelessness.
Listen to Children
Children naturally live in the present without really needing to be hopeful about anything. They live inside their heads and have not yet learned to hope and plan for the future. When you listen to children, you can take a moment and relearn that living in the present is sometimes the best way to living each day.
Know the Therapeutic Value of Crying
More and more research points to the importance of crying. There is enormous therapeutic value in crying and it is a natural response to grief and stress. Even elephants remember to cry as they use their large brains to visit death sites of pack mates. When you feel hopeless, crying will alleviate your feelings and nudge you back towards hopefulness.
Taking Care of Yourself
Regardless of how hopeless everything feels, it is important to still take responsibility and do your part. Even with the feelings you have of a hopeless future, it is still important for you to work. Pamper yourself and give yourself a break. Realize that you are sensitive enough, strong enough, informed and smart enough to feel totally hopeless.
Find Someone You Love and Explore Your Gifts
What are you passionate about? What do you really care about? Get together with someone you love and discuss what really matters to you. What useful thing do you think you can contribute to the world? What do you think the world needs more of? Discuss with someone you love what you think your gifts and talents are. When you talk about these kinds of topics, things will begin to shift in ways that are intentional and practical. Your feelings of hopelessness will probably be replaced by something more intentional and hopeful.
You can wallow in sadness when faced with a hopeless situation or you can find ways to quickly build hope within yourself. After all, sometimes to get through a situation all you need is hope.