Never Give Up Hope!
by Carolyn Barber
"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the
right thing, the dawn will come"
We've now reached another turning point in the Covid 19 pandemic with the re-introduction of further restrictions on close contact with others. So it seems timely to re-visit the idea of psychological resilience, and in particular the principle of hope.
What do we mean by hope? It's about believing in a positive outcome for ourselves, the feeling that events will turn out for the best, anticipating a good change in circumstances, looking forward with confidence. Hope is important when things are not going well, when there's a lot of uncertainty, confusion and negativity.
Hope is the antithesis of despair, but it doesn't mean that everyone should remain 'hopeful' at all times, even in the face of insurmountable difficulties. Hope is not the same as naive unrealism. It's always useful to look at potential pitfalls and risks in a situation, and sometimes face the possibility of failure or disappointment. Challenges and difficulties need to be acknowledged.
But research has shown that people who are hopeful tend to be more psychologically resilient and cope more effectively with obstacles, while more pessimistic individuals tend to shut down. Pessimism often leads to a sense of powerlessness and inability to take action.
So how can we foster hope in ourselves and in others during hard times?