Written by DiveThru Team
Reviewed by Natalie Asayag MSW, LCSW
Feeling Hopeful: A Guide To Your Emotions
Published May 17th, 2021 & updated on Dec 7th, 2021
Hope is a really powerful emotion. It’s this positive feeling we get when ‘the future’s so bright, you have to wear shades’ (we know we weren’t the only ones who had this motivational poster hanging in our middle school classroom). Hope is an overwhelming sense that everything will work out how it’s supposed to, even if things don’t go exactly as planned. A lot of things in life are out of our control, but we can always hold on tight and hope for the best.
Are you feeling hopeful? Or could you use a little more hope in your life? Either way, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive thru feeling hopeful and how it impacts our mental wellbeing.
A Deeper Look At Feeling Hopeful
What does it really mean to feel hopeful? Let’s take a look at this definition of hope from Dictionary.com: “noun. the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best” and “verb. to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence; to believe, desire, or trust.” Well, sign us the fuck up.
Feeling hopeful is great! On the other hand, when you feel really hopeless, it can feel like nothing’s going right. I’ve tried everything, so what’s the point?? Nothing helps! We get it. It’s not easy to feel hopeful all of the time, especially when so much of what happens in our lives is out of our control.
But without feeling hopeful, we probably wouldn’t push so hard to make changes in our lives for the better. We wouldn’t apply for the university program we’re passionate about, or the job of our dreams. Goals wouldn’t be set. Risks wouldn’t be taken.
We know that staying positive and looking forward to the future doesn’t always feel possible (we’re looking at YOU pandemic) especially when we can’t always be in control. But here’s the great thing about hope — it sees all of the bad and uncertainty and it still tells us, “It’s gonna be okay.”
How Feeling Hopeful Shows Up Mentally
Feeling hopeful not only gives us a more positive outlook on life…it also lifts our spirits! Obviously, this is great news for our mental wellbeing. Having a positive outlook helps you feel more at ease, but there are tons of other benefits too! Here are some positive mental benefits you might notice when you’re feeling hopeful:
- Lift in your mood
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Increased attentiveness and focus
- Boost in productivity
- Spark of creativity
- Improved analytical skills
- Good thoughts
- Increased motivation
Don’t get us wrong, we know that feeling hopeful doesn’t always come easy. You might be going through something that doesn’t make you feel super optimistic about the future. If you struggle with feelings of hopelessness on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to talk to a therapist. A therapist can help you identify areas of your life that could use a little TLC and give you some coping techniques to get you through this difficult time.
How Feeling Hopeful Shows Up Physically
If you thought the benefits for your mental wellbeing were amazing, wait until you see all of the physical benefits feeling hopeful has to offer! Who knew the body responded so well to a positive mind?! (Well, we did. But we’re gonna remind you anyway!) Check out these physical benefits you might experience when you’re going through this emotion:
- Reduced cortisol levels
- Lower blood pressure
- Strengthened immune system
- better sleep
- Improved digestion
- Reduced pain
Did you know that happier people also live longer? Yep, it’s true! A study from 2019 showed that feeling optimistic and hopeful can actually increase your lifespan by 11-15 percent! This might be because people who are mentally healthy typically tend to take better care of their physical health. They’re more likely to be physically active, nourish their body with healthy foods and get enough sleep.
5 Ways To Embrace Feeling Hopeful
How do we process our hopeful feelings? We’re so glad you asked! Here are some strategies for embracing this emotion. Try ‘em out for yourself!
Try writing out exactly how you’re feeling and what makes you feel more hopeful. Expressing your feelings can give you clarity and feels really great, so jot it all down in detail! Bonus…on those down days you can look back and be reminded of these good feelings.
2. Visualize Your Happy Place
We all have that happy place in our minds. Maybe it’s sitting by the fireplace at your Grandma’s house or summer nights at the sleep-away camp you went to as a kid. Whatever your happy place is, go there in your mind! Picturing someplace that makes you feel at peace can help lift your mood and put into perspective what really matters to you.
3. Practice Gratitude
Showing gratitude for the things that bring us hope, happiness and positivity…super underrated, but super necessary! Gratitude can look like simply taking notice of the good things in life and showing them appreciation. That might involve writing a list of things that bring you joy, volunteering in your community, or showing acts of kindness to the people who make your life better.
4. Connect With A Friend
When you’re feeling hopeful and the future is looking bright, here’s an idea — why not connect with a friend?! Put that positive energy to good use by doing a fun activity together, whether it’s a hike in the great outdoors or a fun paint night at home. If you can’t meet in person, play a game over Zoom or just have a gab sesh!
5. Practice Meditation
Meditation is a method that’s been used to relieve stress and improve mental clarity since, like…forever. This practice allows us to slowww down and shift our mindset (which is great when you’re aiming for a more hopeful outlook). If you’re not sure how to meditate, follow a guided practice on YoutTube to get you started. It’s a game-changer, trust us!
That’s it. That’s all for now. We HOPE you enjoyed diving thru this feeling with us (ha, see what we did there?) and that you learned something new! ‘Cause when it comes to emotions, there’s alwaysss more to learn.