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The One Proven Method For Creating Hope That You Ought To Know About

Is it possible to feel hopeful, day in and day out? Or is hope just a fleeting feeling that seems to descend when you least expect it, and disappear when you need it most? Perhaps the bigger question is this: Is hope real – or is it a hopelessly romanticized ideal that doesn’t even exist?

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Hope For The Best

The truth is that hope is a reaction that is triggered by unexpected experiences of wonder that will occur during extreme hardships and crises. To be more specific: Hope is a specific component of wonder that has the ability to arise from a surprising moment, or it can be experienced as a sign that lets you see a possibility, even if it’s miniscule, in a potentially uncertain or dark future. Psychologist and famous hope researcher C.R. Snyder has suggested this metaphor regarding hope: “A rainbow is a prism that sends shards of multicolored light in various directions. It lifts our spirits and makes us think of what is possible. Hope is the same—a personal rainbow of the mind.”

Hope, however, is more than just an optimistic state of mind; it’s an action-oriented vision. Recent research indicates a correlation between hope and better academic and athletic performance, higher levels of physical and psychological well-being, enhanced interpersonal relationships, and improved self-esteem. Shane Lopez, Ph.D., a former student of Snyder, states that “Hope is the belief that the future will be better than the present, and the belief that you will be able to make it so.” In his formulation, to truly access hope you must have the following:  optimism, a sense of personal agency, and an action plan.

Hoping is notably different from wishing. With a wish, the energy behind the thought is somewhat magical in that you don’t connect your actions to the desired outcome. For example, if you’re stranded in the middle of an ocean and you rely only on wishful thinking, you might say to yourself, “Everything is going to work out fine”, but you don’t formulate an action plan to realize that goal. In the same circumstance, hope can help you forecast a plan for getting from the middle of the ocean to the shore or being rescued.


Deliberate Daydreaming Can Bring About Hope

Some research has shown that deliberate daydreaming can foster hope. According to a study conducted in Germany, deliberately daydreaming about your desired future can boost your chances of achieving your goals. As part of the study, college students identified a study goal and kept a daydream diary for two weeks. Actively daydreaming appeared to help students already driven by achievement and excellence, and as a group they were the most successful when it came to achieving their study goals.

But how you daydream is essential. Psychologist Jerome L. Singer, author of The Inner World of Daydreaming, identifies three different daydreaming methods.

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Different Kinds Of Daydreaming

The first method Singer identifies, distracted daydreaming, occurs when you might be having poor attention control and you use daydreaming as a means of escaping some kind of effortful focus. Guilty-dysphoric daydreaming is when your thoughts trend toward anguished fantasies, resembling catastrophic nightmares more than playful daydreams.

According to Singer, the true benefits of daydreams as they relate to hope are realized during positive-constructive daydreaming. This playful, artful approach to daydreaming engages your imagination to explore possibilities for a better future, however distant or near. Positive-constructive daydreaming can lead to hope by helping you to envision actions that correlate to your ultimate aims, set achievable goals, develop plans, and solve problems in a meaningful way.

If you don’t set aside time to deliberately daydream, you could find yourself feeling  distressed and defeated when it comes to imagining a positive future. Deliberate daydreaming can foster hope by giving your mind the space it needs to integrate the daily challenges or hardships of life, while not succumbing to a defeatist attitude or despair.