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Elisa Goldstein, Ph.D.Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
A blog about mindfulness, stress-reduction, psychotherapy and mental health.

Hope: Our Greatest Antidepressant

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: Jul 2nd 2009

door openArguably the greatest antidepressant in the world is hope.  Hope is an emotional state combined with thoughts that we truly believe we can reach certain goals and can it gives us the strength to move past adversity.

Acclaimed author and Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh said "Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today."  

Mother Theresa gave it to the poor and seemingly helpless in Calcutta, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave it to the African American community and many civil rights activists, Ghandi inspired hope to Hindus in India and others around the world, Barack Obama made history by cultivating hope in America, and so many others whose names are not even know to most of us cultivate hope every day.

Martin Seligman, past President of the American Psychological Association, and more recently known for his work in the area of Positive Psychology, considers hope a signature strength. Hope motivates us, helps us break through difficult emotions, and cultivates a greater sense of ease day to day. 

In a past blog Breaking down Barack Obama's Psychology of Hope and how it may help you in trying times..., I talk about ways to cultivate hope in our day to day lives so that we can better move through difficult times.

This is not about cultivating a sense of false hope where we are just trying to make ourselves believe something better will be, it is a path that is potentially attainable in conjunction with the thought "I think I can."

How could your life benefit from some more hope? How would your actions change if you had more hope about your life and your future? What would be different? These are very important questions to answer as they may bring some actions to the forefront that we can start engaging in.

As always, please share your thoughts, stories, and questions below. Your interactions here provide a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles and is author of the upcoming book The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations.

Check out Dr. Goldstein's acclaimed CD's on Mindful Solutions for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, Mindful Solutions for Addiction and RelapsePrevention, and Mindful Solutions for Success and Stress Reduction at Work. -- "They are so relevant, I have marked them as one of my favorites on a handout I give to all new clients" ~ Psychiatrist.

If you're wanting to integrate more mindfulness into your daily life, sign up for his Mindful Living Twitter Feed. Dr. Goldstein is also available for private psychotherapy.

    Reader Comments
    Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

    the hopeful issue! - Zamir Saar - Jun 27th 2010

    It's great! without hope how can we live?

    a pakhtoon writer from Afghanistan Gul Pacha Ulfat has said: ((a child and an eighty years old man is anticipated for tomarrow))

    so, hope is the friend who will prolong his friendship up to end of the life way.

    thank you!

    Hope. - JR - Jul 2nd 2009

    "Sì, la speranza che delude sempre!

    Oh well.  Perhaps Puccini and his librettists (for "Turandot") were too pessimistic.  On the other hand - the maestro died before finishing the opera ...

    Yours from the Third Circle (per Dante),

    JR

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