Hope: Our Greatest Antidepressant
Arguably 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.
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.
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),