If you’re hopeful about something, you’re optimistic. … Hopeful comes from the word hope, meaning “optimism about a future event,” and the suffix -ful, meaning “full.” So if you’re hopeful, you’re full of hope: you think something good is going to happen. (Dictionary.com)
But how do we become optimistic? The phrase glass half empty, glass half full is often used and it reflects the assumption that our optimism or pessimism depends on our character. I disagree with this. I am naturally a negative person, having had a lot of hard knocks in life. But I have trained myself to keep battling on, to keep believing and trusting in God and I choose to have a hopeful perspective. It is hard to battle negative thoughts and feelings, however it is possible.
One of the comments on yesterday’s post spoke about joy and I am considering how we cultivate this in our lives alongside hope. I much prefer the concept of joy to happiness. I am not able to comment at this point with any real insight, because I haven’t really experienced joy, but I am thinking about this for future posts.
I think a lot of our emotions are very strong determinants of how we then behave and I am learning to think about these in a different way. As I have shared before, rumination is a very strong pull for me and I am choosing to avoid this path, as it is counterproductive. I find talking helps immensely and exercise and reading and writing the blog. Simple things. But thinking about how sad I might feel does not really get me very far. So I park that and go for a walk and look at nature’s beauty. And keeping a rumination diary helps.
Some readers may not relate to this. Perhaps you are naturally optimistic and that is to be celebrated. My mum is a natural ‘chirpy cheep cheep’ person, an optimist and everything will always get better in her worldview. And I love that about her. I, unfortunately am the complete opposite. But either way is fine. Because who we are is who we are. However we can take steps to make life better for ourselves.
Today’s recipe of hope is to reflect on your nature. If you are an optimist, enjoy being positive and spread that positivity to others. The world needs this right now. And if you are more of an Eeyore, then that is fine. But maybe like me you may want to ditch some of the negative mindsets to enjoy life more. Being around positive people can help with this and deciding to tackle some of the negativity can also help. If you are suffering today then do share with someone else, or speak to a GP if it is getting too much.
May we all keep hoping forward X