Archives for April, 2011 - Page 2
Hope is the life force that keeps us going and gives us something to live for. Hope is a crucial part of dealing with life's problems and maintaining resilience is the face of obstacles. Even a glimmer of hope that our situation will turn around can keep us going. Though, when we begin to lose hope, things can seem bleak. When we run into constant resistance and are prevented from reaching our goals we can start to feel like there is nothing to live for. If we can't get to where we want to be and don't feel in control of our life, what's the point? If you or someone else is feeling apathetic and are tired of running the rat race of life you may be starting to lose hope. In order to open up new and fulfilling possibilities for your future, you may need to nurture hope. Below is an adaptation from the book, The Psychology of Hope by C.R. Snyder, a late and great pioneer in the field of positive psychology. How we lose hope Lacking hope from the beginning - If we experienced neglect and were never nourished as a child, we may never have developed a healthy level of hopeful thinking. We might not have confidence and resilience set in place, and simply struggle when things prevent us from achieving our goals.
Have you ever heard of getting a "check up from the neck up?" I love this saying because sometimes all we need is an attitude adjustment in order to make things better in life. Positive psychology offers many applied ideas to start instilling more positivity and improving our perspective and attitude. Whether we need to improve our performance at work, create better relationships, or simply have more positive emotions there are ways to start improving our mindset, performance, and circumstances. Below are a few tips to develop a more positive frame of mind. Reprogram thinking - Our expectations really can become reality. Using positive affirmations and visualization is crucial to breaking the habit of self-limiting thoughts. Your thinking relates to your beliefs which impact your attitude, which then impacts what you’re willing to do and what you expect. If you have a negative attitude, it will be tough to see things any other way. Reprogramming thinking can help us develop an optimistic outlook where we expect positive things to happen, and feel confident and positive about how we can manage our current situation. Create a healthy support system - We all need people around us who support what we do and encourage and believe in us. We may fail along the way but having someone to believe in us gives us a chance to bounce back and continue to grow.
Stress is just a part of life, and the more we understand it and how we respond to it, the better our chances of neutralizing it. There are many ways to cope with stress, though one thing we don't typically think of when dealing with a troubling or distressing situation is positive emotions. When difficulty emerges we probably don't even consider that positivity is appropriate, but research is revealing that people do experience positive emotions during the stress response, and that it can be a valuable function to cope with stress. For instance, the broaden-and-build theory provides evidence that positive emotions broaden our social, emotional, and intellectual resources leading to greater social support and problem solving capabilities, whereas negative emotions limit our perceived scope of options. Positive emotions offer us a change in perspective and can give us a potential "time-out" from dealing with our trials and tribulations. Here are a few reasons this is so. Positive reappraisal