Faith is not just trusting that tomorrow will be in our favor

12.05.2020

When there is hope, the mind turns to a goal and gives meaning to the wait. The moment our brain activates said focus, force and emotion shape the ability to plan, to draw strategies and routes with which to overcome the present situation. Maintaining a realistic but positive vision of things broadens our life perspectives and that is a skill that we should all improve.

Understanding the sense of hope as a psychological competence would improve our mental well-being and, in turn, even optimize our ability to achieve. A good part of the expert community agrees on this same idea. An example, Matthew Gallagher, psychologist and professor at the University of Houston, focuses in one of his studies on how this dimension generates notable advances in psychotherapy.

If we empower a person in the art of cultivating this concept traditionally related to the field of philosophy or spirituality, they will be able to better handle conditions such as everyday stress and anxiety. It is achieved because we manage to instill in the patient's mind dimensions such as the reduction of anxiety, self-confidence, positivity and cognitive flexibility.

This last concept, that of cognitive flexibility, is decisive. Hope works by weakening those more rigid mental schemes so that we can plan, design new goals and objectives trusting that some of them will work. Teaching us, after all, that only when we are receptive and confident that the future can we transform our present.

Hope and our ability to plan

Charles Rick Snyder was one of the leading exponents of positive psychology in the study of hope. He defined this dimension as a motivational state in which two factors combine. On the one hand, the energy or emotion of positive valence towards the idea of ​​achieving something. On the other, planning.

That is to say, the authentic hope, the one that is useful and reverts to our well-being, is not one that is limited only to trusting that the events that are to come will be good. In addition, the person reasons and visualizes what strategies must be given for what one expects to happen.

Therefore, in this dimension not only positivity and confidence are integrated, we also find the capacity to plan what must be done in order to reach that desired horizon. Let's see however more features.

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Hope is a component of psychological well-being

We pointed it out at the beginning. Cultivating a sense of hope is key within psychotherapy. After all, the opposite of this dimension is fear, immobility and that perpetual anguish in which only walls and obstacles are seen and no horizon.

Positive psychology has always integrated hope at its foundations because it sees in it what allows the impulse towards change in the human being. It basically achieves this by the components that make it up:

  • Goal-oriented thoughts and ability to plan.
  • Cognitive flexibility. Ability to react to uncertainty and difficulty, being able to change approaches, to find ten solutions to the same problem, to see various solutions to a specific situation.
  • Self-confidence. This third element is very important. The person who maintains hope does not always 100% trust that things are going to happen are propitious. Hope is also trusting yourself and your skills to deal effectively with what may happen.

Thinking positive improves planning and change orientation

Thinking positive is understanding that we need to transform our reality in difficult times to achieve well-being. For his part, those who see reality through the glass of negativity only glimpse obstacles and provide criticism. We therefore need to mentally build the foundations of active hope that mediates the ability to plan, project and act to transform the present.

Thus, in a study carried out at the University of Maryland, United States, Dr. Thomas Bailey demonstrated how hope and optimism mediated people's quality of life. One of the most remarkable dimensions that this mental approach favors is that thanks to it we attenuate the impact of uncertainty.

When we navigate through those complicated and adversity-ridden times, we need a sense of hope that allows us to move without the weight of fear or permanent anguish that makes us think the worst. Not knowing what may happen tomorrow or what awaits us in the near future is one of the greatest sources of anxiety, stress and suffering.

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