This is a guest post on behalf of the Mormon Channel Blog.
Sometimes you feel stressed. Sometimes you feel overwhelmed. Sometimes you feel hopeless. And you know what? That’s OK. Those are normal things to feel. But even in the middle of winter, in the middle of a breakup, or in the middle of a serious health problem, you can be hopeful and optimistic.
What is hope?
Hope is a feeling of desire for something to happen. That’s the definition most of us probably think of when asked what hope is. But hope is more than wishful thinking. Hope is the opposite of despair. A life of despair is a life of fear, discouragement, and unhappiness. A life of hope is a life of faith, inspiration, and happiness. Hope is also a feeling of trust. It’s not knowing what’s going to happen, but trusting in yourself, trusting in God and His plan for you, or trusting that your teenager will make the right choice. Hope is having faith and acting on that faith.
How can you be more hopeful and optimistic?
No matter your age, skills, or life circumstances, you can have hope. Hope doesn’t play favorites. And here are four ways you can start being more hopeful and optimistic.
1. Read through old journals and family history accounts.
Reading how you handled difficult situations or how your great-grandmother overcame similar life challenges can help you learn from the past and have hope for a better future a better future.
2. Know what you have hope for and hope in.
What you hope for are things you want to happen in your future, i.e. you hope for a better job, to have your own family one day, or that your football team will make it to the playoffs. The things you have hope in are what get you through each day, trial, or temptation. You have to have hope in yourself, in your abilities, and in God that things will work out how they’re supposed to.
3. Address head on what’s bothering you.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, don’t put off your responsibilities. Make a plan for how you’re going to get everything done. If a family member offended you, don’t ignore their calls or skip out on family dinners. Talk to them honestly about how you’re feeling. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t make excuses.
Don’t let your fears overtake you. Recognizing the issue and making a plan to take care of whatever it is, gives you hope to face it. And when you get your work done or have that conversation with your family member, you’ll have more hope and optimism to address whatever else is troubling you.
4. Put your hope, faith, and optimism into action.
Above all else, make the conscious decision to have hope and faith and be optimistic. Remember there’s a season for everything, so even when everything around you contradicts hope, be hopeful.
Just like a young child learning to walk, taking one small step at a time, you can cultivate more hope and optimism in your life by taking these small steps.
Learn more about how to be more hopeful and optimistic on mormon.org and see how having God in your life can change everything. You can also get daily inspiration and uplifting quotes and more on mormonchannel.org/blog