We live in a negative world so it’s important to build up our Hope Reservoir. Here are ten ways to increase your level of hope.
1. Do something for someone else
The quickest way to pull the plug on your hope reservoir is to become self-absorbed. When feeling despair, look around to see who needs some help. It can help you regain your perspective quickly and cause you to recognize the things for which to be thankful. Buy someone some flower. Sweep their sidewalk or shovel their snow.
2. Go outside and take a brisk walk
There are two parts to this hope restoration technique. The first one is that the sun provides vitamin D that help you feel better. The other is that as you walk you will get your blood circulating more effectively to your brain. This in turn will cause you to think more clearly and, as a result, feel better.
Laughter releases endorphins – the feel-good chemicals in your brain. It’s possible to teach yourself to laugh. I encourage you to take your mistakes lightheartedly and to find the humor in your most difficult situations. I often tell myself, “Self, this is going to be a great story when I tell it later.”
4. Listen to upbeat songs
Music has a way of reaching our very soul. Our brains are affected by the melody and rhythm. Choose songs that make you feel better and lyrics that encourage your participation to sing along. If you are a musician, get out your instrument and make you own music. Sing along and raise your hope level.
5. Try a new recipe and invite someone over to share the deliciousness
I personally do not usually use recipes. It’s probably because the cooks I’ve been around, just always seemed to have a feel for how much of any given ingredient to add to the soup. There is also great encouragement in sharing a meal and bonding as we break bread together.
6. Learn something new
Hope increases as we open our minds to new pathways and possibilities. The other hope boost comes from interacting with others. Get out of your comfort zone and learn to do something you’ve always wanted to do. Make a list and ask others who do that well to show you how to do it. You’ll be pleased to see what you can accomplish.
7. Talk to hope-filled friends for a positive contagion
You become like who surround you. If you want to have amazing hope levels, surround yourself with positive, encouraging people. You may have to get away from certain people until you are stronger. Hope is contagious and can set the tone for your home, job and life.
8. Remember your favorite Bible verse or inspirational quote
Truth sets us free. What inspires you to have hope. My favorite hope verse is Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” I have this one memorized. I have it written on a card that is taped to the wall by my work computer.
9. Clean out a closet, off your desk/briefcase/purse
Pick a spot and start cleaning off the clutter. Get rid of stuff. Use the one year rule – if you haven’t used it in a year – donate it to someone who can use it. Hope increases as we get a handle on our lives and what is happening around us.
10. Sign up to volunteer for a cause you believe in
Get involved in a worthy cause. You will feel like you’re making a difference and you will be interacting with others. That’s a wonderful hope-filled combination.
What are some ways that you boost your hope? I would love to hear from you.
Karen Sebastian is a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed in your business. She is a certified facilitator with Kauffman Foundation’sFastTrac. Subscribe to this blog for more inspiration on how to become a HOPEpreneur. Please email her at email@example.com if you would like to book her as a speaker or want one-on-one coaching to accelerate your personal and professional growth.