How to Remain Hopeful in Difficult Times

08/21/2015 04:31 pm ET Updated Aug 21, 2016
happy woman capturing the sunset- Finger Frame
happy woman capturing the sunset- Finger Frame

These days there are so many reasons to feel hopeless: financial difficulty, racial tension, constant exposure to via social media. Our senses are bombarded every second of everyday and a lot of what's being shared is negative.

True hopefulness is an exercise of the soul and a triumph of the will. Here are four ways to remain hopeful.

Most feelings of hopelessness stem from one overwhelming issue, i.e. lack of resources, a break-up, a job you hate. Many of us are afraid to identify the actual problem, out of fear of suffering more. In the book, The Alchemist, author Paulo Coelho states: "Tell your heart that the fear of suffering, is worse than the suffering itself". So you must learn that hopefulness first begins with honest reflection.

There is a pervasive and destructive misconception, that life should always be easy, and that any difficulties met, are a red flag of some sinister plot against us. If you could only learn to accept that the journey and the dream are inexplicably bound, and if you are to realize your purpose, one cannot be had without the other. You must come to realize that hopefulness comes through accepting and embracing both.

So many of us get discouraged and lose hope as a result. Although disappointments are natural, there is nothing natural about living a "less-than" life. Internalize this: The funny thing about change is; it happens in an instant. For days, weeks, years, things stay the same, and then one day they're not. You won't be down forever, so prepare for that day, now. Hopefulness is gained by knowing that this too shall pass, and by getting ready for the day that it does.

Although staying abreast of the issues is important, so is protecting your joy. Cultivate your social media timelines. Your social media exposure should be a mix of things that make you laugh and smile, things that make you think, things of beauty and things that challenge you to shift and stretch beyond your current state. It's okay to hit the reject, delete, unfollow and block button. In fact, it necessary.

It's possible to be hopeful in difficult times. You can both remain open and protect your joy. You are your best advocate; actively take care of your Self.

An exercise of the soul; a triumph of the will...hopefulness.

Live richer,