Finding hope in tough times of change

Guest Blog Post by Jeff Vankooten 1/16/12

Finding Hope in Times of ChangeThings have been a bummer lately. The economy is tight, change is disruptive, and our lives uncertain. Mood and Morale are low. How does one persist in hope when things seem so hopeless? Here are my suggestions based on the acronym H.O.P.E.

H: Hone your mental fortitude. This is a way of thinking that lead us to respond in patterned ways to the everyday demands of life. Research shows that how or what we think directly affects our moods and how we feel. Events or circumstances do not determine your mood. How you think about them does. Keep your thoughts in check.
Remember, you are responsible for your own emotions and actions. Your harmful actions or dysfunctional behavior are the product of your irrational thinking. Take responsibility for your distress.

O: Optimize your moments. Life is a daisy chain of moments all weaving together the tapestry we call life. Each moment is ladened with potential. It is the only part of time in which we can be fully aware. Celebrate the glass of wine with your spouse. Laugh heartily at stupid jokes. Weep at the injustices of life. In other words, deeply seize the day by day moments.

P: Populate your relationships. None of us is as smart as all of us. Getting through bummer times cannot be done alone. You need others to share the load and contribute insights. Given the nature of social media we can find others who care over long distances. Of course, it is critical to have a handful of friends who are close by
to lend a hand to and shoulder to cry on. Plus, as you contribute to the relationship you get a greater sense of self worth.

E: Energize your soul. You cannot neglect your spiritual nature. It is the core of who we are and the expression of our deepest desires. When it atrophies, so do we. Settle down and breath in the reality of a greater, more expansive world. Take time to be silent and listen to the still small voice of God. Expand your heart through
deeds of compassion and choose the path of peace in a frenetic world.

Jeff Vankooten is the author of “Bounce Back: How to Thrive in an Uncertain World” and a subject matter expert on resilience from Denver, Colorado.

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