Positive life orientation has always been considered as one of the necessary ingredients for a happy and healthy life. It has been referred to in various ways like being optimistic, positive, resilient and hopeful.
Several years ago… a leading cancer hospital had interns joining in for their first-hand experience with real time patients. The air around them was high in excitement, eagerness to learn with a few apprehensions too. The rounds to the wards began with the patient and their respective cases keenly observed by all the interns. In one of the wards a patient stood out, mainly for her enthusiastic and friendly nature. She was lending a hand to help the nurses around and brought in a lot of cheer to the other patients too. The results of her tests were out in a few days and in the presence of the interns the concerned doctors revealed the severity of her condition and about reaching a dead end with the course of treatment for her. The following days the interns noticed she was no longer the person they saw on the first day. She looked numb, lost and all cheer around her had vanished. Within few days she had passed on in her sleep and the doctors could not identify the exact reason for her sudden demise. The interns believed that the doctor’s news of having reached a dead end in her cure took away all the hope from her and the extended lifetime too. Most patients undergoing medical treatment tend to link “hope” with “cure”. When one encounters a grave situation concerning his/her physical health it is natural to feel fearful, helpless and dejected. When you resign to the fact that the situation is beyond your control you convince yourself that any effort to change it will be futile. When hope is lost no therapy works and the deterioration is rapid. Good mental health can exist in the absence of good physical health too.
“Hope” is an essential ingredient of any therapeutic relationship …be it the body or the mind. Individuals who reach out to a mental health professional too usually seem to have lost hope and tend to look towards the therapist to move forward. The therapist takes the clients on a path of self-discovery to find the hope that was already there within them.
Sadness, worry and disappointments are also experienced by a mentally healthy person, but he will be positively oriented towards handling the situation. A person who looks to his future with a good measure of positive expectancy is likely to think well for himself, set meaningful life goals, look forward to every experience with optimism and make most of all interactions and relationships in his life.
Hope is defined as an individual’s perception regarding their own capability to clearly conceive their goals, develop a plan to reach them and find ways to sustain the motivation and move forward.
Several ways are there within you to retain hope during these difficult times.
- Become a part of a support group where you meet people who are in a similar situation. You will feel understood since most of them would be in a similar situation and may also be there to support someone they know.
- Set daily goals for yourself and add in exercise and pleasurable activities to retain the interest in every day.
- Spread happiness by indulging in small acts of kindness. Be kind to yourself too.
- Constantly look for things that are working for you and pat your back for the smallest of achievements.
- Surround yourself with positive people.
- Never hesitate to reach out for help.
We at Lean on Me are here whenever you need someone to listen.
“Hope” is the reason for our existence and the driving force that will take us forward for a better future.
AUTHOR: Smitha , Lead Counsellor
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