How Do You Maintain Hope?

Maintaining hope is an important skill for anyone. When bad things happen — and they are bound to eventually — hope keeps us going. When times are particularly difficult, how can you avoid becoming despondent? How do you maintain hope?

A positive attitude allows for a better life. It can give you confidence, and in turn that confidence allows yo top make changes that will hopefully be for the better. Improvement in your life circumstances is dependent on efforts to improve. And those efforts, in turn, depend on trusting that things can, in fact, get better.

Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What are you optimistic about?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What makes a tradition?’

In that regard, hope is one of the most important feelings. It is through hopefulness that all else becomes possible.

However, there are times when it is very difficult to stay hopeful. In the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, for example. Or after a long series of setbacks. If you don’t see much growth or improvement, it is easy to become cynical.

So what can you do to combat this? What behaviors or techniques can you employ to keep hope alive in seemingly hopeless times?

Related questions: Why should we be hopeful? How can we maintain wonder? Optimistic or pessimistic? What are you optimistic about? When do you need inspiration?

8 thoughts on “How Do You Maintain Hope?”

  1. I’ll admit it. While I am usually a hopeful person, current politics are testing me. I’ve struggled to maintain my hopeful disposition. So I am very interested in how others answer this question.

    That said, while I find myself challenged right now, this quote from Greta Thunberg captures how I maintain (or work to maintain) my hopeful constitution.

    “Hope is not passive. Hope is not blah, blah, blah. Hope is telling the truth. Hope is taking action. And hope always comes from the people.” – At the Youth4Climate summit in Milan, Italy, on September 28, 2021.

    Say it again, Greta: Hope is taking action.

    1. Thanks, Michael for this question and your response. Greta has inspired me to see climate change as a top threat to our existence and to do whatever I can to combat it. She has demonstrated how one small person can make a huge difference!

  2. I maintain my hope through prayer and by reading, studying and meditating on God’s Word. I have favorite scriptures that I go to in different situations, i.e. When I’m feeling depressed, I meditate on Psalms 34:18. When I’m feeling weak, I turn to Philippians 4:13.
    Also, by placing my faith and hope in God, rather that human government/leaders, I have never been disappointed or felt hopelessness.

  3. I hit a breakdown point two weeks ago. I quite literally lost hope.

    After talking to my therapist, I realized that the human brain cannot handle the inundation of global information we are now exposed to. The sheer deluge of horror we get every day is overwhelming us. I experienced that on a mental, emotional, and physical level.
    And I had to step away. Not just for my own sanity—but to even consider moving forward. You can’t save someone else from drowning if you can’t swim.

    What my therapist told me was that 30 years ago even, our counterparts simply would not have had this level of information. And that enabled them to maintain hope in the process. They worked for their communities. And they hoped that work would spread to the larger community. And often, it did. Which is why the EPA was born the same year I was. People saw a common challenge, and rose to it. They rose to it without being destroyed by the sheer odds against them, because they couldn’t see them. They only saw the challenge in front of them.

    So, what helps me maintain hope? In the past two weeks, it has been removing myself from the inundation of information and dedicating myself to work for my community. Along with healing myself. And hoping that work and that hope and that dedication will spread.

    It’s all I can do. Otherwise I will drown.

  4. Here’s a story.
    I’m not sure if it will work in this synopsis or not but here goes.
    In the fable of Pandora’s Box, the last thing that came out was hope. Now the box was supposed to be filled with evil. How could hope be evil?
    When I researched the word “hope”. I found a few things.
    First I always wanted to believe what the bible says in Romans 5 about hope not disappointing us.
    Then I found in the dictionary that “hope” has another side. We put our hope in people or events that constantly disappoint us. Thus the evil side of hope.
    Now as far as how do I maintain hope in my life?
    I’m very careful as to how much hope or faith or confidence I put in anything as to not set myself up for failure.
    Hope by it’s self can be a wonderful thing. It works very well with caution so I don’t set myself up for disappointment.
    I’m not sure if I made sense or not.
    I hope I did.

  5. Faith in God gives me hope. Today’s scripture readings included the story of Jesus’ multiplication of 5 loaves and 2 fish to feed a crowd of thousands. (Matthew Ch. 14:22-36).

    Reflecting on this story today inspired me to contribute to disaster relief in Kentucky. I trust/hope that Jesus will multiply my gift. When he does something, he does it in a big way. The writer Anne Lamott calls him a big show-0ff. In the Gospel story, there was more than enough to feed everyone there, with baskets full of leftovers. I hope and pray that the people of Kentucky will get the help they need and then some.

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