Love, peace, gratitude and joy have always comprised the basic building blocks of the Emotional Gym. Not too long ago, I added a 5th feeling to those basic 4. And it is HOPE. As the research emerges, the construct of hope continually pushes forth as a major and robust predictor of happiness and joy.
Working with the first four, I began to believe that I had a hold on getting people to experience the emotions of hope. What I learned was that hope depends upon the experience of the other four emotions.
As you feel gratitude, peace, love, and joy, your capacity for hope increases. When any one of the previous four emotions is blocked, then feeling hope is affected.
“Feeling ourselves” into the future is very delicate. Consider this: getting people to dream, visualize, imagine, and to vision their future can also be very challenging.
Sacred texts describe faith as “the hope of things unseen.” And that is what we especially need right now. Hope is that which we cannot yet see, yet know will come into being. Hope is definitely a feeling and a significant issue in dealing with doubt, worry, anxiety, and fortune-telling (that’s imagining and projecting negativity into the future.)
So begin to pulse hope. Find a few cues that will remind you to feel hope and “pulse” it. Every time you hear negative economic news from another “talking head,” pulse hope.
Suffice it to say that there is enough research indicating that hope is a very significant indicator of living in an UpSpiral. It is also a very difficult emotion to feel if you are clutching and afraid on almost any level.
It is much easier to feel hope if you can feel gratitude, peace, joy, and love first.
Let me say it again-the very best way to feel hope is to feel all of the other emotions first, and to get good at them. Then go to hope and you will find that it is there already. It has sneaked its way into your emotional repertoire. You can find it and you can practice it and grow it, just like you have all of the others.
Your brain is designed to be more hopeful than less; it’s just built that way.
One very basic rule is to celebrate the good, make it last, and spread it around. When something is negative, don’t make it so permanent or lasting, and don’t let it affect everything in your life. We have a great deal more difficulty experiencing hope when we pass over the good too quickly, and dwell on the negative.
Whenever your mind wanders and begins to worry about what will happen, pulse hope and let it build, even more strongly.
Hope is the foundation of the State of Mind of Certitude.
© Dr. William K. Larkin