Hope: Celebrate The Good

Hope NEW

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.

Hope Inside

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 

About the author

Dr. William K. Larkin
  • Dr. gloria wright

    Pulsing the emotion for Hope is very timely in our culture. We can dwell on the catastrophes or we can grieve them and then intentionally move back into “HOPE.”
    “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers – That perches in the soul –
    And sings the tune without the words –
    And never stops – at all.” Emily Dickinson
    I refer to hope as the bridge that helps us cross over dark, turbulent waters. It gives us
    something to counteract and balance the bleak. Life if filled with genuine sorrows
    and monumental disappointments. But over
    dwelling on them is futile. It doesn’t help the situation and it isn’t good for
    our health to wallow in the negative emotions.
    Feeling sorrow and grief are vital human emotions, but staying too long in those
    emotions begins to drain us. Feel them and then move your focus. I ask my
    clients to “bracken” them off. It’s like putting parenthesis around them. Give
    yourself 5, 15 or 30 minutes to really feel the sorrow. Write about them. Then
    take a shower, have a cup of tea or whatever marks the break, then focus on
    It’s interesting to note the correlation between hope and the positive emotions of
    gratitude, love, joy, and peace. They all work together. To truly feel and
    experience hope, you need the foundation of the others. They all connect to
    It’s hard work sometimes to stay healthy. It takes intention and devoted practice. But it
    so worth it. Happiness is not an artificial, plastic state of euphoria. Rather
    it is a way that we frame life. It’s not rose-colored glasses. It’s a way of
    life. Sometimes Hope and Happiness are profound. Some days it just a low hum.
    Let it be the nucleus of your state of being. Have hope. Be happy. It’s good
    for you. And don’t forget to be thankful. It is the season!

  • Audrey Sloofman

    Thank you for this blog about Hope. For sure of the 5 Emotions to Pulse, hope is the most challenging for me. Gratitude has been and still is the easiest to access for pulsing. It
    is the “gateway emotion”, where I can begin and leads me easily into
    peace, love, and joy. Hope is always a challenge for me to access. In the past I have found that I have hoped for specific things which did not always bring me what I really wanted. OR, I got the opposite of what I really wanted which ended in disappointment and a feeling of powerlessness. The solutions I hoped for did not bring the resolutions I was aiming for.

    What I have discovered is that my little, evolving human mind can not know what will be best for me. So much more is possible than what I can come up with. I have discovered that what I usually really want is an experience of Peace, Joy, or Love. When I am too specific in
    what I am hoping for, I can miss in creating any of those experiences. Hoping for or focusing on Peace, Joy, or Love and being vague in how these specifically come to me, leaves me open for a vast array of possible manifestations. It also keeps me more “at peace” and “in a state of joy” in each present moment as I move toward realities that will provide those
    experiences with greater ease.

    I am still a bit suspicious
    of “hope”. I am still managing my thoughts that I should be “careful what I
    hope for” or that I should not get too grandious in my hoping so that I don’t
    get disappointed. I am “hoping” that this will change for me as I focus on
    gratitude, peace, love, and joy. I sense (though don’t yet trust) this is the
    I “hope” you all have a
    very happy thanksgiving!!!

  • Sandra Lintz

    I enjoy looking up the definitions and
    histories of words, especially words we use frequently or take for
    granted. I’ve never contemplated the
    word ‘hope’ before and looking up its definition led to some good material to
    mull over. Dictionary.com said that the
    noun, hope, is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will
    turn out for the best. As a verb, hope
    means to look forward with desire or to believe. Compared to feelings such as peace and joy,
    it seems to me that hope is more relational and active. Hope is forward looking and outward
    looking. It does some comparison between
    what is existing now and what may be in the future. There is some anticipation. It’s the line that doesn’t connect the dots
    but it projects possibilities and desires.
    Hope is brave. Hope dares believe
    that something as it could potentially be.
    It animates something in the mind that isn’t yet manifest. It is built upon positive emotions and
    stretches them further. Hope looks out
    to color the future with good things. I
    think hope is inherent and always within us to a greater or lesser degree. Positivity reinforces the life force of hope.

  • James

    UpSpiraling toward certitude.

    It is interesting to see how all of the emotions of
    gratitude, peace, love, and joy relate to hope – on one hand, the research
    shows that hope leads to happiness and joy and on the other hand this post
    always states that hope it is inhibited by one’s experience of the other
    emotions—one of these emotions being joy. This shows a definite connection
    between all five emotions that appears to be symbiotic.

    According to Merriam-Webster, hope is “a feeling of
    expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.” One of the areas that I
    want to experience even more hope is in growing and expanding my business. As a
    relatively new entrepreneur, I’m finding myself looking at my financial
    statements and getting worried about next month, next quarter, or next year.
    What a worthless and meaningless neuropathway to develop! It doesn’t serve my
    company’s growth at all!

    Instead, as I approach the review of my profit and loss
    statement from a place of gratitude and hopefulness, what I quickly see is that
    my business is completely blessed. I see that in the last 7 months my company’s
    revenue has increased by an exponential 3300%. Talk about something to be
    grateful for! Talk about something to be hopeful about! Talk about wanting to
    celebrate the good and spreading it to other areas of my life and other
    people’s lives! There is so much blessing and so much to be grateful for.

    Whenever I find my mind wandering this week as I think about
    my business, my plan is to pulse hope and let it build to experience it more
    strongly. Given the fact that the brain is 9 times more likely to drift to the
    negative and focus on the resistance, my commitment to pulling my attention to
    the positive frame of reference and meaningful emotions is strengthened. I
    continue to be patient with myself as I rewire to focus on gratitude, peace,
    love, joy, and hope. Here’s to being hopeful about rewiring my brain, reworking
    my “meaning making machine”, and rejuvenating my life.

  • jeris hollander

    “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.” This relationship between love, peace, gratitude, joy and hope reinforces the idea that all things are connected, including our thoughts, emotions, state of mind and general well-being. Each positive emotion is like a building block, enabling us to experience more meaning, growth, and stability in the upspiral as we build one upon another. With the reinforcement of each positive emotion, we are creating a wellspring of inner strength and laying a solid foundation of neural circuitry anchored in positivity and optimism.

    In recent weeks, I noticed my sense of peace was affected on several occasions due to engaging in intense conversations regarding politics, ISIS, the attacks in Paris, and the general state of chaos on a global scale. While I do believe it is important to maintain awareness of current events, it is crucial that we remember to pulse our positive emotions in order to remain steady in our upspiral. I quickly realized that my level hopefulness was directly impacted by an increasing sense of unrest and anxiety. As my sense of peace began to diminish, as did my hope for the forces of good in the world. But I soon recognized this link between peace, hope and and a potential down spiral, so I began to pulse peace, love and compassion for those suffering. This brought me back to a grounded and centered state of being, where I was able to re-engage with my true nature; one hope and optimism. We can’t control the state of the world, but we can control the state of OUR world. Focusing our energy on discord only reinforces it in our mind and in our lives. To the contrary, focusing our energy positive states of emotion including hope and compassion, as well as practicing the zeno meditations and hands prayer, we are benefiting the forces of good on an energetic level by way of first creating it within ourselves.

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute