A Message of Hope
How important is a message of hope? Are there health benefits? How much does hope affect our mental outlook? We know bad news sells and we’ve had plenty of it which paints a picture of hopelessness. Sensational social media posts seem to get the most attention online and are shared widely. I feel strongly that a message of hope is needed today more than ever in a world that has reeled from fake news, shutdowns, fear of dying from a virus and isolation.
It is one of the reasons why I included a Band of Hope in my new book The Summit. The main protagonist, Mallery, wears a Band of Hope. Her guide tells her she can’t get to her summit without it. The small yellow band tightens with the feeling of hope as she stays on track toward her summit and loosens with hopelessness when losing her way or focus. There is no magical power in the simple band, but the mental focus it provides helps our character persevere through her journey to eventually reach the pinnacle of her summit.
The fulfillment of hope is based on three main pillars: natural resources, an executable plan and determination. All three are necessary to develop and keep hope alive. Here, we will talk about the benefits of a message of hope: reaching your mountain, physical benefits, optimism and disease protection.
A Message of Hope to Reach Your Mountain
Maria Sharapova, champion tennis player, spent many years practicing on the back courts out of the limelight. Her days were filled with constant drills, repetition and training but she had the hope of being a world champion at some point. Her hope was based on an ability, her natural resources, but she still had to work hard to get there. She quotes, “Looking back now, I realize that tennis has been my mountain.”
As well as training based on natural ability, she had a plan. You don’t just get up one day and be in the top shape of your life to play Wimbledon. There is an executable plan, which Maria stuck to, and also added to that was determination. She could have quit when failing a drug test for a painkiller she had been taking legally for ten years. But she fought it and came back. She not only came back strong but battled her way back into the sport’s Top 30 in 2018.
A Message of Hope Brings Mental & Physical Benefits
As well as mental benefits of a message of hope, there are physical benefits. According to Merriam-Webster, the essential meaning of hope is to want something to happen or be true. The optimism one feels with that focus lifts the spirt. The song You Raise Me Up, recorded by more than a hundred artists including Josh Groban and others says, You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains. It has a strong message of hope and many other songwriters have penned that same message.
The message of You Raise Me Up is based on the Biblical scripture Isaiah 40:31 which says, Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Other scriptures also talk about hope, such as Romans 5:3-4 where it says, suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope. No matter what your belief, those are wise words to live life by.
A Message of Hope Creates Optimism
Optimism is when you can envision a more positive perspective over a feeling of doom, discouragement and despair. This is not merely sugar-coating a bad situation but looking forward to what’s possible. Positive emotions, a feeling of purpose and engaging with others is quantifiable and predictive according to researchers Segre and Ferraz, This leads to greater achievement, lower depression levels and greater physical health.
This definition is in agreement with the World Health Organization (WHO), which proports positive mental health brings better physical health to increase longevity, reduce healthcare costs and lead to improvements in mental health in relation to aging and disease. Psychologist Martin Seligman calls this positive health.
This positive health leads to greater achievement, lower depression levels and better physical health. Other studies have long indicated that more optimistic individuals are more likely to succeed at work, in school, sports, politics, relationships and other parts of life. If you look back at history, you will find every decade has something to feel hopeless about, whether it was a world war, a plague, an Aids immune disorder or even a pandemic. We have always come through. That should give you hope.
A Message of Hope Creates Disease Protection & Cardiovascular Health
In a meta-analysis of fifteen studies including almost 230,000 individuals, (Rozanski, Bavishi, Kubzansky), optimism was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality. In 2001, the psychologist Kubzansky and his colleagues associated higher optimism and lower risk for specific cardiac outcomes including angina, myocardial infarction and cardiac death.
This may be attributed to an increase in circulation and breathing that optimism brings. There was even a study that noted that a brief raising of positive mood enhances creative thinking and makes physicians more accurate and faster to come up with the proper diagnosis. This was tested for liver patients. (Fredrickson, 2001)
A Message of Hope With the Band of Hope
Mallery is the main protagonist in the allegory, The Summit. Her guide gives her a Band of Hope to wear on her right wrist. She cannot get to her Summit without it. Even though it tightens when hope was alive and loosens when losing hope, the band itself doesn’t carry any sort of magical power. It is the focus the band creates for her main purpose. The optimistic future of hope makes it so powerful.
The principle of the band is the same for us. When we lose our main focus on our purpose, we wander aimlessly with distractions. We lose an optimistic attitude, there’s increased feelings of stress and pressure, even onset of depression. We can eventually lose hope and I feel lose out on life. Hope is necessary for you to reach your summit and it’s necessary for your health and mental wellness. Keep hope alive and well with a positive mental attitude, good habits and focus on your goal.
Hope is necessary for you to reach your summit and it’s necessary for your health and mental wellness.
Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker, Author
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