Developing Hope and Emotional Healing

Chronic emotional problems and the need for treatment can often leave one discouraged. Difficult situations, failures, and past disappointments can be emotionally overwhelming and often become the reason to seek help. Challenges from the recent past often affect the present moment, and previous hospitalization or counseling and returning symptoms can add to one’s discouragement. It is important to understand the effects of discouragement, but also know, with assurance and confidence, hope can be built.  

Wishful Thinking  

A client recently said, “Here I am, sitting on the train track, hoping the train doesn’t hit me.” This bleak statement was actually an important acknowledgment that hope and confidence have to be tied to the positive aspects of change. Developing hope is not a useless act of building up wishful thinking and fantasy. Rather, it is a commitment to set realistic goals, receive help from others, change your attitude, and make emotional and behavioral improvements. These steps bring a sense of encouragement and inspiration.  

Self-Talk That Inspires Hope  

Contrary to wishful thinking, hope is the thought and belief that good things and better days are ahead. We continually move in the direction of how we think and what we speak. This is true of how we think and speak about ourselves as well. Thinking negatively about yourself will lead you to talk negatively about yourself. But if you speak positively, you will move more confidently in a positive direction. Use statements such as, I am valuable, talented, and worthwhile. Remember, you are getting stronger, you can make positive contributions to others and you are able to deal with setbacks along the way. Spend time each day purposefully making positive declarations. Rehearsing positive statements will help you feel hopeful and become more self-confident.  

Recovery is a Journey. Enjoy the Ride!