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Hope - Desire for Something to Happen

Hope reduces feelings of helplessness, increases happiness, reduces stress, and improves our quality of life.

You may hear people talk about holding onto hope and that can mean different things for each and every one of us.

Hope can be a desire for something to happen, a wish for things to change for the better or a particular dream or aspiration. It is important for us to have hope in our lives, important for us to look positively into our future and is a major protective factor in helping us tackle potentially dangerous ideation or intrusive thoughts.

Hope is also a very personal thing and it is important that you do not measure your goals influenced by others. Your aspirations are personal and important to you.

Hopelessness is a feeling that things will not and cannot change and creates a sense that there is no solution to a problem, which can be an increase to the risk of suicide. Whilst hopelessness is not a sole cause of suicide, having hope in our lives can significantly reduce the risk.

Hope is an incredible strength and protective factor in our lives.

There maybe times you are challenged with believing there is hope. Try not to be hard on yourself, this is normal.

Attend local support groups

Counselling – this doesn’t always have to be through your GP

Use helplines for support

Be mindful of what you eat as this can help lift your mood

Exercise – this doesn’t have to be at the gym – try walking, doing housework faster, or going up and down the stairs. As long as you are realistic about your goals and abilities.

Practice mindfulness – you can download apps Headspace, Calm

Practice getting into a routine again

Stay connected with others

Helping others can really benefit our recovery – check out the Gratitude factsheet

Get new skills – keeps the mind active

Practice breathing – the Headspace and Calm app can help you do this.

Library – self-help books, including the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Recovery Colleges NI – each trust area has a recovery college, check out the details on the website. You can attend groups to help with learning and overcoming your illness, or learning how to live a better quality of life even whilst being diagnosed with an illness such as depression.

Positive Impacts of Hope...

Gives you a reason to get out of bed every day

Improves mental wellbeing

Benefits your physical body

Helps with the immune system as it reducesyour levels of stress

Increases self-worth, self-belief and your confidence

Encourages you to take positive action

Encourages you to surround yourself with like-minded people

Reduces sadness and anxiety

Creates opportunities

Sometimes we need help to see things in a different way, sometimes we need to change parts of our lives, whatever it may be. There is support out there to help you find the strength to believe that hope is a possibility and it can help us change the way that we live.

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