Welcome to the latest in our series of bitesize blogs containing wellbeing tips and ideas to help boost your mental health and wellbeing.

You might not realise it, but hope is a positive emotion.

Hope is what we feel when we see the glass as half full rather than half empty. Closely linked with optimism, it helps us to maintain a sense of confidence that we can find a way through even the darkest times and to see that difficulties will pass.

Holding onto hope means shifting your spotlight of attention to what’s good in a situation. We are programmed to focus on the negative as this is important for our survival. But when we overfocus on the problematic or challenging aspects of a situation we begin to feel powerless to change anything and lose sight of the potential for a positive outcome. This can lead to stress, anxiety or low mood.

So how can we hold onto hope during the current uncertain times, when we are facing new challenges every day and it feels like our lives might never return to normal?

Here are a few tips for helping you to maintain a sense of hope when things feel tough.

1. Ask yourself

  • “What is going on for me right now?”
  • “What is there to be appreciated?”
  • “What can I be grateful for?”
  • “What part of my current situation could I view as a gift to be treasured?”
  • “How does this benefit me or others?”

2. Take a moment to look around you and notice 5 things you can see or hear. What can you smell? What temperature is it? Notice the impact of these sensory experiences on your physical and emotional state.

3. Look for the positive meaning in the situation. Ask yourself “What is there to celebrate or enjoy in what I am experiencing or doing right now?”

4. Savour and anticipate good things: Perhaps you’ve had a recent pleasurable experience that you can reflect on or tell other people about. Or maybe there’s an event on the horizon to look forward to. Remember that however small these moments are – reading a book in the warm evening sun or planning a holiday – they have the power to shift your perspective from pessimism to optimism, from despair to hope. They help us to see the opportunities available to us and the brightness in the future.

If you found this helpful and would like to read more bitesize tips to boost your health and wellbeing at work and at home, check out some of the other blogs in this series. You might also like to join our Facebook group UR Resilient, where members are busy sharing creative and inspiring ideas to build personal resilience and maintain a positive mindset during this challenging time.