Let’s Review What We Know So Far About Hope
Lesson One Review: What is Hope?
We began our lessons talking about hope and discovered that having hope is a very important skill you can learn and use every day. The more you practice your hope skills, the better you are at living your life.
We learned about various definitions of hope and then created our own definition of hope.
a) Review your own hope definition.
b) Placing your hope definition somewhere visible is a good reminder to connect with your feelings of hope and what it means to you.
Lesson Two Review: Why Is Hope Important?
We also talked about success and why hope is important.
a) Can success mean more than just having nice things or lots of money?
The amount of money you have, how many friends you have, what your family is like, or where you live does not determine if you are hopeful. You can build hope within yourself no matter what, and then once you have it, hope will help you thrive in your life.
b) Why do you think hope is important? (Some examples: Hope makes us emotionally strong, connects us with others, helps us overcome challenging situations, keeps us moving forward)
Lesson Three Review: The Brain and Hope
a) What part of the brain helps us learn and be hopeful? (Answer: Upstairs Brain)
The Upstairs Brain controls more complicated actions and emotions like good decision making, self-understanding, and empathy. We use our upstairs brain to learn new things and when we feel hope.
b) What does the Downstairs brain control?
- The Downstairs brain controls our survival instincts. It is here where our body has the fight or flight reaction to a danger or threat.
- When the Downstairs brain takes over, our Upstairs brain shuts down. This means that if we are angry, upset, scared, or frustrated, it can really be difficult to learn and retain information. It’s also hard to make good choices and it is challenging to see our hope.
Remember: We can use a tool to help identify our distress level to help us know when our Downstairs brain may be taking over, and we need to act to help ourselves. Distress is any emotion/feeling that you do not want such as fear, anger, sadness, or frustration. On a scale of 1-10, rate how you are feeling. 0 is not feeling any distress and 10 is feeling intense or strong feelings of distress. When we reach a 7 or higher, this is when we want to practice our hope tools.
Lesson Four Review: How to Create a Hopeful Mind
You practiced some exercises that can help you stay in your Upstairs brain and remain hopeful. Most can be practiced anywhere and at any time.
a) What is a tool you may use to help you find your hope?
Examples may be deep breathing, visualization, meditation, or journaling positive things.
Lesson Five Review: Hopeful Purpose
An important aspect of a strong hope foundation is knowing that you have a purpose and are an important person. Recognizing what you like to do, helps discover your purpose. There is no purpose better than another.
a) What do you love doing? Art, sports, being with friends, writing stories, playing an instrument? Has pursuing your passion given you a sense of purpose? Have you discovered something new you enjoy? Sometimes our passions may change or we may have more than one. The most important thing to remember is to pursue them.
Hopeful Minds, an iFred.org project, was made possible through the generous support of The Mood Factory and Sutter Health.