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  • Paula Thompson
    Paula Thompson

    Finding Hope in the Midst of Loneliness and Despair

    When life is hard, it can be a lonely place. No one truly understands what we go through. We can feel like no one has ever felt pain like ours before, yet we all struggle. We feel lost, enclosed in our own mind, desperate for some kind of release from the feeling of being lost, crushed by the weight of our negative emotions.

    One of the defining moments in life is when we are faced with the choice of whether to submit to feelings of despair and loneliness and give up, or refuse to succumb to these feelings and find hope. When you are in the midst of battling depression and feeling lost, it can take every ounce of strength you have to find even the tiniest glimmer of hope.

    It is easy to get stuck in the same thought patterns which make you feel so bad, and to fall into the trap of constantly comparing your situation to how much worse other people have it, but this kind of thinking only makes you sink further into a pit of depression. Everyone's struggles are unique and unique to their situation, and therefore comparison is of limited use. Concentrate instead on finding positive aspects to your circumstances and build on those.

    The first step towards finding hope comes in the form of self-love. Ask yourself, "What would make me feel better?" Pursue activities that promote self-care, such as eating healthily, exercising regularly and joining a support group. Loving yourself is the foundation of finding hope. When we are kind to ourselves, it makes it easier to develop optimistic mental habits that help create a happier and more hopeful future.

    Another way to start restoring hope is to take action. This doesn't necessarily mean to act on everything you want right away. Rather, taking small steps opens the door to possibility and provides hope. If a mood change is needed, watch a funny movie, listen to joyful music, go out with friends, or do something rewarding like volunteering. These are helpful means of beating the depressive state of mind and start building a more positive outlook on life.

    Sometimes spiritual practices can also be beneficial, helping to shift perspective and tone down negative emotions. It should never be forced, there are many ways to explore it and each individual should find what works for them. Find a spiritual practice which will bring peace and balance. Such practices may include prayer, meditation, chanting, and visualization.

    A major component of finding hope is reaching out for help and connecting with a community. Whenever we feel like there's no one who understands our point of view, don't hesitate to reach out for help. Our connection to our community can be crucial in boosting morale and helping us find hope. Talk to family and friends or a counselor, or join an online or in-person support group. They provide invaluable and compassionate support when you need it the most.

    Finding hope in moments of loneliness and despair can be difficult, but it is not impossible. We need to remember that reactions of despair and loneliness will come, but what makes a difference is how we respond: by showing kindness to ourselves and engaging in purposeful activities and spiritual practices, while seeking the support of our community and developing positive mental habits. With all that in mind, hope can be just around the corner.

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