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The power of hope and how to build it

A 2019 study found that optimism can boost your lifespan by 11 to 15 percent. It’s also associated with a lower risk of chronic illness and improved mental health. Hope is a big component of optimism, but it can be difficult to muster up hope during difficult times. We all want to reap the health benefits of optimism and hope, so here are five strategies to build more hope into your day-to-day life. 

  1. Take control. A big part of cultivating optimism for the future is developing a sense of autonomy over it. Take control of your future with proactive steps every day to master your own future. This can look like setting new goals, volunteering in your community, spreading awareness about an issue you are passionate about or making financial resolutions. 
  2. Seek out solutions. You’re already reading The Optimist Daily which is a great first step! Whether in your personal life or in the world, focus on tangible solutions and how you can contribute to furthering them. This can be as simple as taking a walk through your neighborhood to reap the benefits of the outdoors, investing in a green energy company, or just sharing something good on social media!
  3. Practice gratitude. We frequently discuss the benefits of gratitude at The Optimist Daily. It can make you happier and helps counteract negativity bias. Institute a gratitude practice in your life such as journaling or ask your family members each evening what made them grateful that day. 
  4. Accept bad luck. Sometimes the unfortunate occurrences we face are just a consequence of plain old bad luck. If your grocery bag breaks or you get a parking ticket, remember that bad luck happens to everyone and the world is not out to get you. Let it go and move forward with a plan of action and self-care to start tomorrow fresh.
  5. Look at the big picture. When times are tough, it’s easy to get caught up with everything going wrong, but if you look back at every challenge you’ve faced, most likely you came out the other side with a fresh perspective and a clearer path forward. Remember that this is just a small piece of your greater journey and take action to make each day as fulfilling as possible no matter the circumstances.

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