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Feeling Hopeless? Here’s How to Develop Hope and Live Happy

Are you superstitious?

Do you believe the number 13 is unlucky? If that number makes you nervous, you’re not alone.

Millions of people across the globe, mainly in the Western world, have an irrational fear of the number 13. The phenomenon is so widely reported, it even has its own hard-to-pronounce name: triskaidekaphobia.

It’s said by some that the number 13 brings great misfortune, and is to be avoided as much as possible. How so?

Certain buildings refuse to acknowledge a 13th floor, people alter their behaviors every Friday the 13th, and others get anxious watching Channel 13. If an airline gives you the 13th seat in the 13th row or a hotel put you in room 1313, would you rebook, cancel, or go on as planned?

With this in mind, how do you think the astronauts of Apollo 13 viewed their mission? Apollo 13 was NASA’s third moon-landing mission, but the astronauts never made it to the lunar surface.

The highly trained, logical, and calculating astronauts likely never worried or even thought about the ominous number of their mission but on April 15, 1970, in a dramatic series of events, an oxygen tank explosion almost 56 hours into the flight forced the crew to abandon all thoughts of reaching the moon and may have made them seriously reconsider their views of the number 13.

The astronauts faced overwhelming odds, anxiety, depression, and fear. Subsequent tensions within the crew and numerous technical problems threatened both the astronauts’ survival and their safe return to Earth.

After experiencing the daunting challenges of being confined in a cramped module while also facing the harsh realities of what had occurred, most people would find it extremely difficult to maintain any hope of returning home alive let alone enduring the situation to try to survive. In fact, any sense of hope would likely be so far gone that it’d be sending “wish you were here” postcards.

Hope has a remarkable power to inspire people to achieve what seems impossible or highly unlikely. Despite facing seemingly insurmountable challenges, the three astronauts did not give up or succumb to despair. Instead, they drew upon their training and expertise, persevering through one obstacle after another. Their unwavering determination was fueled by the hope of surviving, which proved to be a crucial factor in making it home alive.

Overcoming odds, both large and small, is often much easier said than done. But without hope, a person’s mental health quickly deteriorates and creates a domino effect of doom until waiting for the end is all that remains. Hope is key to living a happy life, no matter how trivial or overwhelming a situation seems.
Feeling Hopeless? Here's How to Create Hope and Live Happy - Maison Vie New Orleans Therapy and Counseling
When people find their hope dimming, yours can help light the way. Photo by Colin Behrens on Pixabay.

How do I find hope when I’m feeling hopeless?

Hope is not automatic. Even naturally hopeful people sometimes question themselves and wonder if they are fools for not being rational. That is why it’s critical to practice being hopeful while reminding yourself and others that being hopeful is the only way to truly live. This is where National Kiss of Hope Day comes in.

What is Kiss of Hope Day?

Kiss of Hope Day is observed on the last Saturday in April. Originally this day was created by the Kiss of Hope Foundation in 2015 for enriching the lives of families, individuals, and communities in need. Hope is known to be something that can help you get through the darker days of your life. National Kiss of Hope Day symbolizes the power of love and hope to change how we perceive life.

What is the point of having a national day just to acknowledge Hope?

As the saying goes, everybody needs someone sometime. Kiss of Hope Day serves as an annual reminder for everyone to express their love and support for one another, especially between loved ones. It’s important to acknowledge that we need others at different points in life to uplift our spirits and tell us things will get better and remind us that everything will be okay. We all will need the support of others at some point in our lives.

Why should I celebrate Kiss of Hope Day?

Life is in constant motion, yet for some isolation is their daily experience. We need to acknowledge we never truly know what our family members and friends are thinking or feeling. That’s why it’s important we intentionally express our love for each other as often as we can. You never know when simple words of encouragement and a show of love will get someone through a rough patch. Be with them and let them know how much they matter to you and how important they are in your life.

Feeling Hopeless? Here's How to Create Hope and Live Happy - Maison Vie New Orleans Marriage Relationship Therapy and Counseling
The strength to overcome obstacles and challenges is inside every one of us. Remaining hopeful even when it’s not rational is the only way the seemingly impossible is done. Remember, where there is life there is hope. Photo by Elias Schäferle on Pixabay.

What if I’m just not that happy of a person?

Being hopeful does not mean forcing yourself to be positive because hope is not a feeling — it is an experience. Hope is a cognitive event that we can create. It involves acknowledging a full, realistic picture of the world.

Here is a list of suggestions that may help you share a smile when you need one, too.

  1. While the emotions of feeling hopeless are real, thinking about what is in your control can have a positive impact on you and those you interact with each day.
  2. Feeling overwhelmed can be lightened by considering the overall or bigger picture.
  3. Gratitude maintains a sense of hope because you are being intentional in your responses, not reactions.
  4. Celebrate the small steps of each day and the milestones of life.
  5. Being proactive sets the stage for success and gives you more control of your mood.

Having a regular attitude of gratitude and a habit of being hopeful becomes easier each day. It will become natural and normal to notice the good things in each day the more you practice looking for and acknowledging them.

My loved ones know I care, so why should I have to say it?

There are so many benefits that occur just from expressing appreciation, care, concern, and support for another person. The genuineness of it has a comfort like no other. Plus, neurologically, both people receive a boost of “feel good” hormones that are vital to our survival.

There are so many other great motivators to share that you care.

Feeling Hopeless? Here's How to Create Hope and Live Happy - Maison Vie Lafayette Therapy and Counseling
Hope often breaks through and grows in the most unlikely of places. Photo by Pascal Meier on Unsplash.

What are some easy ways to build Hope?

Many things in life inspire us to keep moving forward. Finding your inspirational motivators will help keep you going. Here is a simple checklist to reflect upon and do while starting to build hope.

Surround yourself with positive people

Review what you have, not what you’ve lost or don’t have

Discuss your recent successes with someone


Spend time outdoors

☑ Write a thank you note or email

Connect with someone outside of your home

Unplug from all electronics for the day

Write down three things for which you are grateful

What else should you know about Hope?

Watch family and marriage therapist Susan Harrington, founder of Maison Vie, discuss National Kiss of Hope Day, the powerful benefits of being a hopeful person, why we should all work to make hope a habit, and how it can help you to live a happy life. You can also contact Maison Vie to see how Susan can help guide you through counseling sessions.