After watching the movie, “Cast Away” starring Tom Hanks, I can’t help but compare it to the problems we face today and realize that nothing is hopeless. I know this is a fictional story and unfortunately Covid-19 and the pandemic in our lives are all too real, but it still helps to put things in perspective for me.
Hopelessness can feel like sadness, anger, disappointment, and discouragement. It can often lead to isolation, reduce your daily activity, cause you to experience excessive worry, and leave you feeling overly fatigued.
Hopelessness is a feeling. It’s not a fact.Anohni
A feeling of hopelessness can come over you for a variety of reasons. It is important to recognize the causes of your hopelessness in order to determine how to overcome them.
- Feeling alienated, uninspired, or abandoned: Some people may feel very alone and not realize the support systems that have available to them. If you feel abandoned, it is important to get outside of your head to see if your inner reality is an accurate reflection of the outside world. Make sure you are not overgeneralizing from a relatively small number of people or experiences. The corrective action to take is to avoid all-or-nothing thinking and try thinking in shades of gray. There is always a continuum of possibilities for your life.
- Feeling powerlessness or oppression: Sometimes you may feel that you do not have the power to make your own decisions in your life. It may seem as if your choices are limited. This may come from external or internal sources. If you are feeling oppressed, you may need to re-define what the truth is in your life. Try and avoid assigning labels to yourself or your situation. Open your mind to all the possibilities available to you.
- Feeling cursed or helpless: Some people may feel doomed as a result of a medical or other diagnosis. Sometimes our tendency is to look at the negative side of this news. The important thing to remember is to do your research and explore all the possibilities of the prognosis for your particular diagnosis. As difficult as it may be, try and keep an open mind to the positive possibilities.
There is not racial or ethnic domination of hopelessness. It’s everywhere.Sidney Poitier
To avoid feelings of hopelessness, it is important to recognize your talents and gifts. If you find yourself disregarding your personal successes, you may begin having feelings of hopelessness. Investigating the evidence is a good strategy for overcoming this habit. Make a list of all the positive things you have accomplished in your life. If there is one area that you are prone to criticize in yourself, then start with that area.
There is always a reason for hope, even if you can’t see it at first. The best way to combat feelings of hopelessness is to learn about the origins of these feelings and ways to overcome them in yourself. Just remember there are always people who are willing to help, all you need to do is ask. You are not alone.
The terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage were born.Malala Yousafzai