This week kicks off Hope Month with a few exercises about building positive, but realistic, views of the future. We’re going to have one on-going exercise, and four discrete exercises.
Be sure to check back next week for our blog post on Hope and Optimism!
On-going Exercise: Silver Linings
You’re on-going exercise for the week is the Silver Lining exercise. It’s easy to focus on the negative aspects of an outcome (we’re naturally inclined to do this), but it takes practice to learn to spot the positives as well. Any time you find yourself ruminating on a negative outcome this week, take a second to write down the outcome. Then, find the silver lining, present or future. Did it already result in a positive outcome as well? How might it be turned into a positive outcome in the future? (See our previous post on Silver Linings here)
The 3 Hopes Exercise
This works best at the beginning of the week, though you can do this multiple times per week, for one day at a time, if you’d like. Identify 3 goals, hopes, or wishes you have for the week. Then, much like a what-went-well, consider what pathways or actions can help you achieve them. (See our past post on the 3 Hopes Exercise here)
Mindful Hope (Positive Prospection)
Pick one of your 3 Hopes and spend some time really visualizing it. Imagine exactly what the outcome will look like and feel like. Then, picture yourself completing the actions necessary to bring it about, from now until it’s done. The more time you can spend on this, the better. Hope is about agency as much as it is about imagination, so it’s crucial to spend time dwelling on the necessary actions as well.
“Assisted Hope” (future-oriented Active Constructive Responding)
ACR is often past-focused, where we help someone relive and savor a positive outcome. However, it can also be used for the future-tense! Try using ACR in a conversation or two this week where the other person is considering a range of possible outcomes. Connect them with that best-case scenario, and see if you can evoke enough positive emotion to really inspire them to make it a reality!
And as always, remember to Create an Account so you can share your progress, lessons, and experiences with the community!