The Importance of Hope

Before launching into your journey, or even deeper into a new discovery after years of exploration into your own health, it may be a wise to check one of the most important drivers or hinderers of ultimate wellness.

Whether you are striving to improve your health or fighting a disease state in which you have found yourself in – hope must never be overlooked.

Hope is defined as an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large (1).

In 2017, a systematic review of ‘Hope and optimism in chronic disease’, the Brazilian department of health sciences (2), found that there was evidence that those who have optimism and hope seek to engage in healthier behaviours; which then contributed positively to chronic disease treatment.
This result was regardless of their clinical status and when we consider that the opposite of hope is despair, its importance begins to make a lot more sense.

Though, seeking to engage in healthier behaviours is just the beginning. 

Multiple studies have shown that the addition of hope and optimism in addition to ones health care protocols can have an outstanding effect on the following areas:

The above points cover just a few of the significant advantages to having a hopeful and positive attitude.

How can we do this?

1. Merriam-Webster (1999). Definition of Hope. [Online]. 1999. Merriam Webster Dictionary. Available at: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hope.
2.
Schiavon, C.C. Marchetti, E. Gurgel, L.G. et al. (2017). ‘Optimism and hope in chronic disease: A systematic review’, Frontiers In Psychology, 7 (JAN), pp. 1–10. [Online]. Available at: doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.02022
3.
Boehm, J.K. Williams, D.R. Rimm, E.B. et al. (2013). ‘Relation between optimism and lipids in midlife’, American Journal Of Cardiology, 111 (10), pp. 1425–1431. [Online]. Available at: doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2013.01.292.
4. Segerstrom, S.C. & Sephton, S.E. (2010). ‘Optimistic expectancies and cell-mediated immunity: the role of positive affect’, Psychological Science, 21 (3), pp. 448–455. [Online]. Available at: doi:10.1177/0956797610362061.
5. Giltay EJ, Geleijnse JM, Zitman FG, Hoekstra T, Schouten EG. Dispositional Optimism and All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality ina Prospective Cohort of Elderly Dutch Men and Women. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2004;61(11):1126–1135. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.61.11.1126
6. Jobin, J. Wrosch, C. & Scheier, M.F. (2014). ‘Associations between dispositional optimism and diurnal cortisol in a community sample: when stress is perceived as higher than normal’, Health Psychology : Official Journal Of The Division Of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, 33 (4), pp. 382–391. [Online]. Available at: doi:10.1037/a0032736.
7. Jobin, J. Wrosch, C. & Scheier, M.F. (2014). ‘Associations between dispositional optimism and diurnal cortisol in a community sample: when stress is perceived as higher than normal’, Health Psychology : Official Journal Of The Division Of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, 33 (4), pp. 382–391. [Online]. Available at: doi:10.1037/a0032736.