As a country and world, we are continuously plagued by the loss of life due to the pandemic. Many of us are losing hope as we are learning daily about the loss of someone close to us or of someone we know, and it appears that we might not get out of this pandemic anytime soon.
The escalating death rates certainly not only leave us grief-stricken but are gradually depleting the hope we once had. We are left wondering how many more losses we can endure, which make us feel helpless and hopeless, which inevitably could lead to depression.
Under usual circumstances when we experience loss of a loved one, the feeling of hopelessness is normal in the grieving process as we mourn. But the existing frequency of deaths, which is abnormal, makes it almost impossible to mourn for our loved ones properly. As a result, many of us may long after this pandemic subsides, experience great amount of trauma.
Nevertheless, as human beings, we shouldn’t forget that we are resilient and therefore, have the ability to bounce back from adversity and trauma irrespective of its nature. We somehow manage to gather strength from whatever source our strength comes from, and deal with the losses and carry on with our lives.
To recover as a nation from this unbearable emotional pain brought on by the losses and to be healthy functional people, we need to cultivate hope.
Hope is defined in psychology as a drive to persist toward an objective or an end state, even when we are apprehensive that a positive outcome may not be likely. Thus, in overcoming our current adversities, hope cannot be passive as we need to actively work towards the survival of the human race.
For example, to deal with our emotional pain, which is caused by the losses we are continuously experiencing, we can access counselling services that are provided through different mediums. And to safeguard ourselves against the pandemic, we can follow the regulations outlined to protect ourselves and those around us.
Active hope is imperative because despite the difficulties that we are faced with now, the world is, unfortunately, moving on and we are part of the world.
When we are hopeful we are likely to benefit from better mental and physical health. Studies indicate that hopeful people have higher levels of well-being and positive emotions, stronger sense of purpose and meaning and are less depressed and lonely. Also, hopeful individuals may cope in a healthier manner with stressful events as they explore various ways of problem-solving, and see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Physically, hopeful people engage in regular exercise, which is healthy for their overall well-being, and those with chronic illnesses benefit from higher levels of life satisfaction.
To be hopeful is to live. Choose hope in situations that you have control over.