When you face challenges and disappointments as many of us are these days, these five steps from the Hopeful Mindsets Project can help you see beyond the darkness and bring the light of hope to your life (iFred, 2021).Together, these 5 steps spell SHINE.
The S in Shine stands for Stress Skills. When we feel stressed by our challenges, we can pause for 90 seconds, take slow deep mindful breaths, connect with nature, or confide in a friend. These skills will bring us back to center and help renew our hope.
The H in Shine stands for Happiness Habits. We can keep our hope alive by doing things that make us healthy and happy, like exercising, eating healthy food, listening to our favorite music, and spending time with friends.
The I in Shine stands for Inspired Action. This means setting goals that bring greater joy and meaning to our lives and making a plan to reach, finding alternatives if one of our steps is blocked, and moving forward one step at a time.
The N in Shine stands for our Hope Network, our supportive team of people who care about us, who encourage and support us. We can build our hope by connecting with people on our hope team often.
The E in Shine stands for Eliminating Challenges to Hope—these are external challenges like setbacks and disappointments as well as internal challenges like old limiting beliefs about ourselves, worry, rumination, and focusing on what we can't control instead of recognizing what we can.
If you've been feeling blocked and disappointed in an important area of your life, you can overcome this hope challenge by recognizing it as a shadow on the path. You can find the light of hope by first using your stress skills, pausing for 90 seconds, taking slow deep breaths. Then reconnect with your happiness habits—spending time in nature, listening to your favorite music, and seeking support from your hope network. When you connect with the light, you'll find expansive new possibilities where you had never seen them before, moving forward in the light of inspired action.
Instead of getting stuck in darkness and disappointment, you can use your hope skills to shine the light on new possibilities. In 2008 when Barack Obama lost the New Hampshire primary, instead of giving up, he drew upon his hope skills, giving his memorable "Yes We Can" speech, energizing himself, inspiring his followers, and going on to win the presidency.
With renewed hope we, too, can see beyond the darkness to the light, moving forward in life with new energy and inspiration. Yes We Can.
I wish you joy in the days ahead and renewed hope to light your way.
International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression (iFred). (2021). The Hopeful Mindsets Project. https://hopefulmindsets.com/