Hope and Productivity  

alan white

Alan White

Wellness Consultant

There are many times in our lives when we feel overwhelmed by negative emotions such as fear, stress, or anxiety. Experiencing these negative emotions without taking action to alleviate the impact they can have on our lives can lead us to become frustrated and unable to progress in our personal and professional lives.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Hope and optimism are two key traits we can develop to help us navigate through the challenging times in our lives. We often focus on the things in our lives that we cannot control and become angry or frustrated about the negative impact that they are having on our lives. Current global events are causing a huge strain on all our lives and the uncertainty we face could have a negative impact on our wellbeing.  

Another aspect of focusing on the thing in our lives we cannot control is comparison. We often compare ourselves unfavourably to other people in our lives. We see people progressing in the workplace faster than us or we see someone celebrating success on social media and we criticise ourselves because we are not where we want to be in our own lives. This form of negative comparison along with blaming external factors in our lives for our frustrations will further decrease our sense of hope and affect our ability to be productive in our lives. 

Productivity or growth is an important feature in our sense of wellbeing. If we feel productive, we feel motivated and are inspired to work towards our goals as well as develop the capacity to overcome challenges. Over the coming months, we are yet again facing challenges as a result of the Pandemic and further uncertainty about what the next few months will bring is growing every day. However, to overcome this, hope is needed now more than ever. 

There are two types of personal psychology through which we can engage with the world. The first is external control psychology. This is where we believe that the circumstances we find ourselves in are controlled by factors outside of our control i.e., other people or the world is at fault for our problems. The second is internal control psychology which means that you believe that you have a certain amount of control over what happens in your life, and you take positive action towards your desired outcomes.  

Photo by CARL HUNLEY JR on Unsplash

Hope is cultivated when we take control of our lives and focus on how we can solve the problems we have in our personal and professional lives. When we focus on the things, we can control in our lives we regain a sense of agency and autonomy and feel empowered to overcome personal challenges that block our progress and growth. Positive action can help cultivate hope and increase our personal productivity. The following are 5 ways we can begin to develop a sense of hope in our lives. 

  1. Problem SolveSolving problems gives us a sense of purpose and control over our lives. It’s important to start by taking on small problems and build on your success from there. As you begin to solve problems a sense of self-efficacy will develop a feeling of hope, that whatever challenges you face in the future, you will be able to overcome them. 
  2. Make one positive change to your daily routine: Whether it’s starting to exercise, mindfulness or developing healthy eating habits, making small changes to your daily routine will make you feel better but will also develop an inner discipline that will allow you to become more focused. 
  3. Create daily moments: Our days can often be filled with tasks and obligations, and we rarely find time for ourselves. Creating daily moments allow for time to reflect and focus on what you are grateful for in each day. Creating daily moments is not only about doing something new but is also focusing on the good that is already in your day, but you are taking for granted.  
  4. Declutter your space: taking some time to declutter can not only clear physical space but can also give you mental space. A tidy workspace can help alleviate stress and allow us to think more clearly and become more productive. 
  5. Perceive the possibility of success: When faced with the unknown most of us believe that the outcome we will experience will be negative. However, when we focus on the possibility of a positive outcome, we can take action towards this rather than dwelling on all the things that could go wrong. 

There is no denying that we are facing a lot of uncertainty over the coming months, and we will face inevitable challenges. However, with a hopeful mindset, we can give ourselves the best chance of maintaining a positive personal wellbeing. 

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