There are many definitions for the word hope. But hope is essentially a belief or a desire that something can or will happen. Hope is a belief that is similar to the belief in a growth mindset. That’s the belief that it is possible to change and improve. Hope and growth are essential to everything we do here.
My intention for this platform is to provide those grounds for believing something can happen. Particularly, that you can change and improve your brain, your mind, and your mental well-being. I wish to help you develop greater hope and belief for a positive outlook on life. This will drive action towards growth and improvement.
Research shows that people with a strong sense of hope have stronger relationships, greater resilience, are more productive at work, and are generally happier than those who do not. So, how do you improve your outlook on life and develop a greater sense of hope?
Hope directly correlates with action and motivation. Hope drives action, whether that’s certain kinds of behaviors, emotions, or even thoughts. Dopamine is the molecule of motivation. So a key ingredient for improving your sense of hope is to increase your dopamine (in healthy ways of course).
Increase Dopamine to Increase Hope
You could get outside more (get more sunlight or take more walks in nature), which increases dopamine. Or you could start a practice of cold showers, which increases dopamine levels. You could take on a new hobby or play a sport you enjoy. You could have a difficult conversation with a loved one you have been putting off. Yes, that increases dopamine as well (typically after the conversation has taken place).
You really want to lean in the challenge every single day, like having a difficult conversation. Or by taking a cold shower, or exercising. Because pushing on the pain side of the pain/pleasure circuitry in the brain is actually a way to release dopamine. When we enter into something challenging, the brain tries to balance out that pain with pleasure (i.e. dopamine release). That’s why we feel good after we do something strenuous, like when we get out of a cold shower or finish an exercise routine. Those are good, healthy ways to release dopamine.
And if you wanna take it one step further, while you are leaning into something challenging, sprinkling a little growth mindset practice. Or add in a little cognitive restructuring that we talk about on this platform. That will really help you to develop the mindset for greater hope and optimism and an outlook in life in conjunction with the dopamine release.
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