Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Ground Yourself In Hope

By  | 

Hope says that things can change, despair says they can’t. Hope leaves the window open for a better future, however small the crack. Despair slams the window shut. Hope fosters activity, despair fosters passivity. Hope creates positivity, despair creates depression.

The question is, how do you ground yourself in hope when unwanted life circumstances make despair rise up in you? A cognitive behavioral intervention seems particularly appropriate for transforming despair into hope since despair by its very nature is the result of a cognitive distortion that can be challenged and corrected.

The cognitive distortion we have in mind is fortune telling, which is where you look into your crystal ball and believe you can perfectly predict the future. In a state of despair you’re absolutely sure what the future holds for you. But humans are notoriously bad at making predictions, even in controlled experiments with very few variables in play. Challenging despair starts with challenging the belief that you are capable of predicting the future. If you concede that you’re not then you’ve got to leave room for the possibility. however small, that things can turn out differently.

Actually they almost always do. The only certainty in life is that the nature of existence is change. Despair believes that the current set of conditions will remain the same forever so despair goes against the nature of existence. Hope believes that things can change so hope goes with the nature of existence.