Hope is not just some buzzword embroidered into throw pillows on Etsy. It’s neurologically vital.
Embracing hope is probably the most important thing we can do to maintain a healthy brain and lifestyle.
When we cultivate hope (faith combined with optimism), we stimulate the decision-making and problem-solving abilities governed by the frontal lobes.
Hope boosts our immune system, energizes us to take action, and deactivates the worry centers in the worry centers in our limbic system and right prefrontal cortex. It helps us overcome paralysis caused by anxiety. Without hope, we slip into depression and our brain begins to shut down.
When you maintain a positive view about the future, you also stimulate the anterior cingulate, one of the most important structures for controlling your moods and improving social awareness, compassion, and self-love.
Why not commit to exercising your “hope” neurons by spending one minute, each hour, believing that you can overcome the obstacles that lie in your way of achieving your daily goal?
Try visualizing what that might look like.
Then write down several action-strategies that you know will help you resolve immediate problems, conflicts, and fears.
Empathy is the ability to “put yourself in the shoes” of other people and deeply connect with their experiences. The