Hope is very important in mental health and is a key recovery principle. It’s the belief that people can become well after experiencing mental health distresses and go on to stay well. This is very much where the ideas and skills that can be developed in a Wellness Recovery Action Plan come in. We can all take action to improve our wellness and to take steps to maintain our wellbeing, but also to do things to stop our wellbeing deteriorating.
Hope can be likened to a candle being lit in a darkened room. At first in the room you may not be able to see whilst all is pitch black, but as the light is emitted from the candle the room comes into view and a way forward can be plotted slowly but surely. It’s like a journey, with the candle of hope being the light that helps you plot a way forwards from distress back to wellbeing and maybe even happiness in the long-term. This is very much possible.
Hope is especially important for someone when they are in a bad place. In that place things may seem bleak, but it’s vital to believe that things can turn around – a bit like a virtuous circle rather than a vicious one. Just as things can go downwards in life, the opposite is also true – life can improve. Hope combined with taking personal actions to improve our lives can result in great leaps forward over the course of time.
With hope comes the idea that a better life is possible. Rather than suffer we can be well. Rather than being in a dark, scary place we can be in the light, in glorious technicolour sunshine. It’s the candle of hope that can be our guide to moving forwards from that dark place to a place where things have improved greatly and we may have even grown as a person as a result of learnings over the years of our journey.
‘’This too shall pass’’ is a saying I came across on a course some years ago and this gives me hope. Things aren’t permanent – things do get better and with hope and determination and working on ourselves through personal development and learning we can do much to improve things for ourselves. The journey may not be an overnight night one and it may take time, but with a sense of hopefulness we can take steps to increase our wellness.
There are sometimes no easy answers in life, but with hope and each day being the chance to begin afresh we can do much to improve our daily lives and move towards increased happiness and wellbeing.