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  • Writer's pictureDr. CK Bray

A Dash of Hope: One of the Brain’s Favorite Words

Whenever we are confronted by an unfamiliar situation, where the view of our expected destination is cloudy, we can begin to panic. We become paralyzed, and our greatest fears crawl out from under the bed and grab at our ankles. Our brain sends the body a signal that it is time for a fight, flight, or to shut down and freeze.

But some individuals have learned how to rise above fear.  They not only survive during difficult times, but they thrive.  They find a way to make things work when they have experienced a job loss, a family disaster, or any life-altering circumstance. They see the small landing strip amidst the forest and know they can land the plane. How do you develop this remarkable trait?  (Often called resilience with a shot of motivation) First, stop focusing on the bad.  Lift your head and search for the broader picture and possibilities.  Look for opportunities that have emerged based on all that has changed.   You can't see the opportunities if your face is buried in the bad.  Quit rubbernecking and staring at the wreck in front of us and look at the road ahead. What are you capable of accomplishing? The context of who you are and what you can do is filled with possibilities. "Everything has changed; nothing is the same," you say.  You are right, but change brings new opportunities.  The new road you need to take may end up in a much better destination than the bumpy, dirt road you are on now.   All you need is a glimpse of the new road and the courage to take the first few steps to reach it. Second, we need one of humanity's greatest attributes, HOPE.  Hope is to believe, desire, or trust. We need to believe we will be okay and use that belief to take action.  Taking action is one of the best things you can do for your brain and your soul.  It puts the power back in your hands; it gives you a sense of control. What action should you take?  ANY!  In this new environment, all bets are off. We, as the human race, embrace hope.  Look back on our history, and we are people who always hope for a better life.  Now it is time to embrace hope. Stay healthy and stay well.




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