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Attitude Tools: Build Up Your Hope

Ways to Create and Maintain Hope

By

Updated December 23, 2009

My Hope Tools

My Hope Tools

Photo © Pam Stephan

Build up a hopeful buzz

You can find someone in a support group, at your workplace or place of worship, in your family, or in your neighborhood, that is always positive and can spread hopefulness to others. Spend time with your hope mentor, and soak up their encouraging attitudes and words.

Ask for support

Target the people in your life who are spiritual warriors, prayer partners, organizers, and who have been feeling helpless while you've been in treatment. Put them to work creating hope on your behalf. They can pray, listen, counsel, line up meals or rides, clean your house, baby-sit the kids, or come and hold your hand. It's okay to ask for support from hopeful people. If you're in treatment, please stop being Super Woman!

Write it up

Start keeping notes in a small, portable notebook, of the little daily things that are so nice and that lift your spirits in any way. Jot down experiences that encourage you or give you hope. While I was in treatment, we would go for gentle walks, and I would notice birds, flowers, a perfect breeze, or a bit of good news on a test, and I'd put that in my "Book of Gratefulness." Then I'd read back through it later and feel uplifted.

Talk it out

Breast cancer is traumatic for most of us, but in a safe setting with a support group or with friends or perhaps family, talk about your feelings. Discuss it and when it's been aired, if at all possible, leave it behind and focus on your future. Don't keep an elephant in your living room -- nobody can really get past it, including you.

Live today in hope

If you look into the horizon of continuing treatments or surgeries, and that is all you're seeing, then you will find it hard to enjoy today. Make today count for as much good and hopeful experience as you can. Experience today as if it is your first bowl of delicious ice cream.

Get out the memory scrapbook

Reflect on events, celebrations, or vacations that were very positive experiences. Having a photo or postcard is often a good way to focus on a good memory. If you're feeling blue, dive into the positive memories and soak up the hope that belongs to you.

Send in your Hope Strategies

If you're a patient or a survivor, you've dealt with this attitude issue. Email in your strategies to breastcancer@aboutguide.com
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