Hopelessness is the antithesis of hope. It is a feeling of despair (emotional) and a sense of helplessness (motivational).
Hopelessness is a perfectly normal emotion that everyone feels at one time or another. The problem is that hopelessness, when left unchecked, is associated with many negative life outcomes, including addictions, risky behaviors, carrying weapons at school, violence, bullying, anxiety, depression, and suicide.
In fact, research has found that:
- Hopelessness is the leading predictor of suicide, and more closely associated with suicide than depression. (The Menninger Clinic, APA, 2013)
- Hopelessness is predictive of both loneliness and suicidality, and there is no relation between loneliness and suicidality beyond hopelessness (Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 1996)
- A review of hopelessness and risky behavior among adolescents living in high-poverty inner-city neighborhoods indicated that adolescents react to their uncertain futures by abandoning hope, leading them to engage in high levels of risk behavior (Journal of Adolescence, 2003)
- In a study of hope and mortality, 29 percent of people classified as hopeless had died, compared with just 11 percent of the hopeful (Psychosomatic Medicine, 2001)
If we aren’t proactive in our fight against hopelessness, it can lead to destructive behaviors that cause harm to ourselves and the people around us.
This is where hope can help.
Hope is a measurable, teachable skill that each and every person can learn. Hope skills and a hopeful mindset can help you manage the hopelessness you feel, and more quickly turn despair into positive feelings, and helplessness into inspired actions.
Learn more about the power of hope here. hopefulcities.org/2020/12/15/hope/
LEARN MORE: https://hopefulminds.org/hope-research