There may be times when all the preparation in the world couldn’t save you from the effects of a natural disaster. In this case, how can you dig yourself out of the problems that arise in the aftermath? The answer is finding hope. (h/t to ReadyNutrition.com)
A preparedness lifestyle involves keeping yourself updated with current events in order to prepare for them. Listening to weather forecasts and crime news can help you determine what you need and which areas could be affected by potential threats or disasters. However, this also means exposing yourself to bad news nearly every day. This could change your outlook on life, turning them bleak. When humans experience devastating defeats or a terrifying event, they may find it easy to lose all motivation to change their life or their situation, which leads to a feeling of hopelessness.
Have hope and survive
Hope is defined as an optimistic mindset based on expecting positive results. However, hope acts differently from your typical form of positivity. When humans experience positive emotions, they usually come from a feeling of safety and satiety. Hope, however, comes from the direst of times. You can lose your house and all your belongings, but hope can help you push through a tough situation. (Related: Hope proves better than fear for inspiring better outcomes: Studies prove empowering people to change is good for their health.)
“Hope literally opens us up. It removes the blinders of fear and despair and allows us to see the big picture. We become creative, unleashing our dreams for the future. This is because deep within the core of hope is the belief that things can change,” said Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D. in an article on Psychology Today.
In the face of a disaster, here are a few tips on building up hope in yourself and the people around you:
- Ask for help. In the aftermath of a disaster, people are willing to help in times of need. Don’t be scared to ask for help from a friend or other family members, or even seek out aid from organizations that specialize in helping disaster victims. Even within the community affected by the disaster, you can find people helping each other out and boosting morale among the victims.
- Set your goals. Some things may be unrealistic to achieve and are out of your control, but setting goals for you to accomplish in dire situations can make it easier for you.
- Focus on solutions. People often get worked up over little things after a disaster due to stress. This makes them overlook the things they can do to get themselves out of their problems. Focus your mental strength on coming up with solutions instead of dwelling in your worries.
- Make a plan. Similar to setting goals, making a plan can make any disaster seem more bearable and realistic to get through. You don’t even have to do it alone. Brainstorming a plan with others can help build hope and camaraderie with each other.
- Keep things simple. Once you have set the goals, and made a feasible plan of action, break it all down into simple tasks. Don’t overwhelm people with big jobs. Prioritize what’s essential and leave out the rest for later.
- Improvise, adapt, and overcome. Plans don’t always work out the way they should, so make it a point to be flexible and adapt to any situation.
- Develop equanimity. This Buddhist concept refers to mental calmness and composure, especially in stressful situations. Even in the face of the most extreme circumstances, having peace of mind can make the situation bearable.
- Believe in yourself. Some of the challenges that come with the aftermath of a disaster may seem impossible to overcome. Looking back to the times you’ve pulled through a tough situation and succeeded using your skills and willpower can motivate you to overcome your current situation.
- Keep up the good (and hard) work. Keep yourself busy and never give up. You can’t get out of a bad situation by sitting around doing nothing. Just make sure to take breaks every now and then to give yourself a breather.
- Enjoy the little things. Any progress you make, no matter how small, is one step closer to getting yourself out of a bind. Take things at your own pace and celebrate every little victory you can get.
Being prepared involves having the mental fortitude to push yourself forward in any situation. There is always a way to survive if you keep hope alive and carry on.