What is hope, exactly?
“Hope is defined as the perceived capability to derive pathways to desired goals, and motivate oneself…to use those pathways.” (1) In other words, envisioning the exact outcome of any circumstance, and the steps one must take to have that hope fulfilled.
Hope is a powerful tool which we use daily in our chiropractic practice, we’ve seen the differences in health outcomes for those who choose hope and those who do not. For decades now, there have been many works published on on the power of positive words, especially language which takes a positive outlook on one’s future. Applying the strategy of choosing hope during a health crisis only gives you an upper-hand when facing unknown outcomes with treatments. Quite literally, transforming your mind has the power to change your neurochemistry,
Belief and expectation—the key elements of hope—can block pain by releasing the brain’s endorphins and enkephalins, mimicking the effects of morphine. In some cases, hope can also have important effects on fundamental physiological processes like respiration, circulation and motor function,” says researcher and writer, Jerome Groopman.
Finally, hope doesn’t stand in contrast to rational thought.
Rather, hope has the power to change your perspective, it leads to belief that a better future is on the horizon, and that we can influence our future simply by choosing hope.
…researchers confirmed the Pollyanna Hypothesis using an exhaustive, data-driven analysis of 5 million individual human scores. They concluded: “Overall, our major scientific finding is that .. .words, which are the atoms of human language, present an emotional spectrum with a universal, positive bias.”
When considered only philosophically, hope, more often than not, seems to be at odds with rational, analytical thinking. But due to its proactive nature, hope in action touches the heart and creates its own validation. A good example of this is found in the philanthropic work of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. In the 2015 Annual Gates Letter he wrote: “Optimism for me isn’t that things will get better; it’s a conviction that we can make things better — that whatever suffering we see, no matter how bad it is we can help people if we don’t lose hope and we don’t look away.” (2)
If hope can improve health, then how does one have hope when in spite of feeling doubt?
Remember, hope is simply having goals and a plan for getting to those goals. Our members choose our care because we carefully lay out a pathway of hope. We provide evidence through the stories of others who have experienced Upper Cervical Chiropractic improving their health. We offer information on how and why chiropractic works to improve your specific condition, as well as overall wellness throughout your body. We give a timeline of care based on what is discovered on your x-rays. We do our part in illustrating a path of hope that our members might be able to have hope in Upper Cervical Chiropractic, and perhaps even better results under care because they are choosing a path of hopefulness. We choose hope daily for every one of our members, and lay a path of hopefulness out before them, and we find that hopefulness is contagious!
Dr. Opal Garman on choosing hope.