Hope is the expectation of good. Researcher, Jerome Groopman, has written a book called, The Anatomy of Hope, where he explores the positive effects of hope on our physiology. He states, “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 have important effects on fundamental physiological processes like respiration, circulation and motor function.” Hope can reduce pain, anxiety and promote optimism. Hope inspires and increases faith, as well.

Another author, Shane Lopez, concurs. In his book, Making Hope Happen, Lopez sites studies that show how hope promotes healthy behaviors, to include eating your fruits and veggies, exercising, practicing safe sex and even quitting smoking. He states, “hope for the future is clearly linked with daily habits that support health and prevent disease.” That is because hope triggers and motivates us to act and/or stay the course when facing adversity.

Hopeful people hold onto a vision that sustains them. Their hope causes them to do the hard work and accept challenges. They make an emotional and mental investment into their future that pays off in their present life. This translates into eating healthy food, exercising more regularly, engaging in mindful activities, taking care of themselves, engaging in community and following prescribed treatment plans.

Where there is hope, there is faith. Where there is faith, miracles can happen.

The information contained in this article is for information and education purposes only and is not medical advice. Do not use this information as an alternative to obtaining medical advice from your physician or other professional healthcare provider. Always consult with your physician or other professional healthcare provider about any medical conditions you are experiencing. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, contact your local emergency services for help.

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