With war in the headlines (again), we’re reminded that, at its worst, modern life can feel gray and hopeless.
Hopelessness is an emotion that’s caused by difficult life events that are out of your control. But hope is an entirely different animal. In fact, hope isn’t an emotion at all. It’s a way of thinking.
Even when you can’t change what you feel, you can still choose to change what you think. So the next time you’re feeling down, try to formulate a hopeful thought: tomorrow will be better.
Such distinctions are very important to our emotional lives, according to the immensely popular teachings of Brené Brown. Many people aren’t raised with a robust vocabulary to describe their interior lives. If we can learn to better articulate our thoughts and feelings, we will more fully understand ourselves—and by extension, other people.
Learn all about where emotions come from, what they are, and what they mean with our Instaread on Atlas of the Heart.