The Science of Hope

What is Hope?

Hope is a realistic yet optimistic attitude or state of mind, a belief that positive change is possible, and a willingness to set and work towards goals. To have hope is crucial in goal-setting and decision-making(self-management), improves social relationships and other achievements, such as school or work, and is essential in attaining life satisfaction, including mental and physical health.

Why Hope Matters

  • Hope is linked with mental willpower and reaching goals, work and academic achievement, and improved relationships.
  • Hope helps us cope with loss, stress, and other challenges and improves mental and physical health. Hope can reduce depression, anxiety, panic attacks, chronic diseases, cancer risk and even lead to a longer, happier life.
  • Hopeful children and youth are more likely to engage in positive community development than antisocial behavior, including substance use.
  • A lack of hope, a “learned helplessness” or “behavioral despair”, may be linked to aspects of depression.
Did You Know? Goal-setting and considering the future are fundamental parts of building hope.

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“Hope is an essential part of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).”

Made possible with the generous support of France.