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An Uncertain New Year – Lets Make It Happy

 How families are changing and connecting in our multicultural, e-centric world.

An Uncertain New Year – Let’s Make It Happy
What separates the hopeless from the hopeful?

By Dr. Ana Nogales,
Jan 11 2011 – A new year has just begun-a time we associate with renewed energy and hope. And yet I see more unhappy people than ever. Perhaps it is because there were expectations that the economic downturn would be temporary-and yet conditions have not improved for many and have gotten even worse for some. People who were initially shocked, frustrated, and angry about their imposed financial hardships are now deeply depressed and sad. In my office, I see people who are depressed because their new year began without hope. They have little or no hope that things will get better; that they will find a job; or that their relationships can ever improve with the economy placing them under such pressure. They are hopeless in the face of external circumstances, which are seemingly beyond their control.

 How families are changing and connecting in our multicultural, e-centric world.
 

An Uncertain New Year – Let’s Make It Happy
What separates the hopeless from the hopeful?

By Dr. Ana Nogales,
Jan 11 2011 – A new year has just begun-a time we associate with renewed energy and hope. And yet I see more unhappy people than ever. Perhaps it is because there were expectations that the economic downturn would be temporary-and yet conditions have not improved for many and have gotten even worse for some. People who were initially shocked, frustrated, and angry about their imposed financial hardships are now deeply depressed and sad. In my office, I see people who are depressed because their new year began without hope. They have little or no hope that things will get better; that they will find a job; or that their relationships can ever improve with the economy placing them under such pressure. They are hopeless in the face of external circumstances, which are seemingly beyond their control.
What happens to us when we lose hope? Without hope, we lose our enthusiasm for life, our determination, our creative and spiritual energy. And when human beings lose hope, the soul dies.
So what can we do to prevent such a ‘death’ and to keep our sense of hopefulness alive? Is it within our power to overcome the depressing effects of difficult external circumstances? I believe it is. I am not suggesting that we simply put a happy face on the challenges we’re up against, or that we ignore the outside world and live in an unrealistically optimistic cocoon. What I do believe is that we can find hope if we center ourselves and look for new answers to the core question: What is most important in my life?
When we ask ourselves to look deeply for those answers, we may find it is possible to stop waiting for the economy to change or a job to be offered or our spouse to be more understanding-and to instead draw closer to that which we truly cherish. What brings true happiness is our own inner sense of well-being, our ability to connect with whatever makes life meaningful. When we have a healthy relationship to our spiritual core, it is impossible to feel hopeless. We may have to struggle to get by financially or to deal with a painful family problem, but our sense of hopefulness remains intact. We may be challenged by rough times, but when we nurture the connection to what we value most, our spirit remains unbroken.

 

-Dr. Ana Nogales

 

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