The Pandemic has caused increased stress and anxiety as a result of job losses, business closures, isolation from friends and family, the list goes on. With the unstable lifestyle that surrounds us it’s clear that we are struggling to maintain our mental health. The negative effects on our collective mental heath are exacerbated every time our societies close for, yet another, lockdown.

In times like this its important to “hope for the best”. However it shouldn’t stop there.

Hope theory, a branch of positive psychology, offers insights and practical strategies that may be helpful.The American psychologist Charles Snyder, a prominent researcher of hope, wrote in his book Psychology of Hope: You Can Get Here from There, that hope is generated when people make connections between their current situation and a desired future state. Snyder’s idea is that once the desired future state has been identified, two things are needed in order to make progress: the ability to identify possible ways towards the desired future state (“pathways thinking”), and a sense of agency (“agency thinking”) that allows the individual to believe they can achieve it. When these three elements are in place, hope builds motivation for change within us, and enhances our sense of wellbeing.

This is an approach not just for the desperate, or those we might think of as in most need of “hope”. In fact the role of experienced executive coaches is to help their clients identify genuine reasons to have hope for the future…