Finding Hope When Everything Feels Hopeless

Hope is malleable. You can boost it. Scientists say it’s important that the area of the brain that activates when we feel hopeful — the rostral anterior cingulate cortex — sits at the intersection of the limbic system, which governs our emotions, and the prefrontal cortex, where thoughts and actions are initiated. This shows we have some influence over feelings of hope (or hopelessness). “Hope is a choice,” says Rick Miller, clinical director of the Center for the Advanced Study and Practice of Hope at Arizona State University.

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