The Power of Hopefulness!

An Electronic Mental Health Newsletter from Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D., P.A. & Associates
                                                        Volume 16, Number 3

We live in a very stressful society. We have been conditioned to worry and feel anxious about what may or may not happen. Whether it’s the economy, the war, the pandemic, or the price of gasoline, we have been conditioned to worry. With many of us, this can lead into frustration, anger, and health problems.

But having a hopeful attitude can help us to cope through these times. Being optimistic is not enough. Having a plan, even if it’s only cognitive, can help us to feel better and more secure. Visualizing positive outcomes, or memories, or the achievement of past goals can overcome the sense of powerlessness and apathy.

Our March e-Letter is about The Power of Hopefulness! Dr. Kimmel’s blog is about A Jeopardy Fan and can be found in the blog section of our website.

We hope you find the enclosed information helpful and interesting. We also thank you for reading our e-Letters and for the numerous positive and compassionate comments we have received.

KimmelPsychology has provided a monthly E-Letter for over 16 years, which is educational, informative, and helpful. Topics change every month, but the format remains the same; brief information about the topic as well as suggestions for improvement. You are invited to email your thoughts to Dr. Kimmel at [email protected]. Make sure to read the latest blog addition here.


In response to the mental health crisis in our society, we have:
   • added hours to our therapists’ schedules so that more patients can be seen
   • posted more helpful articles on our Facebook and LinkedIn pages to support those who benefit from reading about mental health
   • a psychiatrist on staff for diagnoses and medications
   • a life transformation coach to assist in adjustment to life changes such as grief and loss.
   • a school psychologist who works with children to support them through any learning or emotional difficulties and can provide educational evaluations.

We practice telehealth and have also returned to safe, in-office visits. We can be reached by calling our office at 954 755-2885 or by going to the Our Staff page on our website,

The Power of Hopefulness!

                                                        (Photo by Jon Tyson)

We live in a very anxious and divided society today. Many of our patients are expressing feelings of anger, frustration, powerlessness, and insecurity. Fear of almost everything is running high. It is difficult to maintain an optimistic outlook when we are constantly receiving fearful and worrisome news. This is not only affecting our mental health, but the high stress levels are affecting us physically. Visits to physicians and therapists have increased dramatically in the past few years.

One of the most powerful ways to deal with these feelings is to have a hopeful attitude. While this may sound very simple, those who survive and excel are those who are optimistic and believe that things will turn out for the better no matter how negative they are. Hopeful people set a goal, develop strategies to reach that goal, and use these strategies even if they are just cognitive. Many studies have shown that hopeful people do better academically, athletically, occupationally, and are physically healthier. They have less anxiety and depression and as well as a sense of personal control in what may seem to be a powerless situation.

Hopefulness can be found even in the worst of circumstances. Viktor Frankl, a neurologist and psychiatrist, wrote the seminal book “Man’s Search for Meaning”. Frankl was a medical student in the 1920s and successfully counseled high school students and virtually eliminated suicide. Over the years, he treated thousands of patients but was arrested with his family when the Nazis came to power. He was sent to Theresienstadt concentration camp and eventually a total of four concentration camps. None of his family survived except for a sister. While in the camps, he tried to address the despondency and prevent suicide attempts of inmates by encouraging them to visualize good past memories and have positive thoughts.

Frankl believed that even in the worst conditions, life had meaning, and people could escape these conditions through searching for meaning in their lives. This path allows people to be hopeful and tolerate negative situations.

We offer the following information about Hopefulness:


We must never forget that we may also find meaning in life even when confronted with a hopeless situation, when facing a fate that cannot be changed… Viktor Frankl


  • Numerous studies have shown that hopeful people demonstrate better athletic, academic, occupational, and health outcomes
  • The feeling of powerlessness resulting from the pandemic as well as frustration from politics have eroded many people’s sense of hope
  • The American Psychological Association describes hope as the expectation that one will have positive experiences or that a potentially negative situation will either not happen or will result in something favorable
  • Hopefulness can give a person a sense of control when feeling powerless and can motivate a person to act and be successful in their undertakings
  • Hope can be a defense against developing anxiety and depression
  • Being hopeful can also encourage people to engage in healthy behaviors such as exercise, meditation, eating better, etc.
  • Belief and expectation are the key elements of hope; they can actually block pain in patients suffering from chronic illness by releasing endorphins
  • Hope has also been shown to be important in recovering overall from an illness
  • People with high hope tend to view stressful situations as challenging rather than threatening thereby lessening their stress
  • Optimism differs from hope; rather than wishful thinking, hope involves a plan on how to accomplish change
  • Dr. Charles Snyder has developed a Hope Theory consisting of three elements:
  • Goals thinking or the clear conceptualization of goals
  • Pathways thinking or developing specific strategies to reach the goals
  • Agency thinking or the ability to initiate and sustain motivation to use these strategies
  • Despite how adverse situations may be, hope can often endure
  • The biggest risks to being hopeful is the inability to achieve the desired goals and ruminating over past unsuccessful endeavors


  • Commit yourself to becoming a positive, achieving, motivated person
  • Open yourself to the possibility that you can actually change your life
  • Recognize your negative thinking and replace it with positive self-statements
  • Use visualization often to see yourself reaching your desired goals
  • Revisit your past successes and realize that you can be successful
  • Anticipate obstacles and plan how to overcome them
  • Use mindfulness exercises to reduce stress and disappointment
  • Keep a journal of past successes and failures and what you could have done to overcome the failures
  • Forgive yourself for past failures and recognize that not reaching your goals can be a learning experience
  • Seek professional help if you have difficulty being hopeful


Call us at 954 755-2885 or email us at [email protected]

Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates
5551 N University Drive, Suite 202
Coral Springs FL 33067

As always, we are interested in your thoughts. If you would like to respond to this e-Letter, email me your comments at [email protected] and I will publish them next month.

Till April…

The information provided in this electronic newsletter is not a substitute for professional treatment. It is the opinions of the writers and is provided solely for educational purposes. For mental health care, seek a qualified professional.

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Copyright © 2022 by Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates.