The One Mindset That Can Help You Through Any Problem!

In this podcast (episode #320) and blog, I am going to talk about how hope is a thought “insurance policy” that can help you move through challenges and deal with hard times.

During my 30 plus years as a clinical practitioner and researcher, I have seen my share of tragedies. From traumas to toxic thinking habits, I have come face-to-face with numerous forms of hopelessness. In many cases, for many of my patients, the past, present and future looked bleak.

However, I have also seen so much hope…pervasive, resilient, determined hope. I was and am continually surprised by the resilience I observe in people who come from all walks of life, with all kinds of stories. 

Although everyone’s narrative is different, I have noticed that several key elements are often associated with the development of a hopeful mindset that acts as an insurance policy during tough times: 

  • A deep sense of community. When people are surrounded by family and friends who care enough to notice, listen and help them find solutions to the problems they face, they tend to have more hope. A sense of community helps build hope into the brain and body!
  • Acceptance. People who feel valued for who they are as a person are generally more hopeful because they are more grounded in themselves.
  • Inspiration. Individuals who are inspired to do something that is bigger than who they are often have a sense that there is something to live for that is bigger than just them or what they are going through, which often gives them more hope.
  • A sense of ownership. The people who feel that they own their own lives, that they are the authors of their own story, tend to have more hope than people who do not have a sense of autonomy.
  • Freedom. Individuals who feel that they are free to express their own beliefs and philosophies and are not driven by external constraints also have more hope.
  • The ability to live an examined life. People who can stand back and get perspective on where they are going, what they are doing and what they want from life tend to be more hopeful.
  • Living outside of social labels. People who do not get stuck in labels or the way society tries to define them often have more hope.
  • The courage to embrace pain. Individuals who embrace, rather than suppress, their feelings are often more hopeful. They tend to embrace and process their fears, uncertainty and pain, and turn these feelings into positive action, often making a difference in their communities. Indeed, individuals who have more hope tend to accept that bad days happen and that that life can be difficult, but they decide to push through, feel the pain, and not give up.
  • Planning ahead. People who acknowledge that life is not a bed of roses and plan ahead, developing a strategy for resilience that includes talking to others and asking for help, tend to be more hopeful.
  • Knowing what can be controlled. Often, people who are more hopeful understand that, although they cannot control the circumstances of life, they can control their reactions to these circumstances.

In many cases, the absence of one or more of these factors can lead to hopelessness and despair, which is why we, as individuals and as a society, need to create communities that don’t just make a difference, but are the difference. We need places where people can develop resilience, find hope, experience love, feel their pain, develop meaningful relationships and recognize that, although life can be hard, they are more than capable of dealing with these challenges, achieving their dreams and changing their world for the better. 

For more on hope and mental health, listen to my podcast (episode #320). If you enjoy listening to my podcast, please consider leaving a 5-star review and subscribing. And keep sharing episodes with friends and family and on social media. (Don’t forget to tag me so I can see your posts!).     

To learn more about how to manage your mental health and help others, join me at our 7th Annual Mental Health Solutions Retreat, December 2-4, 2021! The core focus of this conference is to give you simple, practical, applicable, scalable, and scientific solutions to help you take back control of your mental health, help others, and make impactful changes in your community. You will also learn how to manage the day-to-day stressors of life as well as those acute stressors that blindside us. Our goal is to address your most pressing mental health concerns, help you find answers, and equip you with the knowledge and resources you need to make the change from a life of barely surviving to one where you are thriving. Register today at!   

This podcast is sponsored by: 

AquaTru, my favorite water purifier! AquaTru is a 4-stage countertop purifier that works with NO installation or plumbing. It’s certified to remove 15x more contaminants than ordinary pitcher filters! Its patented Ultra Reverse Osmosis technology is certified to remove 83 of the most harmful contaminants, including chlorine, fluoride, lead, arsenic, PFAS, nitrates, and many more. It’s the same technology used by all the major bottled water brands but now it’s available for your home. Plus, AquaTru comes with a 30-day Money-Back Guarantee and even makes a great gift! Today, my listeners receive $100 OFF an AquaTru plus FREE SHIPPING! Just go to and enter the code DRLEAF at checkout.  

Kettle & Fire, my favorite sustainably-made, nutrient-rich bone broths, soups and stocks, which are a great way to support your gut, brain and immune system this fall! Their products are made using grass fed and finished beef bones, pasture raised chicken bones and organic herbs and veggies, and contain NO artificial anything! I personally love using their Tom Yum bone broth in warming Thai curries as the weather gets colder outside, and their chicken and beef broths in my soups and stews! Sometimes, I even just like warming up their broths on the stove, adding ginger and lemon, and drinking them straight from a mug—they are so delicious! If you want to try Kettle & Fire’s delicious products, you can use the code DRLEAF for 25% off your order! Just visit and use the code DRLEAF to get 25% your order!

Public Goods, my preferred online goods store, which has everything you need, from natural cleaning products and foods to sustainable house goods. Receive $15 off your first Public Goods order with NO MINIMUM purchase. Just go to 

Podcast Highlights

1:15 The importance of hope

1:50 Hope & identity 

2:25 You can always change & heal 

8:00 What to do when the past, present & future look bleak 

9:30 You are wired for love 

10:40 How to build hope into the mind & brain 

13:00, 22:00 The key characteristics of hopeful people 

24:00 The power of living a self-examined life 

28:30 The relationship between embracing pain & developing hope 

33:00 Why we need to create communities of hope 

This podcast and blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. We always encourage each person to make the decision that seems best for their situation with the guidance of a medical professional. 

Comments 0

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published