The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 11

Hope, Humor, and Humanity
By Joanne Rohrer Morton - Licensed Social Worker
Why is it important to keep hope alive, even
in the worst of circumstances? Does it really
matter? Having hope is like breathing air. What
happens when we don't have it, even for a few
minutes?
When we perceive threats to our way of
life, hope can begin to erode. We regularly read about and see
it in the news: natural disasters, gun violence, and polarization
to name a few. In life, we experience daunting circumstances
where it may seem that there's no way out and no way forward.
Motivation may be lost when people can't picture a desired
ending. We, as vulnerable human beings, with tenuous bonds to
one another, are tasked with moving forward in a world where
there are no guarantees.
Published research from Harvard's " Human Flourishing
Program " examined the impact of hope on nearly 13,000 people
with an average age of 66. Those with more hope throughout
their life had better physical health, health behavior, and social
support, as well as a longer life. Hope also led to fewer chronic
health problems, less depression and anxiety, and a lower risk of
cancer.
So, if maintaining hope in the long run is good for us, how do
we do it? Here are four suggestions:
Examine expectations and assumptions. In the book, The
Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by
Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander, they write about
stepping away from the muddled details of a problem or conflict,
letting go of assumptions, and exploring the possibility that
situations present by breaking free from old ways of thinking that
allows us to redefine ourselves, others, and the world we live in.
Make hope a decision. In the movie " Shawshank
Redemption, " the main character, Andy Dufresne (played by
Tim Robbins) states, " Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of
things. " We decide to choose hope and be open to good in our
life. Having hope is one of the best virtues in life, yet it doesn't
mean you won't experience dark days or low moments.
Hope waits to be found. You might want to bring hope into
a new awareness and look for hope in places you didn't consider,
including spiritual hope. Hope is one of the few virtues that
stands the test of time and it can be found all around. Hope is in
our arts, nature, playgrounds, our coffeeshops, podcasts, and the
books we read.
Look at possibilities, not limitations. When you feel a loss
of hope, visualizing a better future can give you the will to find
ways to make it so. Create a compelling vision, with a clear and
specific mental picture of the desired outcome. This outcome
must inspire and energize you to go after it, no matter what
obstacles come up.
New Mindfulness Program at Samaritan Center
By Rebecca Sanstead, MSW, LSW - Licensed Social Worker
When stress accumulates, the moments of our lives can feel like something to get through rather than live.
It can feel unbearable to be in the moment and it can feel unbearable for others to be around us. Stress can
make us feel terrible - physically and mentally.
The staff and programs at Samaritan offer many ways to help us appreciate the fullness and importance of
every moment in our lives. I am looking forward to adding Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) into
the mix of wonderful offerings at the Samaritan Center.
MBSR is an 8-week highly researched program developed by Jon Kabot Zinn. It is a group process
guided by an instructor offering a variety of mindfulness meditation and movement practices designed to be integrated into your
daily life. Research shows MSBR consistently serves as an intervention that increases self-awareness and emotion, and attention
regulation. These changes have demonstrated a trend in overall symptom reduction for a variety of health conditions such as
anxiety, depression, stress, chronic pain, and hypertension.
MBSR offers a multitude of ways to harness inner resources and increase resilience to support your health and wellbeing. All
elements of the course can be easily, non-judgmentally, and discreetly adapted to meet your needs.
Start out your 2024 by joining us this winter to explore how mindfulness may support you in living your life more fully. Please
direct questions to Becky Sanstead at bsanstead@samaritanlancaster.org
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The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023

Contents
The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - Contents
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The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 5
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The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 7
The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 8
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The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 10
The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 11
The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 12
The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 13
The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 14
The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 15
The Samaritan Connection Newsletter - Fall 2023 - 16
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