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A lot of anticipatory happiness and the resulting grief if the plans do not materialize is due to the fact that most of us are not in the present moment, but are mentally somewhere in the future, where we think we would be really happy.
Staying in the present moment, then becomes a necessary skill.
Having something to look forward to (plans for vacations, weddings, concerts, family visits, and various celebrations) is a source of anticipatory happiness.
On the contrary, having those plans indefinitely cancelled (due to the pandemic for example and the resulting curbs) invokes a feeling of disappointment and even grief.
Just like anticipating bad things which can happen in the future tends to cause a feeling of anxiety, making our bodies respond negatively, thinking about the good things happening in the future creates positive emotions and reactions in the body.
If we have something fun and interesting happening in the pipeline, we counter our pessimistic beliefs about the future, improving our overall health.
Daydreaming about potentially bright and happy future experiences can fill you up with positive emotions. Fantasizing about the positive experiences that await you fill you up with energy, and that motivates you to keep going.
Imagining a great future creates discipline, as our dreams are real for us, and we want to achieve them by toiling and struggling in the present. If we do not dream or are not able to visualize our dream, we may not get motivated to push ourselves harder.
Future anxiety can also be countered by practicing gratitude, shifting your focus from what you cannot have in the future, to what you already have in the present moment.
Even small things, like the fact that you are healthy, energetic and have a loving family is enough to get a substantial health benefit.
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