Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Grape #6: The Sweet Joy Of Anticipation

As I've written about here recently, I'm in the midst of planning my first trip to Hawaii. Very exciting stuff! My partner and I don't leave until late May, but we've been planning it since before Christmas. And even though I'm still in New York, I'm totally loving my vacation already!

There's an anticipation that builds before a big vacation that increases your serotonin, that makes you happy just knowing it's coming. Research has proved that people live longer, happier lives when they keep planning activities, even well into their twilight years***.

So it's a clinically proven reality that anticipation itself can bring all the joy of the event that is anticipated. Who knew?! My 2 weeks on Maui is in some ways a six-month trip! Sweet! Enjoying a Mai Tai at my desk at work or sunbathing in the parking lot may not be a good idea, but boy am I enjoying looking at photos of where my physical form will soon be. And I'm truly jealous of my future self!

Anticipating a happy event or time in our life is a wonderful way to make us feel better no matter what our current surroundings may be. So if the work or laundry is piling up around you, or you're just feeling sluggish about someone or something in your day, keep a big old calendar or photo of the place or event you have to look forward to next. Just seeing an image in front of you is guaranteed to improve your mood.

And if you don't have anything to look forward to, start making plans today! It doesn't have to be Hawaii or anywhere else spectacular. It could just be a date with yourself for ice cream later in the week. And don't forget the hot fudge syrup with that serotonin! Mmm!

***Note to those under 30: The phrase "twilight years" represents that time in your life as the sun begins to set and old age is a reality. You will probably not turn into a vampire if you live past 80 years old. Results may vary.

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