Just as anticipation of demanding events can make us more tense, anticipation of something wonderful happening in the future can make us feel joyful right now. Particularly during stressful times, anticipating a fun and exciting event can lift our spirits.
This is exactly why it’s so important to have positive plans in our future. As we traverse through stressful times, if all we can see are more demands and, at best, a few mundane happenings, our anticipation will be primarily negative. It must be balanced out. Yet too often we leave planning for fun in the hands of others.
Personally, I’ve learned that during stressful times I have a tendency to quit planning for fun – or for much of anything, for that matter. It’s at these times I know I need to push through my anxiety and make some happy plans. When worry has a hold on you, this is the best time to create something good to anticipate. It can be something small such as lunch with a friend. Or something much larger, like a vacation. Either way, when we have something fun to anticipate, it makes us hopeful in the present.
Anticipation of positive events brings hope and hope is a perfect emotion to balance out our worries.