Plan for the future to feel good now

November 27, 2012

in Communication, Encouragement, Her Needs, Hope

Are you too busy or too broke to get away with your bride right now? “Right now” could be this week or this month or the next two years. Here is a “trick” that could help you both feel better – plan a future date or trip.

Intercontinental Hotel Tahiti © Michael R Perry | flickr.com

According to Shawn Achor (who I have mentioned before), anticipation causes pleasure. In his book The Happiness Advantage,(affLnk) Shawn discusses a study that found that thinking about watching their favourite movie raised people’s endorphin levels by 27% (endorphins are natural opioids that make us feel good). In fact, anticipating future rewards can light up the brain’s pleasure centres as much as the actual rewards do. Achor suggests that one way to boost mood when you cannot take a trip or go out is to plan something for the future. Be it planning dinner and a movie or a major trip, knowing it is coming makes you feel good – and the further in the future the event is, the longer it will make you feel good.

Of course, you must have, or build, a record of following through on such plans for there to be real anticipation and thus pleasure. Start with some small, short-term things, and work up. As you get the hang of it, start talking about that one vacation the two of you have always dreamed about taking. Even if it is a decade or more away, discuss it, research it, plan it repeatedly, and enjoy every minute of it. You could well get more pleasure out of years of anticipation than the trip – even if you enjoy the trip a great deal!

Image Credit: © Michael R Perry | flickr.com    

5 comments
Lori @ Encourage Your Spouse
Lori @ Encourage Your Spouse

This post was so awesome - the tidbit you shared via facebook/twitter got Rob and I talking... and planning. We're headed off for 2-days at the beach this weekend, "just because"!

Pearl
Pearl

What a cool little fact! Hubby and I always relish the anticipation of fun upcoming events, now there's a solid reason. God is amazing. Thx for sharing this, Paul!

marseille55
marseille55

I heartily second this. A very long time ago I planned to surprise my wife with a 10th anniversary trip to Europe. Someone suggested that I not deprive her of the anticipation. That was wise advice and our relationship benefitted immensely during the 6 months that she was researching, planning, etc. :)

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

I have tended to be more the "surprise her" kind of person, but I will have to change that based on what I've learned here.

Previous post:

Next post: