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Happiness Tip: Look Forward to — or Back on — Something Fun

The sheer number of positive emotions we experience relative to negative ones affects how happy we are generally; for that reason, excitement about future events can be a great source of positive emotions. Studies show that positive anticipation can bring us as much or more pleasure than the actual event itself.

Then, after that something fun is over, we can squeeze more happiness out of it by recalling, or savoring, our favorite parts. Simply telling a co-worker or friend about something you recently enjoyed can make you feel happier, as can expressing gratitude about it.

Take Action: Plan something fun for next week, and then do something to build excitement. For example, if you are going to a football game or play with a friend, send your friend an “I’m so excited!” email, or let yourself read a review or article about the team or event.

Join the Discussion: What is your favorite way to build excitement about a future event? How do you savor the good things in your life? Share your fondest family memory from this past summer in the comments below!