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Happiness Tip: Build Anticipation for 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.

Take Action: Plan something fun for next week or even this spring, and then do something to build excitement. For example, if you are going to a sporting event 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 ideas in the comments!


  1. Hi Christine,
    Great happiness tip! My favorite way to build happiness (although I didn’t know that’s what I was doing–lol) is to fantasize about the event before it happens, in detail. It doesn’t matter if it’s something I’v done before (that way I can go into more detail, savoring all the sights smells, sounds, touches, tastes, etc.) or something brand new, where I just close my eyes and fantasize the perfect happiness event. I have a rich fantasy life –lol.

    I so look forward to these Happiness tips. Only wish they came more often.

    Have a stupendous day. xo

  2. Bernadette says:

    It definitely is a boost of positive emotions to anticipate something good. I like to map things out a bit ahead of time in my planning and excitement. We love to do this with our daughter as well but find it can backfire with her because she gets so excited that she often has trouble sleeping!

  3. Ibe says:

    This is great advise, and it certainly works. I can say I’m generally as excited at the prospect than the event or activity itself. Two words of caution; day dream, anticipate, imagine, whatever you do, do it with realistic expectations. Don’t set yourself up in fantasy land with an ideal/perfect trip that can easily lead to a fast disappointment. The other pointer, plan/start talking about your next vacation before it actually ends. It can be a double hit to head home (I call it post vacation blues) vacations end and with it the planning and excitement.

  4. AmandaMeditates says:

    My daughter, who is 3, has a field trip with daycare tomorrow. Today I said to her “tomorrow is the sugar bush! Are you excited?” and she said “is it tomorrow, today?”. It made me realize how in the moment kids are and how they can get excited immediately. Any tips for helping kids get excited/anticipating the good events to come without them disappointed that the event is not “NOW” ?

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