Anticipation Makes You Happier

Research shows that anticipation makes you happier! The thrill of the wait, the excitement, the imagination, the build-up, and looking forward to an experience often creates more intense positive emotions than the actual event itself.

Anticipation creates positive emotions.

Positive emotions create changes in the brain – which makes us feel more calm, more focused, and more emotionally stable. 

Changes in the brain create intellectually adaptability, creative thinking, and an increased ability to process information.

Anticipation helps us to focus on the positives, rather than the negatives and is an excellent coping strategy to recover and adapt to stressors.

What does this mean for children?

Not only does anticipation increase wellbeing, it also helps develop patience and other important skills needed for positive social interactions.

We live in a world of instant gratification, so learning to enjoy anticipation is particularly hard for children. 

You can help children by:

  1. 1. Focus on looking forward.
  2. 2. Talk about upcoming events and why you are excited about them.  These events don’t have to be major milestones – they could be simply watching a soccer game on the weekend, eating your favourite meal later that night, or saving for something.  Anticipating small events help children to gain an appreciation of the little things.
  3. 3. Make a conscious effort for children to experience waiting and sharing.