My husband and I love to travel and for more than the beautiful and unique destinations we get to visit.Looking forward to our vacation is one of the best parts of the entire trip. Some people even argue that anticipation is better than the actual event.
What do you think? Consider a time when you were really looking forward to something (going back to childhood, maybe it was your favourite holiday). What did it feel like? Were you invigorated and energized, maybe a bit nervous, but the kind of nervousness that comes with happy anticipation? Did you connect with friends and family members as you got ready for the event? Did you dream about it before it happened?
My answer is a resounding “Yes!”.
When we are anticipating an event, we’re spending time living in an idealized future. But beyond fun and excitement, having something to look forward to has a lot of utility and can benefit your marriage in multiple ways.
Benefits of Having Something To Look Forward To
- It Boosts Mood
- Having something to look forward to fosters optimism by its very nature. When we spend more time on positive thoughts, it creates a self-perpetuating cycle of positivity.
- It Creates a United Goal
- When you and your spouse plan an event together, you are really setting a goal to which you are each committed. Working towards and achieving this goal helps support problem-solving and communication and positively enforces the idea that challenges (good and bad) can be overcome.
- It Helps Rewrites the Anxiety & Stress Script
- Many people, especially those in unhappy relationships, feel anxious about the future. When you have something to look forward to, you can alter these thought processes to be more positive and less stress-inducing.
- It Connects Us To Our Future Selves
- It’s essential to be in the present, but to achieve our goals, we have to also think of the future. These types of anticipatory events represent the future life that you desire to attain.
- It Reduces Stress
- When you and your spouse decide to plan an event together, you create a new opportunity to connect with your spouse in a positive manner. This alleviates pressure in other areas of your marriage, particularly if you’re having a hard time agreeing on much.
- It Strengthens Discipline
- One of the best predictors of individual success is one’s ability to delay gratification. That is, to be disciplined. There is always room for spontaneity, but don’t underestimate the benefits of working towards a goal, especially when it involves some sacrifice (usually money or time in the context of events). This practice of discipline can spill over into other areas of your life, providing a wide variety of benefits.
- It’s a Pleasant & Welcome Distraction.
- When life gets tough, we all need a bit of a diversion. Our marriages are central to our lives, so when they’re disrupted, the negative effects can ripple throughout, making it hard to disengage from the stress. Actively choosing to create something to look forward to with your spouse provides a positive distraction from your troubles. Just make sure you maintain your communication skills in the process.
Nourish Your Growth Mindset & Have Some Fun.
We all, as individuals and as couples, have an inherent human need to continuously learn and grow. For this, there is no better catalyst than experience. As you integrate the practice of embracing anticipation into your life, you are actively contributing to your personal and marital growth and reaping the many benefits. Shift your mind and your life by harnessing the power of anticipation. The best part? You can get started today.