Focusing on the good things coming up is a good alternative to focusing on the bad things that we do not enjoy. By feeling excited for the future we minimize the negative feelings associated with the things that we are not looking forward to.
But, how does being excited for upcoming things make us happier scientifically?
Excitement gives us a mood boost and helps us be more positive. When we get excited our bodies release serotonin and dopamine, which are both happiness hormones. In addition, our brains release a hormone called cortisol hormone. This is the same hormone that is associated with stress. So how are stress and excitement similar, and how are they different? It’s all about the mindset and how we perceive things! When we perceive a situation as ultimately positive, our brain has no choice but to respond accordingly. So, the reason why we get that boost of energy is because it’s that same energy and adrenaline that we experience when stressed. When we reframe our mindset to something positive, our overall feelings are happier!
A 2018 study found that people who wrote positive and optimistic ideas about the future, had a more positive psychological growth. One of the best ways to try this idea is the “Three Good Things” method – with a small twist. Originally, the method focuses on finding three good things in the day, however instead of reflecting on the day, write about what you are excited about for the next day. In addition, write down ways that you are planning to experience this exciting event. For example, if you are excited to spend time with a friend at lunch, talk to them or text them to make these plans.
Often that feeling of excitement passes in a blink of an eye. Below we have suggestions to savour these moments and feelings, and truly appreciate them.
Tell a friend!
The best way to fully embody and embrace our excitement is to tell someone you know well and who will appreciate hearing your excitement. Tell them what you’re excited about, and ask them if they too have something they are looking forward to experiencing. This way you can spread excitement and share in that feeling.
Often when we feel excited, we don’t necessarily think “Oh, I’m feeling happy and excited.” But, this type of thinking can help you understand what you’re feeling, and start to create habits of acknowledging what you enjoy and processing those feelings. When you understand what you are feeling, you can embrace it to the fullest.
Overall, feeling excited is an amazing feeling! Looking forward to small things daily can bring a lot more happiness into our lives. Take this as your sign to truly practice the Three Good Things method (with our twist), and discover what makes you excited!
We hope these tips will help you find, create, and cherish more exciting moments, giving you a small bit of happiness.
For more happiness check out our Mood Boost page.
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