Published by Lauren Dale, Human Resource Specialist

In 2020, Rogers employees began Mental Wellness Monday, a series of stories on our intranet showing how colleagues around Rogers create positivity for themselves to help relieve stress and avoid burnout. Every other week, a new employee shares their personal story on how they actively work to take care of their mental health. Lauren Dale in the Rogers HR department has chosen to share her story below.

The Power of Anticipation

You may be familiar with the saying, “If you are depressed you are living in the past, if you are anxious you are living in the future, and if you are at peace you are living in the present.” As someone who deals with anxiety and worries about the future more than I should, I wholeheartedly believe this statement to be true. However, it isn’t always easy to fix. While there is importance behind living in the present, sometimes our current situation can be stressful or uninteresting. It is also difficult to live in the present moment when there is impending dread and fear around what is to come. One of the best ways to shift our perspective toward the future in a more positive light comes from the power that exists in having something to look forward to!

Although anticipation can be related to anxiety and grief, it is most often related to a feeling of eagerness about the future. Positive anticipation is “experiencing happiness before an event takes place just because you know it’s coming.” According to a 2010 study published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life, just planning or awaiting a trip can make you happier than actually taking it. I’ve seen firsthand the powerful impact that having something to look forward to has had on myself and members of own family. I’ve seen it improve mood and feelings of depression as well as reduce anxiety. Having something to look forward to can increase happiness, make battling day-to-day stress seem a lot easier and inspire hope.

There are many ways to build anticipation, and although planning a trip is one of them, I truly believe that even the smaller, simple ways can be just as exciting and effective. Sometimes a vacation is not within our budget, but that can be a goal to set for a future date. Goal setting can also be considered a means to build anticipation. Giving yourself something to look forward to can even be as simple as finishing a book you’ve been wanting to read, ordering takeout from your favorite restaurant at the end of a long week, starting each day with one intention or making plans to visit your loved ones.

My suggestion is to take a few moments to make a list of things you are or could be looking forward to. Keep the list close by so they remain top-of-mind to help bring you positive anticipation. I’ve also included a few tips below for getting started on this list:

  1. Think of something you find fun and enjoy
  2. Pick something achievable
  3. Aim for something both big and small so you can get a reward now and later
  4. Create a visual reminder (e.g., put it on your calendar)

Published on Jan 18, 2023

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