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How to Use Time Travel to Increase Happiness | TIME

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1) Time Travel To The Future!

It’s as simple as anticipation. Remember being a kid and looking forward to holiday gifts? Or as an adult haven’t you fantasized about that vacation coming up?

Well, research says deliberately using anticipation is an insanely powerful way to get happy.

How does it work?

Here’s why you absolutely need to incorporate more anticipation into your life:

Studies show anticipation can actually be more enjoyable than getting the thing you’re anticipating.

Via The Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy, but Doesn’t, What Shouldn’t Make You Happy, but Does:

For example, a month before embarking on a guided twelve-day tour of several European cities, eager travelers report expecting to enjoy their trip significantly more than they actually do during the twelve days. Identical results are found when students are surveyed about their expectations three days before their Thanksgiving vacation, and when midwesterners are surveyed three weeks before a bicycle trip across California. Indeed, researchers who studied a thousand Dutch vacationers concluded that by far the greatest amount of happiness extracted from the vacation is derived from the anticipation period…

This is why lottery tickets sell so well: you’re never gonna win that cash but the chance to dream and anticipate it brings an enormous amount of joy.

But I’m not encouraging you to buy lottery tickets.

How to do it:

Simply make plans to do something fun with a friend.

Harvard happiness expert Shawn Achor says just calling, emailing or texting a friend and putting an event on the calendar is more powerful than you think.

Via The Happiness Advantage:

One study found that people who just thought about watching their favorite movie actually raised their endorphin levels by 27 percent. Often, the most enjoyable part of an activity is the anticipation. If you can’t take the time for a vacation right now, or even a night out with friends, put something on the calendar—even if it’s a month or a year down the road. Then whenever you need a boost of happiness, remind yourself about it.

Want an extra 130,000 bucks a year? That’s the financial equivalent of the happiness boost you get from spending more time with those you’re closest to.

Approximately 70% of your happiness comes from relationships.

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