“Happiness is pretty simple: Someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to.” Rita Mae Brown

What are you looking forward to? Is it a vacation, dinner with friends, a concert, a sporting event, or a wedding? Having something to look forward to is so important, especially after a year and half of a pandemic, when many of those things were cancelled. It seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t have an answer to, “What are you looking forward to?”

Thinking about the future can often stir up anxiety in many people because the future is characterized as the unknown. But when we have something to look forward to that is defined and, therefore, not unknown, our brain releases dopamine which creates feelings of pleasure. There is a great book, The Molecule of More by Daniel Z. Lieberman, that explains exactly how dopamine works in our body. It’s not really the event that gives us the burst of pleasure, it’s actually the anticipation of the event that triggers the dopamine release.

So we really do need something to look forward to so that we can release dopamine and increase our happiness. That “something” does not bring us pleasure, it is the anticipation of that “something” that creates the excitement and the pleasure. I hope you are making plans right now for things that you can look forward to—it’s really important—but only if you want to be happier.


Beth Fitzgerald

P.S. One month of planking every day is now complete. I will video my plank today and share it with you so you can see what happens when you stick with something every day for 30 days—the answer is a lot! And this is just a plank. Imagine the possibilities!!

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