Do not live in imagined future

If you want to be a happier, less-stressed person, there is no better place to start than with becoming aware of “anticipatory thinking,” or an imagined future.

Essentially, this type of thinking involves imagining how much better your life will be when certain conditions are met – or how stressful, or difficult something is going to be at some point down the road.

Typical anticipatory thinking sounds something like this: “I can’t wait to get that promotion, and then my life will be great.” “Life will be so much simpler when I can afford an assistant.” “These next few years will be really tough, but after that I’ll be having a smooth ride.”

You get so carried away by your own thoughts that you remove yourself from the actual present moments of your life, thereby forgetting the act of living effectively and joyfully.

There are other, more short-term forms of this type of thinking as well: “The next few days are going to be unbearable,” “I am going to be tired tomorrow,” “I just know my speech is going to be a disaster.”

There are endless variations of this stressful tendency. The details are usually different, but the result is the same –stress! Do not let your thoughts get caught up in the negative expectations and imagined horrors of the future.

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