Anticipation – why waiting works wonders for our well-being


The impact that anticipation can have on our well-being is incredible.

The Sunday blues, that feeling of dread when you agree to give a speech at your cousins wedding or the growing anxiety of receiving your next electricity bill. We are all familiar with the negative power of anticipation, but it does work the other way too.

Always having something to look forward to, is a wonderful tip for a happy life, even if it’s something small like a trip to your favourite market once a month.

Research supports that the pleasure that we get from anticipating something we enjoy can be enormous.

And being able to savour these pleasurable feelings of anticipation can boost our financial health and well-being too.

By being aware of this we can then choose to make consuming more enjoyable.

Say no to the ‘buy now and pay later’ culture, it will only rob you of joy and financial well-being.

Waiting and filling our minds with the excitement of things to come is so much more enjoyable.

And if you hear the voice in your head  yelling “I want it now!” as it tries to negotiate with you by offering arguments for why you will enjoy it more if you get it now. Lovingly acknowledge this greedy part of your mind and ask it to suspend its judgement and experiment with how enjoyable waiting can be.

Research has also found that we get more pleasure from anticipation than from reminiscing. So, even if you do buy and eat the chocolate now the joy from remembering how good it tasted won’t be a great as what you will experience from looking forward to eating it tomorrow.

You will also tend to make better money decisions if they are made for the future. It is what British psychologist Dr. Jeremy Dean terms the ‘chocolate-now-fruit-next-week effect’. We are all likely to be greedy kids when we are making decisions for right now in contrast with choosing things that are better for us when they are for the future.

So, don’t let the consumer culture of ‘buy now, pay later’ rob you of what psychologist call ‘free pleasure’ and load your purse with extra stress.

Just for today cultivate your ability to wait for good things to come.

Waiting really can work wonders for your well-being.