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Is vorfreude better than the real thing?

Coach Joanna Wilczynska MA by Joanna Wilczynska MA
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Is "the anticipation of joy" equally or more exciting as experiencing the actual thing? It's such a great feeling to look forward to a trip, a meal with some friends, a night (day) out.

But! What about the day-to-day? How can we create some vorfreude every day rather than having to wait for something "bigger" to happen? Looking forward to a future event triggers joy in the present moment, so here are some ideas to try out:

- Turn a routine activity into a ritual - looking forward to having your morning coffee, lunch, an afternoon snack, an evening shower, a midday walk, a catch-up with a colleague, a call with a friend? Savour the moment before it happens - think, how will it taste and feel like once it happens?

- Think ahead - at the end of each day, ask yourself what are the 3 things you're looking forward to tomorrow?

- Rethink your thinking patterns - are you prone to catastrophising or negativity bias? Rather than feeling dejected that you're only going away for one night instead of the whole weekend, focus on all the nice things you'll get to experience precisely because you'll be away

- Savour the moment - just as you are about to have the first sip, the first bite, just as you are about to step into the bath, open the book or start watching the show, pause briefly and acknowledge the moment that's about to happen and how good it feels that's it's almost here

- Treat yourself - schedule that dinner or lunch with a friend, go and see that show, visit the art gallery, take that day trip. Whatever you enjoy doing but haven't had the time to do in a while, make it happen. Better still, write those plans down on a calendar where you can see daily all those good things waiting to happen

- Schedule movement - if exercise feels like a chore, find something that YOU enjoy doing. Stretching, (power) walking, hiking, dancing, yoga, a sound bath, PMR

- Plan your meals, so that you can look forward to having them later in the week. Nothing wrong with grabbing a take-away meal lastminutecom but this is also an opportunity for vorfreude

- If vorfreude is alien to you, start small. Think of it as a photo challenge, where you're on the lookout to "snap" 1 nice thing every day - an interesting sight, seeing a cute dog or a beautiful plant, a delicious meal or snack, whatever rocks your boat.


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