12 Apr Happiness & Positive Psychology Research Summary
At the end of last year (2009) a fascinating study was published in The Journal of Positive Psychology; in this paper a number of researchers from Belgium and the UK explored what they called _ã–mental time travel_ã and the effects of daily practice.
In simple terms, _ã–mental time travel into the future_ã involved purposefully engaging in future oriented thinking in either a positive, negative or neutral way (participants in the experiment were randomly assigned to one or the other). For example, some were provided with the following instructions _ã_ _ã–Please try to imagine, in the most precise way, four positive events that could reasonably happen to you tomorrow…_ã while others were advised to _ã–imagine…four negative events that could reasonably happen_ã.
Not all that surprisingly, those in the positive mental time travel group experienced significantly greater happiness over the next two weeks while those in the negative and neutral groups experienced no change. This might not be a surprise but it_ã_s certainly something we should all seriously contemplate as the findings have massive implications for how we can boost our happiness.
Quite simply, practising positive mental time travel into the future can and will help us enjoy more happiness and more positive emotions. So why not try this every day…I certainly will be doing it on a regular basis from now on and I hope you will too!