The Power of Future Thinking for Healthy Living

The Power of Future Thinking for Healthy Living

via Very Well Mind by Barbara Field

How you think about your future is bound up with your well-being. Positive future thinking (PFT) is an important component of healthy cognitive functioning. When people can’t imagine a positive future, that negative view often becomes a central feature of anxiety and depression.

Positive Psychology

Positive psychology is a branch of psychology focused on the positive events and influences in life. By focusing on positives, people find a life of meaning and purpose. The goal: you don’t just survive, you thrive.

Using what’s called prospection, you can think about and stimulate your possible future. This may include planning, predicting, and using hypothetical scenarios about future events. Seeing if you can find a way to set your mind on optimism and an abundant future despite the hurdles you face can prove beneficial.1

How Future Thinking Helps You

There are a host of mental health benefits from allowing your imagination to participate in future thinking—from harnessing more motivation to achieving long term goals.

Motivation and Expectation

When you are motivated to do something and also have the expectation something will happen in the future, you are more likely to succeed.

Note, future thinking is different from fantasizing. With fantasizing, people might feel good and as if they already met their goals in the moment, so they don’t work or strategize for future success.

With future thinking, people come to expect to reach a goal. So, they often plan, make efforts, and work around obstacles in order to achieve it…

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