The American Physiological Society published a study that found that participants who simply thought about watching their favorite movie actually raised their endorphin levels by 27 percent.
Just thinking they would watch their favorite movie produced endorphines – that wonderful combo of chemical whose responsibility is to put us in a happy state, increase retention during learning and help improve decision making.
This research supports the timeless wisdom that suggests that sometimes the most enjoyable part of any activity can be the anticipation of it.
In fact, some research has said that simply scheduling a vacation for next year (even if you can’t afford it right now) can boost your sense of happiness and light the pleasure centers in your brain, almost as much as taking the actual trip will itself.
Okay… so let’s think about how we could apply this to ourselves?
What are some questions that you could ask yourself… your friends… your co-workers… to help yourself and them to look forward to something?
Here are some simple but powerful examples.
LOOKING FORWARD QUESTIONS:
Describe something I would love to accomplish in my professional life.
Describe a few places I would like to visit in the world.
Tell me about a few things you would like to experience with your family.
Describe something you would love to do with your friends.
Describe something you are excited about when you think about accomplishing _________.
Here’s the cool thing. Just by giving yourself (and others) the chance to think about these things… you are releasing endorphins. How cool is that?
But, we don’t want to just stop there… right?
Granted… that release is good for you because it will help you to feel good. But that release of endorphins is also going to help you to be more creative… and we want to harness that.
So take the next step while the iron is hot.
Use that burst of endorphins to get creative about taking action!
What might be a few things a person would need to do in order to achieve _______?
What might I need to do in order to travel to _________ in the next 2 years?
What might be some small but significant shifts I would want or need to make to begin to experience ______ with my family on a regular basis?
What is something specific you want to do today to move towards accomplishing ________?
And since getting things on the calendar is an important part of looking forward, here are some questions to help.
When do I want to make time to do one of those things in the next week?
What would it feel like to go ahead and put that trip on my calendar for 2 years out?
When do I want to make time for that small but significant shift this next week?
When do I want to do ________ today?
So… you can use these questions to release a burst of endorphins… and then you can use that burst of the body’s own “good stuff” and harness a higher level of creativity as you make plans and take action!
What are some of your favorite questions to ask to help yourself or others to look forward? Join in the conversation by clicking COMMENTS and let us know!
Keep dreaming BIG and helping others to do the same