Making Future Plans Can Boost Your Mood – Here’s What the Research Shows…

Does 2020 have you feeling somewhat up-side-down?  Want to know a way to help boost your mood?  Believe it or not, making future plans is actually a proactive mood enhancer in these unique times.

Over the past few months, we have all experienced cancellations or postponements of planned events that we have been looking forward to…from concerts and business shows to weddings, special celebrations, and of course vacation adventures. The uncertainty of the year has left many people reeling and even feeling anxious about the changes that have had to take place.

Interestingly, putting the future on an indefinite hold can be tough on your mental health. In today’s installment of Positive Vibes, we are thrilled to share findings from a recent study co-authored by Shevaun Neupert that offers a glimpse into how to stay positive and combat negative feelings.  According to the research, Neupert shares that proactive coping is when people engage in planning to reduce the likelihood of future stress.  Findings indicate that it’s important to keep making plans to help you stay in a positive mindset and keep you from feeling symptoms of anxiety or depression.

After all, planning’s in our nature. “As humans, we’re uniquely capable of thinking about the future,” explains Neupert. “We’re the only species that spends this much brain power planning ahead.”

In her study, Neupert tracked more than 223 participants over eight days, monitoring the way they navigated daily stress. Those who engaged in proactive coping reacted less to stress.

“Planning can be a powerful form of proactive coping,” she explains. Scheduling future events is an acknowledgement that there will be a future and that when it arrives, you’ll be able to do the things you want to do. She suggests that you can even reap even by simply making a list of the activities – from the everyday to the bucket-list-worthy – that you want to schedule. It’s enough, Neupert says, to “acknowledge the things you’re intending to do… The anticipation of something good is really powerful.” Having a list of things you’re committed to doing, even if you don’t know when you’ll do them, is in itself soothing.

Bottom line…Make a plan, any plan to brighten your mood!

Put simply, uncertainty is upsetting. This is just one study that shows that when we have a plan it helps clear our minds and organize our thoughts. The paper, “Thinking Ahead and Staying in the Present: Implications for Reactivity to Daily Stressors,” is published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

Consider rescheduling the vacation you had planned for the same time next year or start planning the trip of a lifetime now for 2021 because at least there’s a plan in place, and something to look forward to. To help you get planning and help boost your positive mood, check out all of the dreamy travel experiences today at!