Better Mind

Infuse more joy into your life with the Vorfreude secret

Infuse more joy into your life with the Vorfreude secret

Ever felt schadenfreude, delight in another’s misfortune? How about Vorfreude, the anticipation of joy? This hopeful concept suggests we could use less schadenfreude and more Vorfreude. But what exactly is anticipatory joy, how do we nurture it, and will more joy enhance our happiness?

According to Dr. Sophie Mort, a psychologist at Headspace, vorfreude is finding more joy in the lead-up to an event, like planning a trip or anticipating a special meal. Rory Platt from The School of Life suggests filling our calendar with small moments to look forward to, creating a glittering future from tiny joys.

However, vorfreude isn’t about living in an imagined future. Karen Neil, a health coach, notes that looking forward to something can bring more joy in the present, reducing stress and preventing burnout. A 2017 study in Frontiers of Psychology supports this, showing that anticipating positive events activates brain regions linked to wellbeing.

It’s important that positive psychology doesn’t get confused with toxic positivity

Tania Taylor

Believe in the power of anticipatory joy

Is it risky to get your hopes up? Emma Mills, mindfulness expert and author of ‘Inhale Exhale Repeat,’ disagrees. She believes in the power of anticipatory joy, which can help people bounce back even if an anticipated event disappoints. Tania Taylor, a psychotherapist, adds that optimists tend to recover faster from setbacks.

During tough times, it’s okay not to seek joy constantly. Taylor emphasizes the importance of recognizing toxic positivity and allowing oneself to rest without guilt. If feelings of hopelessness persist, seeking help from professionals or support organizations like Samaritans is crucial.

Embracing vorfreude shouldn’t feel like a burden. Taylor suggests exploring existing sources of joy in life. Willem Kuyken, a mindfulness professor, highlights the benefits of simple pleasures, such as enjoying time with loved ones or savoring food.

How to infuse more joy into your life with the Vorfreude secret

Considering this, here are 30 straightforward methods to incorporate more anticipatory more joy or Vorfreude into your life.

01. Start small. Begin by noticing one joyful thing each day, like capturing a beautiful photo or spotting a cute dog.

02. Positive thinking. Kickstart your day with a morning affirmation or positive statement to set a cheerful tone.

03. Ritualize routine. Turn mundane tasks, like enjoying your morning coffee, into cherished rituals to anticipate.

04. Everyday joy. Reflect on three simple pleasures you’re looking forward to tomorrow, whether it’s a walk in the park or a quiet moment at home.

05. Mindfulness break. Consciously savor hobbies or time spent with pets to break free from autopilot and embrace more joy.

06. Mindset shift. Challenge negative thought patterns and avoid ‘mind traps’ like catastrophizing by focusing on the positives in life.

07. Embrace the moment. Appreciate the anticipation before enjoying simple pleasures, like savoring a pastry or starting a movie.

08. Treat yourself. Plan small indulgences or excursions to look forward to, whether it’s dinner with a friend or a solo cinema trip.

09. Write it down. Put your plans on paper to make them feel more tangible and increase your excitement.

10. Joy journal. Keep track of what brings you happiness and plan to incorporate more of it into your life.

11. Move your body. Schedule time for movement, whether it’s gentle stretching or a fun exercise class.

12. Meal planning. Plan your meals for the week ahead to anticipate enjoyable dishes and reduce stress around cooking.

13. Socialize. Arrange a fun outing with a friend, whether it’s a night on the town or a cozy movie night at home.

14. Dream Vacation. Fantasize about your ideal getaway, even if it’s just browsing travel deals online.

15. Holiday Planning. Enjoy the excitement of planning and anticipating a trip, as research suggests it can bring more joy than the trip itself!