How Future Thoughts and Fantasies Work?
A few years ago, there was a study on the fact that the future fantasies, despite lessening the depression at present, it indeed aided the depression in the future (Pleasure Now, Pain Later). I thought that it had to do with some special and closed sample of people and an exhaustive amount of scrupulous study over peculiar cases. It turns out that it’s the same old psychological research, which is quite still inside the box that ignores the reality and passive factors around the subject that could lead to experimental uncertainties. I had to pen down to disprove some of the claims and tell you what it’s really like to have a positive fantasy or simulation about the future, as a rational human.
One can’t qualify fantasy
As far as any psychological evaluation or study goes, it is expected to have the usual approximations and uncertainties revolving around it all the time. When it comes to human behaviors and thoughts, such uncertainties are profuse. It is human thoughts that we are dealing with here and obviously, not all fantasies are alike. One person’s thought about the future is another person’s fantasy, which implies that fantasy is a thing that will never happen in reality. For example, when I think that my life in two weeks will be awesome with a new change, what I am doing is that I base those thoughts from rational observations of the present and analyzing those choices I have at that moment. From a second person’s view, this could be inferred as an impossible thing and hence it could be rendered as a fantasy.
Nevertheless, both of these thought induced happy simulations would not cause depression in the future if done right. Besides, thinking about your success beforehand doesn’t really take the fun out of it. I will explain why.
Decisions and moods
Let’s bring in the butterfly effect. Your life depends on the decisions you make. And the decisions depends on the mood you are in. Your life depends upon these two primary factors. I guess you already knew this! So if you make some decisions today, without having any of those happy daydreams and premature celebrations of your victory, it would definitely have a different outcome when compared to the decisions you make with those happy thoughts about the future. Sometimes it could end up being exactly as you have thought. But most of the times, the inevitable will strike, and you will be feeling low over the failure of the dream. Isn’t it the whole point of life?
The point here is, your decisions, no matter how you take it, it always have several outcomes, depending on several variables outside and inside your mind. The primary control factor for that decision depends on how you feel about the future. So this makes those thoughts about your future, one of the basic necessities. You simply just can’t avoid it completely.
Doing it the wrong way would definitely put you down
Our brain is wired in the way to rejoice at rewards when accomplishing something. Your thoughts and dreams about your future are directly connected with your reward system. Consider it this way! Your thoughts and fantasies about your successful life ahead are just like your own closed beta simulation of your life. Your rational mind must need that to take proper decisions based on that. It is sort of a preamble to your goal. But when you share that thought to another human, you are starting to do the wrong thing. You are technically plotting against your own plans and happiness by letting in another brain to analyze your simulation of life.
Most of the times, the others would rejoice at your non-existent life or plans and reward you psychologically and lower the excitement and momentum in you. From that point onwards, you will function towards your imaginary goal with a mundane approach. And all this will be happening at the subconscious level, without your knowledge. Sometimes, it’s not that subconscious at all. You would simply enjoy being rewarded for something that doesn’t exist. I believe that this what the study tried to understand and somewhere they rounded it off to the entire future fantasy thing.
The bottom line is that all your plans, thoughts, dreams, and fantasies are essential for a healthy and happier future. They won’t cause any depression unless you share it with the other humans and let multiple brains meddle up your own decision-making factors. I am not an expert in psychology, but in the end, you are your own psychological expert of your mind. Act like a rational human.