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Science Snippet

Letter from Future Self

Seeing our challenges and circumstances through the perspective of a future self can help us talk to ourselves compassionately, the way we might talk to a good friend. Research shows these techniques (i.e., “self-distancing”) can help us put things in perspective, reduce stress and negative emotions, and find more strength and resilience. 

 

What’s more, this activity can be a motivation booster, too! Imagining a positive image of yourself in the future and the process of getting there prompts concrete plans and actions. Finally, giving advice can be surprisingly motivating—it gives us an opportunity to tap into the wisdom and strength that is already within ourselves.

👉Fun fact 1: Changing our focus from the present to the future can help us put our negative circumstances in perspective and cope with negative emotions. Remembering that those circumstances are temporary can help us find  hope and resilience.  

 

👉Fun fact 2: Simulating a positive image of oneself in the future and imagining the process of getting there can prompt concrete plans and actions. 

 

👉Fun fact 3: Giving advice can be surprisingly motivating—even more than receiving advice! 

 

👉Bonus point: If you want to take this activity to the next level, you can even write a letter to your future self, and then write a reply letter back from that future self. A recent study shows that this two-way letter exchange can give you a motivation boost!

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