Go Ahead. Fantasize.

Go Ahead. Fantasize.

via the New York Times by Tariro Mzezewa

Teddy Johnson has a very clear fantasy for what he’s going to do the day the pandemic is “over” — whatever that day might look like, and whenever it may be.

He’s banking on the day being sunny, perhaps the temperature of early summer. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston will be playing everywhere — on the streets of New York City, where he lives; on the subway; and definitely in the club where Mr. Johnson will gather with all his friends. He will wear a cropped white tank top with speckles of paint all over it with his favorite pair of tight bell-bottoms and stunner sunglasses.

“I can’t wait to dance with my friends,” said Mr. Johnson, 28, over the phone from his apartment in Manhattan. It won’t erase the pain of last year, which was compounded for Mr. Johnson by the loss of his job, but the dance floor fantasy is soothing — something to look forward to. “Dancing is as important to me as water,” he said. “Thinking about getting on a dance floor with the people I love is getting me through this stay-at-home life.”

Mr. Johnson’s fantasy may seem premature — most of us won’t be rushing back to a crowded dance floor, no matter how much we miss it — but experts say that fantasizing, forward thinking and using one’s imagination are powerful tools for getting people through difficult times.

With the winter’s end nowhere in sight, with coronavirus cases and deaths still high (and a new variant at large that’s more transmissible), and with the Capitol breached and American democracy seemingly hanging in the balance, people have a need to look ahead to the parties they’ll host, the hugs they’ll give and receive, the conversations they’ll have and the trips they’ll take, once it’s safe.

“The important thing about imagination is that it gives you optimism,” said Martin Seligman, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and the director of the Positive Psychology Center there….

… keep reading the full & original article HERE