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(p. 182) Plans 

Chapter:
(p. 182) Plans
Author(s):

Andrew MacLeod

DOI:
10.1093/med:psych/9780198725046.003.0008
Page of

date: 21 September 2017

Chapter 8 reviews the relationship between planning for the future and well-being. Plans are the future steps we think of to reach our goals. Specific plans bridge the gap between intention, and acting on the intention and low states of well-being and mental health, including suicidal behaviour, are related to lack of planning specificity. Highly specific behavioural plans (implementation intentions), have also been shown to promote the ability to carry through desired but difficult behaviour. Planning links to well-being in a number of ways. First, through providing a sense that future outcomes will be achieved and creating a sense of progress, plans facilitate in-the-moment positive affect. Planning also provides structure and direction, and promotes engagement in activities. Finally, having formed plans frees up resources to think on the present, and reduces intrusive thoughts about what is going to happen in the future.

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