Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mind-wandering related to unhappiness

Winter willows in reflection
Frozen cherries by pond
A recent study indicated that being focused on the here and now is more likely to bring happiness than letting one's mind wander.  This was reported in a New York Times article, When the Mind Wanders, Happiness Also Strays, by John Tierney.  One of the primary researchers, Dr. Daniel Gilbert noted, "The heart goes where the head takes it, and neither cares much about the whereabouts of the feet.”

Perhaps not too surprisingly, they discoved that people's minds were wandering abut 50% of the time.

They found evidence that mind-wandering caused unhappiness, but not that unhappiness caused mind-wandering.

One word of caution about this study.  It was conducted using subjects with IPhones.  This might not be representative of the general population.

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