Wandering Mind Leads To Unhappiness, Claims New Study

November 12th, 2010 - 8:25 pm ICT by GD  

By Meena Kar
daydreamingNov 12, (THAINDIAN NEWS) A new research has claimed that one of the main reasons for unhappiness is that people spend nearly half their waking hours thinking about what is not really going on around them. The study was conducted with the help of an iPhone application that helped keep a track of thousands of people and what they were feeling and thinking about throughout the day. Harvard University psychology experts Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert conducted the research with the help of the 250,000 data points that the application gathered.

The researchers said that the human mind is a wandering mind and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind. They added that the ability of the human mind to think about what is not happening around them is a cognitive achievement but it comes at an emotional cost. Unlike other animals, humans can think about events in the past and also contemplate about the future events. The research says that the mind-wandering could be one of the default mode of operation of the human mind.

Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert have also concluded in their research that people were happiest when making love and it was also the time that their minds were wandering the least. Among some of the other activities that seemed to make people happy, there is exercising and engaging in conversation. Some of the activities where people feel the least happy, according to the research, is when people are resting, working or sitting on their home computer. Matthew A. Killingsworth said that many philosophies and religions teach that the key to happiness is to live in the present. The practitioners are taught to focus their minds on the ‘now’ and thus resist their mind from wandering.

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