Yes the ability to have our mind stray from the present moment is an amazing ability. While the research shows that mind-wandering correlates to unhappiness, I believe there is a flip side to that coin. My mind-wandering is generally something that is done subconsciously, without true focus or intent. However when I bring intention and focus to my mind-wandering, I tend to be much happier during my daydreaming. My wife tells me that that’s more along the lines of meditating, and while I may not reach the depths of meditation I get to during those designated meditating times I guess I have to agree with her. Which presents me with two questions, is the difference between happy mind-wandering and unhappiness focus? And if so how do we increase the level of focus so that people can be happy presently and when they take a break from reality?
Originally posted on TED Blog:
What makes us happy? It’s one of the most complicated puzzles of human existence — and one that, so far, 87 speakers have explored in TEDTalks.
In today’s talk, Matt Killingsworth (who studied under Dan Gilbert at Harvard) shares a novel approach to the study of happiness — an app, Track Your Happiness, which allows people to chart their feelings on a moment-by-moment basis. As they go about their day, app users get random pings, asking them to share their current activity and note their mood. When Killingsworth gave this talk at TEDxCambridge in 2011, the app had collected data from more than 15,000 people in 80 countries, representing a wide range of ages, education levels and occupations. In this talk, Killingsworth reveals a very surprising finding: that mind-wandering appears to factor heavily into this happiness equation.
“As human beings, we have this unique ability to have…
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