A Wandering Mind is an Unhappy One

image credit: Bruce Skinner

If you’re a skeptic about the value of doing one thing at a time, consider this most of the we’re doing one thing we’re actually thinking about another. AND, for the most part, while we’re distracted we’re also unhappy. For instance, if you’re a runner, you probably don’t think about running every time you hit the pavement, but instead think about plans you have for the evening or about an argument you’re having with your partner. But if you decided to focus on running while you ran, according to researchers, you’ll be a lot happier. 

We spend billions of dollars each year looking for happiness, hoping it might be bought, consumed, found, or flown to. Other, more contemplative cultures and traditions assure us that this is a waste of time (not to mention money). ‘Be present’ they urge. Live in the moment, and there you’ll find true contentment.

Sure enough, our most fulfilling experiences are typically those that engage us body and mind, and are unsullied by worry or regret.

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Original article posted in the Scientific American on November 24, 2010, written by Jason Castro.

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