New Happiness Study Says ‘Think About What You’re Doing’

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When Are You Happy?

Harvard researchers say the motto, “Be here now” is backed by their findings that the mind is least happy when allowed to wander.

Psychologists determined that people are most content when focused on a job they have at hand. This is so true it takes precedent over daydreaming, or the most pleasant of mind meanderings. Surprisingly this is most likely to happen during sex, when exercising or during intense conversations. It is also the case when listening to music and playing also help.

Our minds tend to wander most while resting, during work hours, or computer use.

Daniel Gilbert and Matthew Killingsworth are co-authors of the Harvard study which concludes, “A human mind is a wandering mind, and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind.”

Their study used, “Experience sampling.”

Killingsworth invented an iPhone application which questioned 2,250 volunteers around the globe during different times of day about their levels of happiness. Each was asked what they were doing and what they were thinking about.

Participants between ages 18 and 88 were then requested to select 1 of 22 activities, and record how happy they were while doing that, as well as whether they were thinking about their present activity, or anything else.

Their minds wandered 46.9 percent of the time when they pondered things not going on around them.

Be happy, “Be here.”