Is Multitasking a Good Thing?
We often pride ourselves on the ability to multitask; however, it turns out that a wandering mind has now actually be linked to increased unhappiness.
A new Harvard study shows that humans spend almost half of their waking hours (46.9 percent) thinking about something other than what they are doing. ; and this excessive amount of mind-wandering actually makes people unhappy.
People reported that their mind wandered during almost all general activities, including exercising, eating and watching TV. It’s not specific to a type of activity, we as humans like to focus on the “non-present”. Instead of being focused on what we’re doing – allowing us to truly enjoy it and experience it – our mind is elsewhere. That means we don’t get the satisfaction of whatever we’re doing, like enjoying that great meal, and we get more stressed out.
That’s right, unhappiness is also found to cause – not be a result of – mind wandering. It is easy to think of letting your mind wander during an unpleasant task, but to realize that wandering thoughts can actually cause the displeasure itself is a new finding.
Interested in finding out more about the link between mindfulness and happiness? Check out http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2010/11/wandering-mind-not-a-happy-mind/