A recently published study concluded that the more your mind wanders, the less happy it is. That is, staying focused and present might go a long way to increasing your satisfaction and fulfillment in life.
The study was conducted in a novel way – using the iPhone. An application that people voluntarily downloaded to the iPhone randomly questioned participants about their current mental state – what they were thinking about, and how happy the felt. People who living in the present – attending to the task at hand or the environment around them – were significantly happier than those who were off in the world of daydreams.
Now, you may be thinking the same thing that went through my mind when reading this – that people who are unhappy with what they are doing are more likely to daydream, and so the results may indicate that daydreaming is a result of unhappiness rather than a cause of it. However, the researchers address that question in the study and seem to be convinced that the wandering mind is the source of the discontent rather than a product of it. Have a look yourself if you are interested in learning more.
In a way, it makes sense. There is a certain satisfaction or enjoyment that comes with being focused. And within the realm of wellness, spirituality and self-help, there is much emphasis on the power of being present, living in the now.