Studies show a "wandering mind" is less happy - even if it's "happy thoughts"...

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posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 12:18 PM
I am sitting at my desk, watching a squirrel outside on a tree. That squirrel seems pretty happy in the here and now. Most of the animals outside do live in the "present." because they lack the creative capacity to imagine different futures. That capacity is what sets aside humans from other creatures..

There is a reason why we say "ignorance is bliss."

posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 12:32 PM
Funny coincidence that I just got done reading Hemeac a week ago, by E.G. Von Wald.

This is the closest to a review I can find on the net: - World’s Best Science Fiction 1969...

It's just a science fiction story about human youth being schooled by robots.

It's just a story, but some of our grandest ideals and hopes are sealed up inside them.

When I was growing up, my mind always wandered in class. Never a moment it didn't. I still got good grades. I left HS with a 3.8 and got about the same in college, until I left that too. Not to imply that I'm a shining example of academic and occupational success. Obviously I'm not.

The thought that mind wandering should be abolished is so disturbing it's frightening. But isn't that how most freedoms are lost? We assume we're better without them and then it's history.

I guess we can't mourn that which is so removed from our time. I've been looking through a book that has a collection of old photographs from a hundred years ago. It's very interesting looking through it. I can see many examples of freedoms they might have had that we don't have any longer. I can see many ideals and values they had that we don't have any longer. Now, most of this is good, I mean, some of what has come and gone has failed the test of time, but it still feels like we're playing god and somehow making a mistake. Maybe I'm just overly sensitive to things, but this is how I feel.

Maybe it's other things too. I know how complex this life is. It's easy to be wrong. I could just as well be wrong about what I'm saying here. I could even be crazy. But, again, this is my opinion.

So whether I'm wrong or right this is the path I choose to go down. A line is drawn in the sand that will now separate me from something else. No longer am I non-partisan. That ideal is dead.

I do not make smoke when I say that in the future people will increasingly control their mind and their thoughts and this with the assistance of technology and various surgical possibilities. I foresee myself holding the same opinion that I have now over the next 10-30 years. So I'll have much opportunity to feel further revulsion towards the actions my society is making. It's not that I'm against progression. I always thought of myself as open to the idea of cyborgs and upload our minds to computers and entertained it. However, it's always the issues on the side that bug me. There's always something that comes along with all these progressions that I somehow find intolerable. In the end, the future gives us a whole load of things and many of the things we like come along with things we do not.
edit on 11-12-2012 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 02:24 PM
Thats an interesting post.
As someone who loves to read, and has gone to many lands and met wonderful people through this medium.
I would like to know, am I living in the moment, or having a wandering mind, albeit guided, when I read a book?

posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 02:32 PM
Interesting idea, makes sense in a way.

It does not fit for me, though. I am happier than I have ever been in my life, and you could say I am a serial mind wanderer. My brain is pretty fixated on pattern, so trying to have discussions with people, or work can prove difficult because I am so easily distracted by colors. I have just taught myself to track back when talking to people so I am not rude. The creative process often happens for me when I am wondering, and since that is crucial to my profession, I am pretty ok with it.

posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 02:47 PM

Originally posted by arpgme
reply to post by BlavatskyChannel

Originally posted by BlavatskyChannel
It is natural to let the mind roam into imagination or creation by humans would be impossible.

This isn't true because creation (new ideas) can arise spontaneously in the mind from this present moment.

Originally posted by BlavatskyChannel
Neither makes us happy or unhappy

This is not true. Take a look at the study.

Produce an example and i will show you imagination at work.

Also you can not say it is not true. That is a narrow and closed minded view on the matter. For me personally through experience it is true.

posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 05:16 PM

Originally posted by jonnywhite

The thought that mind wandering should be abolished is so disturbing it's frightening. But isn't that how most freedoms are lost? We assume we're better without them and then it's history.

This study does not talk about "abolishing" anything. This is just a study that shows how a wandering mind is connected to a decrease of happiness.

The mind wandered and added things that wasn't even talked about "Robots", "Freedom", "Abolishing Mind-Wandering"

Nobody is taking anything from you. This is just a study to prove that mind wandering leads to less happiness but you are still free to mind-wander if that is what you desire.

reply to post by BlavatskyChannel

Originally posted by BlavatskyChannel
Produce an example and i will show you imagination at work.

An example of what? How it is true? This was an app that measured happiness from many people are 80 countries asking different question. So this is coming directly from the source (the people around the world themselves).

Originally posted by BlavatskyChannel
Also you can not say it is not true. That is a narrow and closed minded view on the matter. For me personally through experience it is true.

I can say it isn't true. It is not close-minded to have a study from people around the world in over 80 different questions who were asked questions to measure their happiness with the activities they were doing and whether or not their mind was wandering. Many different people, many different questions, questions relating to happiness, the activity, and mind wandering, the evidence speaks for itself.

However if you want to call it "narrow" and "close-minded" for whatever reason, you are free to do so, just like you are free to mind-wander if you want to, and you are free to pretend that the facts (What is - Reality) is saying something different than it is. People do it all the time - so I am used to it. No need to convince people of anything. Here are what the studies show, take it, leave it, or let the mind change it.

posted on Jan, 6 2013 @ 01:56 PM
reply to post by arpgme

Maybe you don't notice it but I do. That slow ebbing sucking sound?

People have this desire to control. Control thoughts. Control everything.

That sucking sound is the potential disintegration of past freedoms. It's a feeling of anxiety and fear. The premonition that society will reach out its tentacles and tear away another freedom.

That's why I made the connection to robots; control. NO WANDERING!

If you read the story I linnked (re: Hemeac) you'll understand better my reaction.

Another issue is: Happiness at all costs.

Don't you see how the pharma industry wants everyone to be happy because it fattens their wallet? People come to the psychiatrists and doctors to be happy because that's the rule.

If a wandering mind consistently produces negative emotions the pharma industry as well as others will push to reduce it and/or to eliminate it cojmpletely through prescription drugs.

It scares the *(&*#&*(# out of me.

I guess if you don't see all the people going to get their pills it won't bother you. But I'm constantly reminded of it. I got a friend that's hooked on em 24/7. To me, it's very disturbing.

You want to know something else? Research shows that children at 3 years of age that're able to control their impulses will tend to live more successful lives. There're lots of studies on this. Basically, it's related to a exercise where you offer a child 1 piece of candy right now, or if they wait 15 minutes, you give them 2. That's the logic of it and it shows that the children who wait 15 minutes seem to grow up better. I've seen this distantly linked to general intelligence also.

So if a wandering mind is indicative of someone who has poor impulse control then it adds another reason for government and educational authorities to essentially attack it at its source. Thus, the anticipated result might be that minds will no longer wander. People will have better impulse control. They'll be more successful. But on some level, they'll be alien compared to us. That's creepy.

A happier more controlled populace seems friendly. But I'm not so confident. A lot of things can seem friendly on the surface but when you pull it away they're the devil in disguise.
edit on 6-1-2013 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 4 2015 @ 03:19 PM
This is an interesting thread. I would like to see my responses.

To the person who asked about book-reading, that's a good question. I guess reading a book is being in the moment, if you keep yourself focused on the book instead of distractions.

edit on 4-6-2015 by arpgme because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 7 2015 @ 05:06 AM
there more to making happiness. drugs are also a factor that you missed. powerful drugs can turn everyday happier even when dealing with hardship than any positive thinking can produce i feel.

man is a machine. and there are ways to hack despite mankinds limited knowledge.

sex is also another way to make happiness.

exercise also helps but lesser than sex.

and so on...

posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 02:05 PM

originally posted by: ElOmen
F#$& what studies show


posted on Jul, 21 2015 @ 08:22 PM

This also helps with using Law of Attraction for manifesting a fulfilling life. When you want, that energy grows. When you appreciate and when you fully enjoy the moment, that energy grows.

There are always more blessings to realize in each moment. More and more blessings arrive.

"Energy goes where attention flows"

posted on Jul, 21 2015 @ 11:28 PM
My $.02: I hardly ever think, and I do suffer from depression. However, it is quite easy fore to lift my spirits quite accidentally, as I do not typically mull over things too much. (Speaking of which, why is it that whenever something gets us angry and we do not resolve it properly, the mind repeatedly returns to the anger inducing moment(s)? So hard to get out ofthat track...)

posted on Jul, 22 2015 @ 12:06 AM
a reply to: 5leepingWarrior

(Speaking of which, why is it that whenever something gets us angry and we do not resolve it properly, the mind repeatedly returns to the anger inducing moment(s)? So hard to get out ofthat track...)

Because you keep going back to the past instead of letting it go and focusing on other things (like the present).

posted on Jul, 22 2015 @ 12:43 AM
a reply to: arpgme
That's just restating what I just said. I tried and failed to do just that multiple times. I'd succeed, then against myself I'd be thinking about it again. I know the solution; why is it so hard to attain?

posted on Jul, 22 2015 @ 03:54 AM
Here is a story that I read in Eckhart Tolle's book "a new earth"

That first glimpse of awareness came to me when I was a firstyear
student at the University of London. I would take the tube (subway) twice a
week to go to the university library, usually around nine o’clock in the
morning, toward the end of the rush hour. One time a woman in her early
thirties sat opposite me. I had seen her before a few times on that train. One
could not help but notice her. Although the train was full, the seats on either
side of her were unoccupied, the reason being, no doubt, that she appeared to
be quite insane. She looked extremely tense and talked to herself incessantly
in a loud and angry voice. She was so absorbed in her thoughts that she was
totally unaware, in seemed, of other people or her surroundings. Her head
was facing downward and slightly to the left, as if she were addressing
someone sitting in the empty seat next to her. Although I don’t remember the
precise content, her monologue went something like this: “And then she said
to me… so I said to her you are a liar how dare you accuse me of… when
you are the one who has always taken advantage of me I trusted you and you
betrayed my trust…” There was the angry tone in her voice of someone who
has been wronged, who needs to defend her position lest she become
As the train approached Tottenham Court Road Station, she stood up
and walked toward the door with still no break in the stream of words
coming out of her mouth. That was my stop too, so I got off behind her. At
street level, she began to walk toward Bedford Square, still engaged in her
imaginary dialogue, still angrily accusing and asserting her position. My
curiosity aroused, I decided to follow her as long as she was walking in the
same general direction I had to go in. Although engrossed in her imaginary
dialogue, she seemed to know where she was going. Soon we were within
sight of the imposing structure of Senate House, a 1930’s highrise,
the university’s central administrative building and library. I was shocked. Was it
possible that we were going to the same place? Yes, that’s’ where she was
heading. Was she a teacher, student, an office worker, a librarian? Maybe she
was some psychologist’s research project. I never knew the answer. I walked
twenty steps behind her, and by the time I entered the building (which
ironically was the location of the headquarters of the “Mind Police” in the
film version of George Orwell’s novel, 1984), she had already been
swallowed up by one of the elevators.
I was somewhat taken aback by what I had just witnessed. A mature
firstyear student at twentyfive,I saw myself as an intellectual in the
making, and I was convinced that all the answers to the dilemmas of human
existence could be found through the intellect, that is to say, by thinking. I
didn’t realize yet that thinking without awareness is the main dilemma of
human existence. I looked upon the professors as sages who had all the
answers and upon the university as the temple of knowledge. How could an
insane person like her be part of this?
I was still thinking about her when I was in the men’s room prior to
entering the library. As I was washing my hands, I thought: I hope I don’t
end up like her. The man next to me looked briefly in my direction, and I
suddenly was shocked when I realized that I hadn’t just thought those words,
but mumbled them aloud. “Oh my God, I’m already like her,” I thought.
Wasn’t my mind as incessantly active as hers? There were only minor
differences between us. The predominant underlying emotion behind her
thinking seemed to be anger. In my case, it was mostly anxiety. She thought
out loud. I thought – mostly – in my head. If she was mad, then everyone
was mad, including myself. There were differences in degree only.
For a moment, I was able to stand back from my own mind and see it
from a deeper perspective, as it were. There was a brief shift from thinking
to awareness. I was still in the men’s room, but alone now, looking at my
face in the mirror. At that moment of detachment from my mind, I laughed
out loud. It may have sounded insane, but it was the laughter of sanity, the
laughter of the big-bellied Buddha. “Life isn’t as serious as my mind makes
it out to be.” That’s what the laughter seemed to be saying. But it was only a
glimpse, very quickly to be forgotten. I would spend the next three years in
anxiety and depression, completely identified with my mind. I had to get
close to suicide before awareness returned, and then it was much more than a
glimpse. I became free of compulsive thinking and of the false, mind-made
The above incident not only gave me a first glimpse of awareness, it
also planted the first doubt as to the absolute validity of the human intellect.
A few months later, something tragic happened that made my doubt row. On
a Monday morning, we arrived for a lecture to be given by a professor whose
mind I admired greatly, only to be told that sadly he had committed suicide
sometime during the weekend by shooting himself. I was stunned. He was a
highly respected teacher and seemed to have all the answers. However, I
could as yet see no alternative to the cultivation of thought. I didn’t realize
yet that thinking is only a tiny aspect of the consciousness that we are, nor
did I know anything about the ego, let alone being able to detect it within

posted on Jul, 22 2015 @ 04:29 AM
a reply to: Itisnowagain
Au contrair. What about the serial rapist, or the serial murderer, who rapes/kills purely for enjoyment? There are those that are not happy unless they're robbing others of their happiness. I know you know this.

posted on Jul, 22 2015 @ 05:04 AM
a reply to: 5leepingWarrior

Keep in mind that we live in a universe of awareness, whatever you give awareness to increases through your energy.

For example, do not think of a pink elephant. Try not to think of a pink elephant. Continue to not think of a pink elephant. Once you mention it, your focus is already on it. If you go back to memories of the negative past, if you say, "why do I keep thinking about the past? I don't want to think about the past anyone." then you are still focusing on it and giving it energy.

When the memory comes up, do not fight it and complain about it because as you do, even more thoughts of it arrive. Instead, switch focus and be compassionate to yourself not judging yourself. For example, "that moment was so sad", you can switch focus and say, "but I am here now, and I have so many blessings to appreciate now". You can even say, "such as..." and focus on what you like about the present moment. You can even do affirmations. Say a statement that's true and positive about the moment and repeat the statement in your mind again and again like a mantra/chant/meditation. This trains the mind to be more present-oriented.

I hope anyone this advice helped in someway. So again, in a short summary of what I just said, when the negativity arises do not "beat yourself up", being aware without judging yourself, and compassionate refocus on thoughts of positivity in the moment is the key.

posted on Jul, 22 2015 @ 05:26 AM
a reply to: arpgme

Sounds like mind control to me !

Lets see... I'm thinking of the beach right now. The ocean breeze and a light wind blowing on my face. Lazy lounging at the pool. Waking in the am and actually having time to watch the sunrise. Ahhhhhh peaceful serenity.

I feel pretty happy and relaxed right now.


posted on Jul, 22 2015 @ 08:59 AM
a reply to: arpgme
I didn't think of a pink elephant

It did help though, thank you.

posted on Jul, 22 2015 @ 10:11 AM
Maybe the people that were miles away ,thinking something nice, then their phone sends them annoying messages asking them questions, ergo a decrease in happiness. Then the brain dead person focusing on doing a mundane task getting the message on their phone gets an increase in happiness as they are just bored and there is something new to do.

I don't know, it makes me unhappy to even think about it.

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