Runaway Thoughts Are What Make Us Unhappy, According to Science

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    As individuals, we all want different things out of life, but we all share one common ambition; happiness. Life might throw you a curve ball or two and you may think happiness is going to be hard to achieve. But you’d be wrong – happiness has already been there all along.

    Life can rapidly change when we least expect it to, and often times it can be drastic. It can be hard to adjust to new changes and new difficulties will come alongside. You have to remain resilient in life and not let it keep you down in the dumps. Modern society has portrayed happiness to be something that is hard to achieve. It’s not! Happiness is achievable by every person and you can even find it where you least expect it.

    A study conducted by Harvard University psychologists Matthew Killingsworth and Dan Gilbert revealed that we pay a price for happiness. They used an iPhone application to gather data from 2,250 participants ages 18 – 88. They gathered data about the participant’s thoughts, feelings, and actions as they went about their daily lives.

    The researchers concluded that 46.9% of their waking hours were spent thinking about something other than what they’re doing. This tells us that people were less happy when their minds were wandering than when they were not.

    Another study led by researchers at the University of California tracked the average time people spent looking at a computer screen before moving their attention to another window. In 2004 the average time was three minutes, in 2012 it was one minute 15 seconds, and by 2015 it dropped all the way down to 59.5 seconds. This exasperates our tendency to bring thoughts and emotions from the last task or conversation into the new one – which then affects our ability to engage in the present moment.

    Instead of thinking about a future moment, try focusing all your time on the present moment. It allows you to fully live in the moment and it can change everything when it comes to your overall happiness. Get out of your head and enjoy life!

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