The Moment of Greatest Happiness

Two Harvard psychologists, Daniel Gilbert and Matthew Killingsworth, created a smartphone app to get to the bottom of how frequently people’s minds wander.

They then contacted 2,250 adult volunteers at random intervals to ask how they were feeling, what they were thinking about and what they were doing.

They found that their volunteers spent approximately half their time thinking about what was not going on around them instead thinking or even ruminating about the past, the future or things that may never happen at all.

They were happiest when they focused their minds on what they were doing in the moment.  Research backs the advice of many who insist that happiness and fulfillment can only be found in the present moment.  Thinking about other things is a prescription for unhappiness.

This is not to say we cannot plan for the future.  We just can’t live there before it’s time.

Nor is it saying we cannot learn from the past.  Just life today does not exist in the past.

Our brains can be retrained to live in the moment by becoming conscious of even mundane things that we do.  The more we try to reside in the moment, the easier it is to unconsciously live in the now and reap more of the happiness benefits.

There is no pill, no therapy greater than focusing on the here and on.

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