Why Mind Wandering Can Be So Miserable, According to Happiness ExpertsPhoto by Dean McCoy

Why Mind Wandering Can Be So Miserable, According to Happiness Experts

Originally Published: SmithsonianMag.com • February 24, 2017

For you, it could be the drive home on the freeway in stop-and-go traffic, a run without headphones or the time it takes to brush your teeth. It’s the place where you’re completely alone with your thoughts—and it’s terrifying. For me, it’s the shower.

The shower is where I’m barraged with all the “what-ifs,” the imagined catastrophes, the endless to-do list. To avoid them, I’ve tried everything from shower radio and podcasts to taking a bath so I can watch an iPad. I’ve always thought this shower-dread was just my own neurosis. But psychological research is shedding insight into why our minds tend to wander without our consent—and why it can be so unpleasant. In the last 15 years, the science of mind wandering has mushroomed as a topic of scholarly study, thanks in part to advances in brain imaging…

Read the Full Article.