People spend nearly half their day thinking about what isn’t going on around them, worrying about your next appointment or what’s for dinner. This daydreaming typically makes them unhappy, according to a new study.
A new study from Harvard University has found a direct link between being unhappy, and having an overall lack of focus on what you are doing during the day.
The study was led by Matthew Killingsworth as well as Daniel Gilbert, both from Harvard University, and focused on trying to see just how being unfocused can impact people.
Their study was carried out with the use of an iPhone app from the Apple App Store, and was used by roughly 2,200 users.
Those who participated by using the app ranged in age from 18 all the way up to 88-years-old.
The app, which you can check out by going to trackyourhappiness.org, asked questions about their mood, thoughts, etc.
The idea was to try and see just how focused people were throughout the day.
What researchers found is that people spend roughly 47% of their day thinking about something other than what they are actually doing. This shows a common lack of focus among many Americans in general.
The analysis showed that people tended to be less happy when their minds were wandering than when they were not, and this was true no matter what they were doing, even if it was something that they considered the least enjoyable, the researchers reported.
Those who thought of negative things during their unfocused moments were said to be very unhappy.
On the other side of the spectrum, happy thoughts would thus lead to happiness.
People reported being happiest when they were engaging in sex, exercise and conversation. They were the least happy when they were resting, working or using a computer at home.
The website trackyourhappiness.org is still active and growing, and Killingsworth encourages anyone with an iPhone to participate.