The mind wanders but it can go home again

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Published on July 31, 2016 with No Comments

Much has been written about the wandering mind, essentially concluding that it drives creativity, innovation and nice cars. In some definitions it is synonymous with zoning or spacing out, absentmindedness, or daydreaming. As everyone should know by now, dreaming should only take place at night. Statisticians think it is a primary cause of “lost productivity,” perhaps because studies show that mind wandering occurs up to 30 percent of the time. On the other hand, brain experts believe mind wandering is perfectly normal. An actual area in the brain is responsible for “task-unrelated thought.” It isn’t clear if that means there’s a distraction gene.

But minds that wander needn’t be lost forever because there are strategies for bringing the wandering mind home again. Amid the usual solutions such as getting organized, removing clutter – physical and digital, and meditation, there’s also this: For those whose minds “gloss” over paragraphs or entire pages, experts suggest they might try reading the material backwards. For minds that wander due to boredom, they might play mental games or take breaks outdoors. These solutions indicate that perhaps the best way to bring a wandering mind back home is with more wandering.

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