Do you think about things that are not connected with what is happening around you? Do you awaken with a snatch of memory about something that happened to you in the past, or have you lived in your mind an imaginative future life event? Welcome to the world of the wandering mind. Many people experience this phenomenon. But, what does it mean?
The simple answer is that we do not fully understand what it means, but there are many opinions about it. Some believe that a wandering mind is the mind that plans, creates, and acts on those plans. Others condemned the mind wanderers as unfocused, distracted, and unhappy because they mentally escape what is happening to them now. We do not know if a mind wanders as a consequence, of being unhappy, depressed, bored, afraid, or if it happens because we were pretended from doing what we want to do. Some studies show that even while people are happy and doing something that they really like to do, their minds wander while they are “live in the now.”
So, if mind wandering is not a consequence of human emotions, can it cause consequences? You bet it can. When your mind wanders while you drive your car, you are not paying full attention to driving. The chance of your having an accident accident increases as surely if you were texting, talking with a passenger, giving in to road rage with another driver, or if you are under the influence of alcohol or a drug. While driving your car on a journey, have you suddenly realized that you do not recall the last ten minutes of the trip? You can not recall that time because you were not mentally there. Your mind wandered while you drve the car!
We humans possess senses, and as we age, we have experiences. Our mind puts thought into what we sense and experience. It is said that minds of non-human animals are spelled entirely on thinking about their need to eat, get water, to defecate, procreate, to have shelter, and to have the companionship of others of their kind. Humans do that too, but humans also aspire to create beyond those activities, and some humans conspire to take from others. Thus, our minds think about morality (good and evil).
What happens to you emotionally when your mind wanders excessively? Too much of anything, including mind wandering, must have a consequence, but you have to decide if that consequence is good (enhanced creativity) or bad (your mind leads you away from happiness). If you decide that your mind wandering is harmful to your health or happiness, how do you make your mind stop it, and will your method work while you sleep?