19 June 2017

Is sex the only way to get our attention?

We all know mindfulness is good for us. Yet new research claims the average person spends 46.9 % of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they are doing, and commonly this leaves them unhappy. Unless what they are doing is having sex.

So this week, what gets our attention and how can we be happier, but first

                 Thought for the day

         Since everything is but an apparition,
         Perfect in being what it is,
         Having nothing to do with good or bad,
         Acceptance or rejection
         You might as well burst out laughing!


Modern technology is getting fancier and fancier. A new app has been used to collate 250,000 data points examining the thoughts, feelings, and actions of people as they went about their daily lives.

Those of us who have done some mindfulness or meditation practice will be all too aware of our mind’s capacity to wander. During our practice, one of the key things we learn to do is to bring our attention back to a point of concentration, ideally without judgement or commentary. Then is the challenge to continue our mindful awareness into daily life.

As well as the capacity to give attention to what we are doing, we human beings seem to have a unique ability to give thought to what is not happening. To ruminate over the past, to fantasise about the future. We contemplate a lot about what might have happened, what might happen or even what did not happen.

And it is pretty evident that a wandering mind is an unhappy mind. 

Plenty of studies have confirmed this; adding to what is probably just simple common sense…

To examine what is really going on amidst our thoughts and emotions, two psychologists developed an app that examines how attention correlates with happiness.

The app made it possible to randomly and frequently contact 2,250 volunteers (ranging in age from 18 to 88 and from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds and occupations). 

At each point of contact, people were asked to record how happy they were, what they were doing, (choosing from 22 activities like walking, eating, shopping, and watching TV), and where their head was at – paying attention to what they were doing, or wandering onto something else that was pleasant, neutral, or unpleasant.

Results were interesting… 

Overall people’s minds were wandering 46.9 % of time. During any particular activity, their minds wandered no less than 30 % of the time - except during love-making. Sex it seems is good for holding our attention! No surprise there!

However, one of the researchers did comment “Mind-wandering appears ubiquitous across all activities. This study shows that our mental lives are pervaded, to a remarkable degree, by the non-present.”

What leads to the most happiness? 

This research reported people were happiest when making love, exercising, or engaging in conversation. 

They were least happy when resting, working, or using a home computer. 

Further, the researchers suggested that their subjects’ mind-wandering was generally the cause, not the consequence, of their unhappiness.

 “Many philosophical and religious traditions teach that happiness is to be found by living in the moment, and practitioners are trained to resist mind wandering and to ‘be here now’. Mind-wandering is an excellent predictor of people’s happiness. In fact, how often our minds leave the present and where they tend to go is a better predictor of our happiness than the activities in which we are engaged.”

This new research, the authors say, suggests that these traditions are right.

If you are interested to track your own happiness and contribute to this research, CLICK HERE



October 9 – 13th Meditation Teacher Training – Module 2

The delight of teaching others one of the most useful things there is...

This training, led by Ian and Ruth personally, is based on a comprehensive and fully documented manual. You will learn how to teach two 4 week programs - one on guided imagery; the other contemplation. These training have been booking out, and like all our retreats, it is wise to register early.



Bringing Mind and Heart Together  21 – 27th October 2017 Ruth and Ian Gawler with Liz Stilwell

Amidst the tranquil beauty of the Coromandel Peninsula, 2 hours from Auckland New Zealand

A mind with no heart is cold and empty.      A mind with heart is warm, creative and full of potential.

Ready to learn how to use meditation and Guided Imagery to open your heart and bring balance to your mind?                      

Join us for this very special retreat!   LINK HERE



Accessing the heart and science of Mind-Body Medicine
Offering genuine hope for all those affected by cancer

20 – 24 November 2017 with Drs Ruth and Ian Gawler

Located amidst the natural beauty of the Yarra Valley

This life-changing program provides the opportunity to experience the food, practise the meditation and to be in a supportive, positive atmosphere. The program is evidence based, highly experiential and practical. The focus is on the therapeutic power of the Healing Diet, the mind and meditation, emotional health and positive psychology. The aim is to provide clarity, understanding and confidence.   LINK HERE

No comments:

Post a Comment