Mind Wandering

I am sitting in front of a computer typing this blog entry about a new study on how often our minds get derailed and distracted. And I honestly have lost my train of thought twice already. And that’s just in the first paragraph!

This happens to all of us at some point. You don’t have to be old to be forgetful. How many times have you walked into a room and immediately forgotten the reason you entered it? Or started a conversation and lost yourself halfway through a thought?

I can’t tell you how many times I exclaim, “What was I going to say?” in the course of a week. Sometimes it’s scary, especially with all the stories we hear about the incidence of Alzheimer’s in America . Are we losing our memory? Is it senility? Is something seriously wrong with us?

Thankfully after years of being largely ignored, the phenomenon is being looked at in various new studies. How’s this for scary? Students in a University of North Carolina at Greensboro study were apparently not thinking about ANYTHING a whopping 30% of the time! In fact, some students weren’t thinking about anything up to 90% of the time! OUCH!

The rates are around 35% in day-to-day life. That’s a lot of time for our minds to just be wandering, isn’t it?

One researcher thinks it’s just our minds trying to spend some time on other things going on in our lives that we may be festering over on a subconscious level—paying bills, health worries, job insecurities, picking up milk on the way home, etc.

Luckily, scientists don’t seem to worried that this is a harmful thing. Some actually think it’s a great way of promoting creativity and just giving the mind a break.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to make a phone call and fire off a few

e-mails. I only wish I remembered who the recipients are. Oh, that’s right!! I remember! American Idol is on tonight! Cool.