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New study shows humans are on auto pilot nearly half the time

Humans are mentally checked out, unhappily, nearly half the time

Researchers found that people were at their happiest when making love, exercising, or engaging in conversation. They were least happy when resting, working, or using a home computer.

People reported that they mind wandered no less than 30% of the time, during everything except love making. And here’s the kicker: people report being unhappy during mind wandering.Something that we do nearly half the time makes us unhappy! No wonder there are so many spiritual and religious traditions trying to implore people to ‘live in the present’.

Whether people are mind wandering turns out to be a better predictor of happiness than the actual activies people are engaged in. Think about just one implications of this finding: it explains why one person’s hell on earth (say, filling in forms) can be another person’s heaven, if they find themselves focused on the task.