Many psychologists define mindfulness as a state of non-distraction characterised by full engagement with our current task or situation.
For much of our waking hours, however, we are anything but mindful.
We replay past events â€“â€“ like the fight weâ€™ve just had or daydream over holidays or think ahead to future circumstances, such as our plans for the weekend.
â€˜What surprised me the most was actually the clarity of the results,â€™ said Michael Mrazek, graduate student researcher in psychology and the lead and corresponding author of the paper, Mindfulness Training Improves Working Memory Capacity and GRE Performance While Reducing Mind Wandering.
â€˜Even with a rigorous design and effective training program, it wouldn’t be unusual to find mixed results. But we found reduced mind-wandering in every way we measured it.â€™
Their findings were recently published online in the empirical psychology journal Psychological Science.
Mind-wandering may not be a serious issue in many circumstances, but in tasks requiring attention, the ability to stay focused is crucial.