Mind wandering is the shifting of thoughts from the performing activity or task to a self-created personal thought or activity. Research suggests that mind wandering happens when our brain is less occupied or is performing a task where it is being we use it less, it goes into what is called Default Mode Network (DMN). Say if you are driving or cooking, activities you perform on daily basis. You have trained the brain to do them, it does not feel the need to concentrate. It wanders and tries to tackles situations you have not dealt with before. Various other names that have been given to this phenomenon are, daydreaming, fantasies
Mind wandering can be both beneficial as well as detrimental for a person.
Benefits of Mind Wandering
1. If a person’s mind drifts off to thinking about the future. Hence, might end up planning well and being well equipped to handle difficulties or tasks at a later stage in life.
2. It might enhance a person’s creative thinking. A person’s mind may wander to find out more than one way of handling a situation. There is never a right or a wrong way of doing any task but there are several options, assessing them all and then performing the best suitable one is what is required.
3. Drifting the mind from one task to another and back might help in multi-tasking in all stages of life.
4. It helps people to tackle social situations. Humans are social animals. They love to live in a community. Imagining the social situations that may arise at any point in time and how to handle those situations might help.
5. Self-reflection is another factor found where the mind wanders. People often introspect whether actions were hurting to others or beneficial to them.
Troubles of Mind Wandering
1.Mind wandering reduces the retention capabilities of people both quantitatively and qualitatively.
2. Mind wandering hampers with reading comprehension. The mind initially wanders when it does not have a challenging task at hand. Slowly with time, this becomes a practice. It begins to wander now even when the task at hand is demanding.
3. Unhappiness is the major result of mind wandering. People may start with positive imaginative thinking but might create hypothetical negative situations in their minds. These lead to mood swings and also cause unhappiness.
4. Mind Wandering or lack of concentration might lead to fidgeting in some people. It is believed that concentration of mind and concentration of movement, dissemination of ideas and dissemination of movements go together. Fidgeting might also be a reaction to break the wandering of the mind.
5.Working capacity reduces in people who indulge in mind wandering. People slowly start loving to live in their fantasy world rather than the real world.
How To Train Your Mind from Wandering
A few very simple practices help us to control our minds. We need to make these practices an integral part of our life to train our minds and keep it from wandering.
1. Exercise daily. A cardio session of 30 minutes followed by a few simple stretches and exercises give us both a healthy mind and body. www.h2fcare.com/counsellors/
2. Do not indulge in unhealthy eating habits. Eating freshly cooked healthy food is the key to a long and healthy life. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/index.html
3. Sleep well. Maintaining an 8 hourly sleep cycle not only keeps the dark circles at bay but also keeps our minds fresh and ready to concentrate on the tasks at hand.
4. Meditation is the key mantra to train your mind. It not only increases your attention span but also enhances bodily sensations and helps regulate breathing capabilities.