What are you doing right this second?
Reading this, right? But really, where is your mind? Are you in the moment, engaged and thinking about each black and white word on the screen?
Or are you wandering?
Research tells us that people are not paying attention to what they’re doing 47% of the time.
Half the time we’re doing something we’re not mentally present! Half the time our minds our wandering!
Here’s the rub about that research… it also found that people are much happier when they are paying attention to what they are doing, even when it’s not something they want to be doing.
Well-being is a skill. We can train the mind to be more present, resilient and kind. In fact, we are constantly training our brains whether we’re trying to or not.
Here’s a scary thought: What we think about most often becomes what we’re going to think about most often.
Are you thinking about how grateful you are that someone has worked hard to stock the store full of fresh, healthy produce? Or are you upset you have to go grocery shopping?
Our present thoughts matter because they form our future thoughts.
Chad McGehee is a researcher on a team at the University of Wisconsin that created a kindness curriculum that has gotten an immense amount of national attention. Even the producers of Sesame Street wanted in on the action and worked with the team to incorporate lessons into their show that would teach children to notice kindness.
The entire curriculum is available for free online at the Center for Healthy Minds.
Chad joins me on the Episode 27 of The Kindness Podcast. You can listen for free on iTunes, Stitcher or wherever you find your favorite podcasts. So go ahead, spend the next 20 minutes with me. It’ll be good for your brain!