The average adult spends 47% of their waking hours not paying attention to what they are doing. We've programmed ourselves to run on autopilot - perhaps as a way to find efficiencies and optimize our time, or perhaps because over the years mundane tasks have lost their glimmer.
Research done by psychologists at Harvard indicates that how much time we spend operating in this default state of mind-wandering can predict our happiness. When we dedicate our mental headspace to thinking about events that happened in the past, may happen in the future, or may never happen, we feel less happy.
So how can we train our minds to be more present and happy? One way is to start practicing mindfulness. And if you're new to mindfulness, you can start right now.
Let's try it:
Find a seat or plant your feet firmly on the floor, with your back comfortably upright.
Take a slow, deep breath in through your nose. Hold for a moment, then release slowly through your mouth. Do this three times.
Tune into your senses and make note of 5 things that you notice right now.