Lots of studies tell us how much time we spend not being present. A recent Harvard study finds that most human beings spend 47% of their time in mind wandering.
And where does the mind go? Endlessly into the past, reliving things that have already come and gone; many of those things unpleasant. We humans have this funny tendency to replay unpleasant things more than pleasant ones. The mind also goes into the future, endlessly worrying about things that haven’t even happened yet.
Just to be clear, it’s not like we’re suggesting that you give up thinking about the past or the future, but rather to learn how to avoid being hijacked mindlessly into the past and into the future.
Think about it this way: when we unconsciously mind wander into the past and the future, and we know we do that about 50% of the time; we’re losing 50% of our lives.
When we learn to be more mindful, we allow ourselves to rest in presence, in awareness, thereby reclaiming that 50%.
Think about it another way: learning how to do mindfulness practice extends our lifespans by 50%.
We all say we want to live a long life, but I think what we really mean is we want to live a long, healthy and happy life. Learning about mindfulness and happiness can give us that gift.
So next time somebody asks you what time it is, now you know what to say.