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Does Your Mind Wander? Here's Why That Can Be Your Greatest Asset

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https://www.bakadesuyo.com/2012/12/wandering-mind-path-creative-genius-misery-early-death/

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Does Your Mind Wander? Here's Why That Can Be Your Greatest Asset
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It’s Okay To Wander

It’s Okay To Wander

People’s minds wander, sometimes up to 30 to 40 percent of the time, while doing activities like reading.

A wandering mind is invoking the good brain regions, which are associated ...

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A Wandering, Creative Mind

Mind-wandering makes your brain richer and more creative. Like a creativity machine left on its own, it helps to solve problems, enrich our understanding, and process information that is otherwise ...

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Creativity Happens In Chaos

Creativity Happens In Chaos

Creativity by default is a messy process. Doing creative stuff, and letting your mind wander forms new connections and helps us subconsciously compare and contrast our problems and solutions.

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The Dark Side Of Mind-Wandering

Mind-wandering has also been associated with unhappiness and stress.

This happens when the individual’s current life situation is not optimal or desirable...

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Focus-Unfocus

A wandering unfocused mind allows noise inside us, which helps in developing new ideas. A completely focused mind is shut, and as there is no noise which enters, it remains uncreative.

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The Importance Of Boredom

It drives us to engage in activities that we find more meaningful than those at hand. Without it, we’d be perpetually excited by everything.

Research shows that people who are bored...

Focus And The Brain

When we’re consciously doing things we’re using the “executive attention network, ” the parts of the brain that control and inhibit our attention. The attention network makes it possible for us to relate directly to the world presently around us.

By contrast, when our minds wander, we activate the brain’s “default mode network, ” which is the brain “at rest”; not focused on an external, goal-oriented task. In this mode, we still tap about 95% of the energy we use when our brains are engaged in focused thinking. 

Types Of Daydreaming

  • Poor attention control: when people with poor attention control drift into daydreaming. These people are anxious, easily distracted, and have difficulty concentrating, even on their daydreams.
  • Guilty-dysphoric: when our thoughts drift to unproductive and negative places. We berate ourselves for perceived mistakes or flaws and feel emotions like guilt, anxiety, and anger.
  • Positive-constructive: when our thoughts veer toward the imaginative; it reflects our drive to explore ideas and feelings, plan, and problem-solve. 

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Boredom sparks creativity

Boredom sparks creativity

Boredom is one of the most important factors in creativity. Boredom is a productive state as long as you don't let it get to you.

Agatha Christie said there is nothing like boredom...

Our mind when we're bored

When we're bored, two key things are happening in our minds: One is a 'desire bind' where someone wants to do something but not anything that's on offer. The other is when your mind is itching to be engaged.

Don't fill the void

Our first instinct when we experience some boredom is to fill it with Netflix lists, Instagram feeds, and TikTok videos. Riding out this boredom is vital though.

Boredom is not in itself creative. It's what it leads to that is significant. In the gap of boredom, you're motivated to look for something else, and there's a real chance you'll discover something new.

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Your brain can be changed

Neuroscience has shown that the adult brain remains malleable throughout life.

The circuits we use most often become stronger and more efficient — the ones we don't use, shrink and fade away....

How to control a wandering mind

To change anything in the brain, you have to focus your attention on the task at hand. However, most find it challenging to concentrate for long periods of time without daydreaming.

Curb your wandering mind by working out the cause for the wandering. Procrastination is a psychological coping mechanism that kicks in during times of stress.

Brain target

  • The default mode network of our brain, responsible for mind-wandering and creativity, needs to be turned down when we want to work for any length of time.  
  • The brain's dorsal attention network - the part that helps us make decisions and focus on a task - moves into action when we are deliberately focusing on a task.

When people are less able to focus for any length of time, they are leaning more heavily on the left hemisphere of their brain, while the right hemisphere is not working as hard as it should be working.

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