10 Hacks to Improve Your Memory That Actually Works

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Memory is an important tool for understanding, reflecting, producing, reprocessing, various tasks most important of which is in one’s studies/ examination.

Sometimes when we go from our room to the kitchen with some intention we forget why we came to the kitchen in the first place. This probably has happened to most of us. Thankfully new research has enabled us to better learn and memorize terms.

 

Here are 10 hacks to enable you to memorize better:

 

1.     Learning only what is important: our memory works in a way that it rejects some information and absorbs mostly which we produce or process. Hence underlining/highlighting can reduce mental effort to recognize what is important.

 

2.     Spaced repetition: Spaced Repetition is a hack which can be used to acquire a lot of information and keep it retained in your long-term memory bank. How it works is as follows:

·       Read a topic once

·       Then revise it after 2 hours of learning/reading.

·       Then revise it the next day. (24 hours)

·       After a week.

·       After a month.

 

3.     Memory works best with associations: Memory works best with an association. If you are learning anything to remember to try to associate with whatever you have learned in past. This automatically reduces mental effort to remember something.

 

4.     Auditory and Visual learning: Reading is not the only way one can absorb or remember. One can listen to information and imbibe It,  for example in classrooms teachers often use visual aids to help remember. One can see informative videos or listen to information in form of audiobooks. Psychological research has proved that in some individuals the capacity for visual/auditory learning dominates over reading.


5.     Take breaks: Research has shown that breaks improve memory formations. However, should be no more then 10 mins at a time. Above that will qualify for procrastination or time wastage. These breaks should be taken in between learning process.

 

6.     Make notes: This is very important and a classic one. We have heard our parents/ teachers saying, ‘read and write’. But none of them ever explained why writing was important. When writing we are reprocessing and reproducing information this strengthens synapses in our brain. Writing something in your own words helps in retaining vital information.

7.     Rehearsal: It is one of the best ways to remember something is trying to remember when going for a walk. This works on the principle of recalling where it strengthens our syntactical connections whereby it becomes easy to remember.

 

8.     Understanding: Rote learning is based on repetition without understanding the text/information and is, therefore, an ineffective way to learn. Research has shown that understanding what we learn on a deeper level can reduce our time memorizing something. Hence understanding is key to memorizing.

 

9.     Memory palace: This is one of the most effective techniques and a time-tested one. This technique has been used by competitors in World Memory Championship. In this one places information in his “palace”, this palace can be anything in one’s mind example his house, a place, room or it can be a series of events.

How to use memory palace? For example, if one must learn the names of all the major oceans of the world. One can associate his/her drawing room with the Pacific Ocean, corridor with the Atlantic Ocean, rooms with Antarctic and Arctic ocean. This way when one visits his drawing room which is biggest of all rooms will be the Pacific Ocean, the corridor would constitute figuratively Atlantic Ocean and rooms which both on top and bottom be the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans.

 

10.            Mnemonics: Its always easier to create meaningful acronyms. This improves recollection. This can essentially help to memorize facts and figures (data which is hard to associate).

 

These hacks can better enable you to work, process – reprocess information and produce information during exam time. They also have less mental strain and will reduce working hours at the same time improving one’s productivity.

13 Common Causes of Stress at Workplace

13 Common Causes of Stress at Workplace

Reading Time: 2 minutes

As we all know that stress becomes a disease in our daily life. It’s important to recognize the common causes of stress at work so that you can take steps to reduce stress levels where possible. Workplace stress can be caused by a number of factors – from heavy workloads and over-promotion to bullying and blame culture. Stress is harmful to your mental health it can also take a toll on your physical health as well.

People who have been suffering from stress are more prone to heart attacks and other heart-related issues.

Today we have compiled a list of some 13 Common Causes of Stress at Workplace.

Have a look:

 

13 Common Causes of Stress at Workplace include:

 

  1. Excessively high workloads, with unrealistic deadlines making people feel rushed, under pressure and overwhelmed.
  2. Not able to fully utilize your skills, lack of work.
  3. A lack of control over work activities.
  4. A lack of interpersonal support or poor working relationships leading to a sense of isolation.
  5. Not enough experience for a particular job.
  6. Difficulty settling into a new promotion. Having a hard time adjusting with new people and not sure if people are listening to you. 
  7. Concerns about job security, lack of career opportunities, or level of pay.
  8. Bullying or harassment.
  9. A blame culture within your business where people are afraid to get things wrong or to admit to making mistakes.
  10. Weak or ineffective management which leaves employees feeling they don’t have a sense of direction. Or over-management, which can leave employees feeling undervalued and affect their self-esteem.
  11. Multiple reporting lines for employees, with each manager asking for their work to be prioritized.
  12. failure to keep employees informed about significant changes to the business, causing them uncertainty about their future.
  13. A poor physical working environment, eg excessive heat, cold or noise, inadequate lighting, uncomfortable seating, malfunctioning equipment, etc.

Recommended – 31 Interesting Psychological Facts You Never Heard Before

These were the 13 Common Causes of Stress at Workplace. Do you think we miss something? Let us know it the comment section below.

31 Interesting Psychological Facts You Never Heard Before

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Psychology is a fascinating subject and the deeper we dive into the amazing it gets. We can evaluate a person’s personality, his action, and many other aspects with the help of it.

And this is because of our mind. We have put together 31 Interesting Psychological Facts about personality which will amaze you. It will also give an insight into how complex is our brain and how fascinating our actions are.

31 Interesting Psychological Facts

 

Temperament Test: The Oldest Personality Test

Reading Time: 4 minutes

When one thinks about personality tests these days, the most talked about is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which is almost a benchmark that most of the corporate world uses to assess future employees. There are also various pop-quizzes available online or on Facebook that seem to tell what colour are you or what celebrity you are. The essence of all these quizzes and tests are something that is innate in humans, which is the curiosity to know about oneself. And this is not a recent phenomenon as in this post I will talk about one of the oldest personality tests that we came up with. It’s called the Temperament test.

What is Temperament?

Before I trace the origins of this test, you must have heard the word Temperament and may even have some vague understanding of it. The loosest meaning one associates it with is with one’s mood. But there’s more to it that meets the eye. Temperament, apart from being our attitude towards life, is an essential part of the overall personality that describes the initial state from which personality develops and links individual differences in overall behaviour. The study of temperament, Rothbart has argued, is old as Hindu Upanishads and as recent as studies on molecular genetics (Rothbart, 2006).

 

Greek Origins – Temperament Test

 

The origins of this test lie way back in the Graeco-Roman era. The Greek physician Hippocrates came up with the concept of four temperaments – Sanguine, Phlegmatic, Choleric, and Melancholic (which I will discuss in detail in a bit), which was a part of his overall work on humorism. The theory relies on the balance of our bodily fluids and any dominance of one resulting in the overall health of the person. The four bodily fluids that Hippocrates talked about are – Blood, Phlegm, Yellow Bile, and Black Bile.

Recommended – Why Do People Lie? | To Lie is to Human

Galen, a physician, further using these bodily humors and named the personality types according to their respective dominance.

 

  • Sanguine – Blood
  • Phlegmatic – Phlegm
  • Choleric – Yellow Bile
  • Melancholic – Black Bile

 

From this conceptualisation came the oldest personality test, the Four temperaments test. It has had an influence on later formulations of tests like Carl Jung’s inspired MBT. Now, let’s discuss each personality type in detail.

 

Sanguine – The Adventurer

 

As the bodily fluid dominant in this type is blood, signifying a desire for adventure, the people belonging to this type are usually adventurous, fun loving and always craving for people’s attention. Sanguine personalities are optimists, buoyant, carefree, and cannot tolerate getting bored. They constantly crave things to do and cannot sit idle.

This attribute means that a person with a sanguine personality can be a great artist. They are also great entertainers as they are the life of a conversation and of the party. The ideal activities for this type of person are travelling, going to social events, and also unplanned plans. They also love working with others so best career for them would be which where close connectivity with people is the norm. More concrete examples of jobs would be marketing, fashion and interior designing, and even sports

Recommended – Psychometric in Corporate Environment

 

Phlegmatic – The Social Butterfly

 

People with this temperament type are very social. They are a people person and love maintaining interpersonal harmony with them. They are also loyal and tend to maintain relationships – be it friends or family – for most of their lives.

Phlegmatic people would go to great lengths to avoid getting involved in a conflict. They also like to help other and indulge in charity work. They may usually like doing volunteer work during their free time. Examples of jobs for phlegmatic personalities include nursing, counselling, social work, and teaching.

 

Choleric – The Aspirant

 

Choleric people are goal oriented and love being organised. They are extremely pragmatic and straightforward when it comes to real life situations. Due to their high levels of pragmatism, they sometimes are not the best companions.

They love a challenge and are highly disciplined. They are able to think logically and do not let emotions influence their decisions. They love having meaningful conversations with like-minded people. Ideal work environments for them would be engineering, data analyst, programming, and also entrepreneurship.

 

Melancholic – The Thinker

 

Lastly, people belonging to the Melancholic personality type are reserved but very knowledgeable. They love working alone as they perform the best when they are by themselves. They are, as the name suggests, very thoughtful and considerate when it comes to problems of the people.

They are also very creative and self-reliant, as they hardly require anybody’s help in their work. The downside that may happen to these attributes is that one can get obsessive over little things which may have a negative influence on others. Ideal jobs for people like these are accounting, research analyst, writer, artist etc.

 

In Conclusion – Harry Potter and the Four Temperaments

 

Before I finish off, a quick example from the world of popular culture and how the four temperaments can still be considered relevant when it comes to personality types. In the book, and later in the films, students at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry during initial orientation, as it were, are sorted via a magical hat. The magical hat divides the students into four houses. Each house can be considered the four temperaments here.

The Gryffindor house represents the people who are courageous and ambitious, signifying the Sanguine type. Students who are studious and love details represent the Ravenclaw house. Whereas house Slytherin represents students who are cunning and shrewd can be considered to represent the Choleric personality. And Hufflepuff house represents students who are loyal and trustworthy, which are similar characteristics of the Phlegmatic personality. So, think about it, which wizard house you belong to? The answer may surprise you!

Till then cheers and be awesome!

 

 

References

Rothbart, Mary K., ” Temperament, Development, and Personality“. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2007: Vol. 16, pg. 207

Why Do People Lie? | To Lie is to Human

Reading Time: 6 minutes

To Lie is to Human: The Science of Lying

 

Do you remember the first time you told a lie? If I try to remember my first lie, it might have been in my early childhood. I remember lying to my mother that I had gone to study but in reality, I was playing with other kids outside. The odds are, you might have done the same in your childhood but in different circumstances. There’s nothing to be ashamed of or to feel guilty about it as lying is one of the most common attributes we humans have. The history of humankind is full of people who not only lie but use them to fool others and gain an advantage or to get out of a tricky situation. From people like Frank Abagnale (remember the film Catch Me if You Can?) who conned hundreds of people with his lies and charm to politicians like Richard Nixon or even Bill Clinton, who lied under oath! (an impeachable offence under the U.S law).

 

why do people lie?

 

Some of the first research to understand the phenomena of lying was done by Bella DePaulo (1996) and her colleagues. They found out from the study that out of all the 147 participants, almost all of them lied on an average two or three times a day. Some of these lies were small lies in order not to hurt someone’s feelings or some of were excuses in order to get out of an errand. But some also admitted to telling some serious lies like hiding an affair. Researchers have argued that the behaviour of lying must have originated shortly after the emergence of language. The realisation of the power to manipulate others without using physical force may have proven be to be one of the causal factors behind lying. Sissela Bok, in her book (1978), has argued that the act of lying is the easiest way of gaining power when compared with other ways. She says “It’s much easier to lie in order to get somebody’s money or wealth than to hit them over the head or rob a bank”.

I go back again to the example of lying in our childhood, when we lie for the first time. Bruno Vershcuere (2011) has argued that lying is an essential part of our developmental process like walking or talking. He argues that children learn to lie between the ages of two to five. Moreover, they lie the most when they are faced with questions of independence. To study the development of lying in children, Kang Lee (2013), along with his colleague in a study found out that lying is part of the overall development process of a child. According to this study the percentage among children for lying increases with age. Among two-year-olds, only 30% are caught lying but as the age increases the numbers also increases as among 3-year olds, the number shoots up to 50% and in the case of eight-year-olds, it is at a staggering 80%!

Researchers have also argued that kids also get better with lying as they age. In the case of the above experiment, two and three-year-olds after some probing told they peeked, albeit not knowing what was their transgression. But eight-year-olds, learned to hide their actions by giving a story or saying the complete opposite with conviction. Researchers have argued that the rise in lying skills depends on the child’s development of the ability to imagine himself/herself in other’s place.

But the question arises that are people, who lie more often, unique or different from those who don’t? Researchers Yaling Yang (2005) and her colleagues undertook just a study to investigate the mapping of the brain among different individuals. In the study, the researchers compared the brain scans of three different groups. One group had 12 people, having a history of repeated lying, the second with 16 people who were deemed to be having an anti-social personality disorder, and the third group with 21 people who were neither. The study found that the people who lied often had a greater connectivity within their brains, signifying that they are likely to come up with better stories, plans etc. Although, this could have also have happened because of years of habitual lying.

In another study, Nobuhito Abe and Joshua Greene (2014) performed scans on their subjects using fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and found that people who lied and were dishonest showed greater activation in a certain part of the brain which plays a key role in processing the idea of rewards. Green, while explaining the findings, argued that the more excited your reward system gets at the possibility of getting money – even in a perfectly honest context – the more likely you are to cheat or act in a dishonest way. Simply put, greed may lead you to lie!

 

The Paradox of Being Human

 

What is puzzling though if, which is being argued by research, the act of lying leads to better connectivity in the brains or it is a sign of early development of children or the thought of lying or being dishonest excites our reward system in our brains, then why don’t we do it more often. This is the same question that Dan Ariely finds interesting as he wants to understand why is it that people don’t lie more. In an experiment conducted on dishonesty, Ariely, in his ‘the dishonesty project’, gave volunteers simple math problems to solve and if they get answers right they would get paid for them. The volunteers were told to shred the sheet after the test and told to report how much they got correct. Most of the volunteers lied when they reported but what Ariely found interesting was that the people didn’t increase their levels of lying, even when the amount of money was increased.  People stopped from lying all the way – even though they were given clear opportunities and incentives to do so. Ariely argues that the reason could be that people want to see in themselves as honest beings, which could be because the value that honesty has in the society. So, people might have internalised honesty as an integral value as a human being.

But researchers like Timothy Levine (2010) have argued that overall it is better to be truthful and honest as these two determine the implicit trust that we have in social relationships and public communication. If we lose faith in these then overall faith in the people would be destroyed and people would stop having social relationships. Overall, we get far more benefits from believing and occasional moments of getting fooled by lies or deceptions are just hiccups. Robert Feldman, however, argues that this belief actually helps the liars. He calls it the liar’s advantage. As people usually are not expecting lies as they are not searching for them in every form of conversation and this is often used by the liars.

 

In Conclusion – Main Reasons for Lying

 

After going through a brief survey of research, we can identify certain key reasons for lying. The first type of lie is what we call the ‘white lie’. It is the type of lie we say when we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or we want to protect someone from emotional harm. For e.g. if someone in your family has cancer but you don’t tell, say your grandmother to save her from the emotional toll that such a news may take. The second type of lie comes out of fear, i.e. when we are afraid of the consequence of telling a truth. Lying in our childhood to escape from a parent’s beating is easiest example to think about. The third type of lie is linked with greed, as research has shown, that we use lies at times to maximise our profits in our daily lives. Last but not the least, the fourth type of lie is similar to the previous one. It is when we exaggerate about things to a certain extent to the other person to project or inflate an image of a product, so that people end up accepting it without questioning. Salespersons are the prime example people who uses these lies. Similarly, politicians also use these lies in order to project a larger than life image. So, think and ask yourself two questions: How many times you lie in a day? Second, of the four types, which type of lie you use the most. And if you think you don’t like that much, the answer to the above two questions may surprise you. Till then, Happy Lying Everyone!

References

 

Abe, N., & Greene, J. (2014). Response to Anticipated Reward in the Nucleus Accumbens Predicts Behaviour in an Independent Test of Honesty. Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 34(32): 10564-10572.ext

Bok, S. (1978). Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life. New York: Vintage.

Depaulo, B. (1996). Lying in Everyday Life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 70(5): 979-995.

Lee, K. (2013). Littler LIars: Development of Verbal Deception in Children. Child Development Perspect, Vol. 7: 91-96.

Levine, T. (2010). People Lie for a Reason: Three Experiments Documenting the Principle of Veracity. Communication Reserach Reports, Vol. 27(4): 271-285.

Verschuere, B. (2011). The Ease of Lying. Consciouness and Cognition, Vol. 20(3): 908-911.

Yang, Y. (2005). Prefrontal White Matter in Pathological Liars. British Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 187: 320-325.

 

Success and the Successor: Mentor And Role Model

Reading Time: 4 minutes

We strive for success in our life, no matter where we are. From education to a fancy-dress competition, maybe a debate, or our career we settle in. No matter what age, or position we all strive for success. Who runs a race for coming second? (Well, maybe if it is fixed) No one otherwise ever plans on coming second. Though it is nearly impossible to get the First position every time. But we work hard for it, we fail again and work harder. Like Ants!! At least that’s what we have always been told to do, ever since we are young. Success and failures and again the success, a vicious circle.

 

Success and the Successor: Mentor And Role Model

 

Oscar Wilde once quoted, “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise”. On this journey to our self-improved life, we encounter various struggles. These struggles shape us in the perfect mold. But as it rightly said, you cannot do all by yourself.

There comes an importance of having a role model or a mentor in your life. I am sure you must have heard it a lot of times from your parents, elder siblings, teachers and who not. To succeed, have a role model. I don’t deny it either.

A mentor and role model, not only guide you but helps you to discover the need to succeed in your life. Throughout our life, we need someone to support us, or maybe just to share our feelings. As a child, we have our parents, then as we move ahead we enlarge that personal space and include our best friends, partner, family etc.

Similarly, as we move ahead in our career, we need someone to be there. This mentor or role model helps us identify where we are, where we are supposed to go and what be our first aid kit in times of failure.

Mentor And Role Model

Illustration by Nagma Khan

We tend to admire our role model and imitate their success. We would like to imitate their success. They may be great achievers in their professional life or could be people depicting an exemplary character in personal life.

It is seen that role models have a fantasy like an achievement. It might be impossible for us to replicate their success in our life. Usually, these are people whom you observe and then consider what you could do differently idolizing them, that would enhance your life.

Most often, the role models we have in our life are famous celebrities, sportspersons, famous political leaders, successful entrepreneurs or businessman and many more according to your likes and preferences whom you idolize.

mentor

Illustration by Nagma Khan

On the other hand, a mentor is a trusted adviser. They exist in the reality than just in a fantasy world. They help you in guiding towards the future goals of your life and mold your personal and professional lives. They provide you with a positive direction in your life.

This cannot be done in a day, they have to be around for a long time, as building character is a long-term task.

It is thus important to choose a mentor who has more experience than you and who is around you more often. An elder family member like a parent or sibling is, therefore, the best choice at a young age.

Choosing a neighbor is also a good option. But, as you grow up and choose a profession, only someone from that field can help you best, therefore a senior colleague or a supervisor willing to mentor you is the most desirable course.

We get inspiration from Role Models but Mentors inspire us and truly impact our lives. They come and go as we move ahead in our lives with our varied personal and professional goals.

Considering my own example, I have had many role models and mentors. During my early childhood, I admired Kalpana Chawla and looked up to her achievements, then at another stage of my life, it was Yuvraj Singh.

Currently, I consider Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam as my role model. Whereas, if I talk about my mentors, I consider my teacher, my parents and siblings to be in that role. They have been there throughout my life.

They have guided, inspired, and motivated me to lead me to where I am today. Now, the question arises that how should one choose a mentor in life? I am pretty sure that you will agree that none would apply to it if posted this job on naukri.com, or in any newspaper. But, trust me it is not that difficult to choose a mentor in your life.

There are a few simple things you ought to remember while choosing a mentor. Before going through these steps, remember a cautionary statement. It is certainly not necessary that they have to be from your field of study or interest only.

  • Do you need them to be present around you often? If yes, look around. Find out who inspires you. Who do you think is most likely your idol?
  • After choosing, remember as much as they are willing to share their experiences, knowledge, skills, and expertise. You should also be equally willing to gain from it as much as you can. Remember you are not being fed here. You are just being taught how to cook.
  • The last but not the least, make it a point that having a mentor does not give you a guarantee for a successful career/life. They just give you enough strength to carry on even if you fail.

Well, I hope this will help you to find the best role model/mentor as you may need and desire in your life. Good Luck!! Hopefully in times to come as you lead ahead in your life you make a great role model and mentor for those around you.

Success and the Successor: Mentor and Role Model. Do you think this matter?  Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Hiba Irfan mind wandering

Mind Wandering

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes sells 30 minutes Patented Daydream Charms to Hogwarts students so that they don’t have to suffer unprofitable boredom listening to school lectures. The daydream takes them to another level of consciousness completely aloof from the surroundings. But the side-effects will include vacant expressions and minor drooling. This is a fantasy in the surreal world of Harry Potter.

Mind Wandering

 

mind wandering

In our dimension of reality, the Patented Daydream Charms may not be an actuality but, the daydreams are. Humans don’t need any charms or amulets to experience it. This natural phenomenon is called Mind Wandering.

anonymous

Illustration by Nagma Khan

Haven’t you ever found yourself lost while attending a lecture in a classroom? How embarrassing it has been when the professor suddenly asks something and you were unable to respond, lost in your own thoughts. It would even get more embarrassing if you were unable to recall the time since your mind got distracted.

Mind wandering is experienced very frequently. It occurs even in those situations where it is risky to lose one’s attention, such as driving. When the mind wanders, an individual’s attention drifts from the current thought (usually an external task) to inner thoughts and images that are unrelated to the present situation. The thoughts that occur during mind wandering are often known to reflect either the past experiences or future contemplation.

During mind wandering one’s thoughts usually, border between conscious and pre-conscious levels.

  • Conscious Level consists of those thoughts, feelings, and perceptions with which one is fully aware at the present moment.
  • Pre-conscious Level contains those thoughts and feelings about which one is not aware of at the present moment but can easily retrieve them with some effort.

iceberg-1

Illustration by Nagma Khan

Mind Wandering happens to people of all ages. Research says that people tend to spend somewhere between 25%-50% of their waking hours engaged in thoughts that are unrelated to here and now. (Killingsworth & Gilbert 2010).

Although mind wandering may distract one’s mind, or make them feel lost, it is not always bad to let it happen. The content of the thoughts determines whether it has a positive or negative effect in daily life.

For instance, thinking about how your meeting may go or planning a holiday may help you plan for future events more smoothly. But at the same time thinking about past failures or how things could have gone the other way are less likely to be helpful, and may, in fact, exacerbate states of worry or unhappiness leading to stress. Thus mind wandering has both costs and benefits.

Mind Wandering may benefit by:

  • Allowing one to focus on the future and reflect on the past. Thus, consciously allowing one to connect past and future self together.
  • Providing creative inspiration and help produce novel solutions to various problems.
  • Consolidating self-memories (Smallwood et al., 2011) and linking to a style of long-term decision making characterized by patients rather than impulsiveness (Smallwood et, 2013).
  • Helping one to de-stress themselves. When stuck in the stressful situation, one should let their mind wander. Living in the fantasy world (of course with certain limits) may help to overcome the stress.

Although mind-wandering helps in enhancing creativity, planning, and organization, it may be unpleasant for individuals who experience it and is disruptive to the task at hand.

Some of the Detriments of mind-wandering may include:

  • It may interfere with and disrupt the on-going task performance and may reduce external vigilance (McVay and Kane, 2009).
  • It can also be a marker for certain psychiatric problems such as Dysphoria (a state of unease or dissatisfaction). Smallwood, O’Connor, and Heim (2005) suggested that when the ruminative style of thinking is combined with negative mood, it may strengthen the association between mind-wandering and #dysphoria.
  • Moreover, it has been suggested that mind wandering often accompanies an unhappy mood as thinking about the past enhances adverse emotions especially if the past has negative connotations. Thus mind wandering may have maladaptive consequences for health and may impact psychological well-being. There has been substantial evidence suggesting that people who experience more mind-wandering suffer more from increased depressive symptomology (Smallwood et al 2007) and report less life satisfaction (Mar et al., 2012).

In order to reduce the detrimental effects of mind wandering the following techniques can be taken into account:

  • Meditation’ is one of the obvious technique. It helps one to enhance concentration abilities which allows one to focus more on the current task or activity.
  • Mindfulness in action techniques’ is another way to bring mindfulness into the activities of everyday life. These techniques are especially good for those who have very low impulse control and distress tolerance. For instance, according to Linehan (2003), one technique could be focusing awareness on an aspect of physical habit which was previously outside one’s conscious awareness. Example:
    • Noticing how tight you hold the steering wheel while driving.
    • Being aware of what happens to your breathing or voice tone in an argument.

References

  • Killingsworth, M. A. & Gilbert, D. T. (2010). A wandering mind is an unhappy mind. Science Volume 330, 932–932.
  • Mooneyham, B.W., & Schooler, J.W. (2013).The costs and benefits of mind-wandering: A review, Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, Volume 67, 1, 11–18.
  • Smallwood, J., O’Connor, R. C., & Heim, D. (2005). Rumination, dysphoria and subjective experience, Imagination, cognition and personality, Volume 24(4), 355-367.
  • Smallwood, J., & Schooler, J.W. (2015). The Science of Mind Wandering: Empirically Navigating the Stream of Consciousness, Annual Review, Volume 66, 487-518.
  • Smallwood, J., and Hanna, J.A., (2013). Not all minds that wander are lost: the importance of a balanced perspective on the mind-wandering state, Frontiers in Psychology, Volume 4.
  • http://www.mindfulness.org.au/InAction.htm