Even in normal times, our minds wander. Research finds we’re thinking about something other than what’s right in front of us about half the time. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic has created whole new levels of stress and dramatic shifts in our routines. New concerns pull our attention in a hundred directions and make it even harder to stay focused.
Not all mind wandering is bad. Some drifting thoughts can lead to creative ideas and make us happier. But circling back to regrets and worries leave us feeling rotten and all of us have times when we need to keep our mind on what we’re doing.
MPR News host Angela Davis talks with two cognitive psychologists about mind wandering and how to reclaim our focus when we need it.
Amishi P. Jha is a professor of psychology and director of contemplative neuroscience at the University of Miami and author of “Peak Mind: Find Your Focus, Own Your Attention, Invest 12 Minutes a Day.”
Caitlin Mills is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on mind wandering and its impact on learning.
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