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Matt Killingsworth on…

Want to be happier?
Stay in the moment! 

When are humans most happy? To gather data on this question, Matt Killingsworth let people report their feelings in real time.

Hunt4TruthStairway2HeavenAmong the surprising results: We’re often happiest when we’re lost in the moment. And the flip side: The more our mind wanders, the less happy we can be.

While doing his PhD research with Dan Gilbert at Harvard, Killingsworth invented a nifty tool for investigating happiness: an iPhone app called Track Your Happiness that captured feelings in real time. Basically, it pings you at random times and asks: How are you feeling right now, and what are you doing?

Data captured from the study is noted in the landmark paper “A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind” (PDF).

So, is it possible that even if my mind is upset, by getting into the present, I stand a better chance of finding more happiness? The cause comes before the effect — unhappiness tends to occur after mind wandering — so, its possibly a cause of unhappiness.

“What we’re doing, who we’re with, what we’re thinking about, have a big influence on our happiness. Yet they’re the very factors that have been [difficult] for scientists to study.” — Matt Killingsworth

The most reliable method for investigating real-world emotion is experience sampling. Do your own mindfulness monitoring — let me know if you end up being happier please — I truly hope this video, article, and PDF report is helpful.

I published several related articles here:

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