Daydreaming Makes You Unhappy ... Even If You're Thinking About Ryan Reynolds

BlogHer Original Post
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 16: Actor Ryan Reynolds attends the after party following a special screening of 'Buried' hosted by The Cinema Society and 2(x)ist at the Soho Grand Hotel on September 16, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

So here I am, reading this New York Times article, "When the Mind Wanders, Happiness Also Strays." The point is basically that some smart scientists have found that a) daydreaming doesn't make you happy and b) not even if you're daydreaming about something awesome while you're sitting in the dentist's chair, no, still not happy and c) yeah, your mind is actually wandering 47 percent of time.


This was really the money quote for me, from researcher Daniel Gilbert, who I'm sure was really not paying attention while he was being interviewed.

"'I find it kind of weird now to look down a crowded street and realize that half the people aren’t really there,' Dr. Gilbert says."

Honestly, I don't know what they're talking about. Forty-seven percent of the time?

Honestly, People magazine? Ryan Reynolds for sexiest man alive?

I'm not sure I agree with this article. Going to my happy place should really improve my happiness quotient, especially while I'm doing something like washing my hair. I know you're supposed to inhale the pungent sweetness of seventeen tropical fruits and maybe massage your scalp, but really how in the moment can one be at 7 a.m.?

So Gwyneth Paltrow really saved Glee? I saw her country song, and I thought she sucked. I know she went through that boho stage, but how many macrobiotic rednecks do you know?

I think the researchers were really doing a study on how confusing they could possibly be when constructing a research study. Check this out.

But the people having stray thoughts on “neutral” topics ranked only a little below the overall average in happiness. And the ones daydreaming about “pleasant” topics were actually a bit above the average, although not quite as happy as the people whose minds were not wandering.

Or was that just the NYT writer laughing silently to himself? And his editor? Yeah, hell, let's run it like that!

Maybe she was better on Glee. I stopped watching Glee after the second episode. But Gwyneth? I can't stand her. Or Heather Graham. Or, really, RYAN REYNOLDS.

This could all be a statement on how being distracted makes you unhappy. Which might drive you to think of other things.

I think we could probably just blame this entirely on iPhones.


Rita Arens authors Surrender Dorothy and is the editor of Sleep is for the Weak. She is BlogHer's assignment and syndication editor.


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