When your mind wanders from the task at hand, it’s called day dreaming. According to Harvard researchers, when the mind strays, there can be negative results and unpleasant thoughts. This finding was published in the current issue of Science magazine.
The study was based on a survey of 2,250 volunteers who were contacted by phone at random intervals. The study population varied in age from 18 to 88 and each person was contacted several times over a number of days.
Researchers found that the mind wanders at least 30% of the time during a variety of activities. People generally felt worse after their thoughts had started to drift from the task at hand.
Sometimes allowing thoughts to wander is useful. A person may analyze the outcome of past actions and think of better ways to respond to a situation. Or they might plan for the future and consider the outcome of important decisions.
The Bible promises a peaceful mind free of worry for those who focus their thoughts on God. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3
Ellen White, a 19th century health reformer, recognized the importance of keeping the thoughts on task:
“The apostle sought to teach the believers how important it is to keep the mind from wandering to forbidden themes or from spending its energies on trifling subjects. Those who would not fall a prey to Satan’s devices, must guard well the avenues of the soul; they must avoid reading, seeing, or hearing that which will suggest impure thoughts. The mind must not be left to dwell at random upon every subject that the enemy of souls may suggest.” Acts of the Apostles, p. 518.