Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


August 30, 2013

The Good Life: Be here now

CROSSVILLE — An endless stream of thoughts flows through our minds. And if your mind is wandering right now, come on back and wrap your mind around this: your life is what you experience. All want to have the sense of well-being in all of our dimensions of our lives. Yet one of the most powerful predictors of this sense of well-being is something we often do without even realizing it: mind-wandering.

People’s minds wander a lot. Harvard researchers find that for nearly half of our waking hours we are thinking about something other than what we’re currently doing. Consider that statistic next time you’re sitting in a meeting or driving down the street.

How does mind-wandering relate to happiness? Again, researchers found that people are substantially less happy when their minds wander than when they are focused on the activity at hand. Moreover, the size of this effect is large ― how often a person’s mind wanders, and what they think about when it does, is far more predictive of happiness than how much money they make, for example.

When our minds wander, we often think about unpleasant things: our worries, our anxieties, our regrets. Our relationships and their ambiguities are great fuels for mind wandering. These negative thoughts turn out to have a gigantic relationship to (un)happiness.

Mind wandering is oddly irresistible and can steal an hour of your life before you even realize that you’re doing it again. Besides dividing your attention and wasting your day, mind wandering does have negative effects. Studies show that mind wandering can raise your anxiety level, create a negative outlook and lead you into negative coping behaviors, like binge eating.

Studies find that people are happier if they stay focused on what they are doing, even if they are doing something they don’t want to do. Whenever we pour the energy of our life into what we are doing, we are in a state of flow, and we tend to have a sense of well-being. We barely notice the passage of time or the outside world; we are in the moment and totally into the task at hand. The greater our capacity to attend to the moment, the easier it is for us to enter a state of flow.

Learning how to live in the present requires you to increase your attention level so that you can recognize that you mind is wandering and can choose to do something different. Do activities that bring you fully into the present, like talking to a friend. Singing is guaranteed to put you front and center in your life. While doing something routine, try memorizing a meaningful wisdom passage. Learning requires paying attention to what you want to learn. If you find yourself worrying or distracted by mental activities, note what it is about and, if important enough to you, schedule time to get really into it.

If not, get back to really washing those dishes. May you find what I have reported interesting and something you can use in your life. I invite you to email me your thoughts (

Text Only
  • FFG Resident Services Painting.jpg FFG Resident Services presents painting to the Pat Summitt Foundation

    A dramatic portrait of Pat Summitt, painted by Chuck Jensen, was presented to the Pat Summitt Foundation by Fairfield Glade Resident Services at its Community Information Event on memory care.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 127 seniors JosephZarolla-W6.jpg Zarola entertains 127 Seniors

    The members of the 127 South Senior Center met Friday, July 25, for bingo and Mexican Train domino game. Conversation, along with coffee and sweets, was enjoyed by all. Helen Lord called the bingo numbers, and the prizes were furnished by Eye Centers of Tennessee. Life Care Center checked everyone's blood pressures.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marriage licenses (Published July 30, 2014)

    July 29, 2014

  • Habitat-Group photo-Crisp Dedication .jpg Habitat celebrates 55th home dedication

    Anne Crisp is excited that she and her two daughters have a home to call their own. Cumberland County Habitat for Humanity (CCHFH) dedicated the 55th home to be built in partnership with low-income families. Crisp put more than 500 hours of "sweat equity" into her home and has completed 50 hours of self-improvement, where she attended classes on budgeting, home maintenance and good neighbor among others.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Gypsy Rose to visit Fair Park

    The Cumberland County Playhouse is currently performing the award-winning Broadway play “Gypsy.” A great American story set during the 1920s fading vaudeville circuit, "Gypsy" portrays the rise of famed burlesque performer and stage mother Gypsy Rose Lee as she journeys across the country with her mother and sister during a time when Vaudeville was dying and burlesque was born. The complex character of Rose could be described as bold and brassy, as she steamrolls everyone in her way to turn her daughters June and Louise into child stars.

    July 28, 2014

  • plateau gardening-springBlooms4361.jpg Match August garden tasks to plant biology

    During all seasons in temperate climates like ours the greenery around us is changing. New shoots appear and leaves pop out of swollen buds after spring rains.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pleasant Hill Ramblings.jpg Landis reunites with Japanese teacher

    There is a special lady living in Pleasant Hill who spent 42 years of her life in Sendai, Japan, teaching English at a Japanese Christian school and as a missionary with the United Church of Christ Board for World Ministries.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lion of Year.jpg Lions Club recognizes Lion of the Year

    Charles Loveday, charter member of the Crossville Lions Club, was recognized as the Lion of the Year at the annual installation of officers picnic July 8. Loveday earned this award for his service as first vice president, membership chairman, eye glass chairman and his help with fundraisers and other matters where needed. From left are Loveday and President Gary Laura.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 8-8 counseling center-play with dolls.jpg Christian Counseling Center celebrating 12 years

    Help the Christian Counseling Center of Cumberland County (C5) celebrate 12 years of community service. Dine at Ruby Tuesday of Crossville Aug. 8, 9 or 10. Print the flyer from the center’s website,, and give it to the server.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • A Time 4 Paws collecting shoes to help Soles4Souls in fight against global poverty

    Attention anyone with a closet! Those shoes no longer wanted are desperately needed to fight the human tragedy of global poverty.

    July 24, 2014