Why Mind Wandering Can Be Actually Good For You

Whether it’s thinking about your goals, running future scenarios, replaying old memories or simply wondering what you’d have for dinner tonight—science shows that mind wandering accounts for more than 45% of your waking hours every day.

Mind wandering can serve many purposes for people, including relief from boredom, exploration of the imagination and distraction from unpleasant or harmful thoughts and images, says Dr. Chanda Reynolds, a licensed clinical psychologist based in Washington.

Although it may seem counterproductive to spend nearly half of the time you’re awake with your head in the clouds, experts say otherwise.

Here, four mental health pros reveal the upsides of a wandering mind:

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