Third, as we mentioned above, most mental drifting is associated with a host of unhealthy symptomology.
Although some mental drifting is of a pleasant nature, the more typical form is negative, and is based on a variety of unresolved fears, anxieties, past traumas, and psychological conflicts which have a tendency to distract one’s attention away from the present.
In this sense, mental drifting goes beyond a condemnation of a lackluster present — it can sometimes be an indication of other emotional difficulties in need of attention.
Fourth, mental drifting gets in the way of effective living.
As we have seen in previous Fundamentals, the formula for personal happiness involves an active life-style based in the present. It requires keen attention to daily scheduling, present decisions, and immediate opportunities. If one’s mind is confounded with excessive thoughts from “time-zones” other than the present, one’s concentration on today’s concerns and challenges is clearly diminished. Indeed, the potential for enjoying immediate happiness may be entirely ignored when one’s mind is preoccupied…
Happiness, as we have defined it, is an overall emotional sense of well-being — but, as we have also seen, it is comprised of a continual collection of very specific happy moods and experiences. Such, presently-experienced, moods and experiences are the basic building blocks of happiness — and, furthermore, they are only experiences which can only occur in the present.