Posted: November 20, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Emerging research suggests a wandering mind may not be a sign of unhappiness, rather a sign of cellular aging. Scientists from the University of California – San Francisco assessed the length of telomeres, the part of a chromosome that prevents the chromosome from aging. Telomeres are an emerging biomarker for cellular and general bodily aging. In the study, telomere length was assessed in association with the tendency to be present in the moment versus the tendency to mind wander, on 239 healthy, midlife women ranging in age from 50 to 65 years. Researchers defined being present in the moment as an inclination to be focused on current tasks, while mind wandering was described as the inclination to have thoughts about things other than the present or being elsewhere. Investigators discovered those who reported more mind-wandering had shorter telomeres, while those who reported more presence in the moment, or having a greater focus and engagement with their current activities, had longer telomeres, even after adjusting for current stress. Telomeres typically shorten with age and in response to psychological and physiological stressors. In research pioneered at UCSF, scientists have discovered that telomere shortness predicts early disease and mortality.

New Thoughts on a Wandering Mind | Psych Central News

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