STUDY ALERT: Being Present: Focusing on the Present Predicts Improvements in Life Satisfaction But Not Happiness

by Scott Barry Kaufman, July 3, 2017 in Blog, Study Alerts

Being Present: Focusing on the Present Predicts Improvements in Life Satisfaction But Not Happiness

Peter Felsman, Philippe Verduyn, Ozlem Ayduk, & Ethan Kross

Mindfulness theorists suggest that people spend most of their time focusing on the past or future rather than the present. Despite the prevalence of this assumption, no research that we are aware of has evaluated whether it is true or what the implications of focusing on the present are for subjective well-being. We addressed this issue by using experience sampling to examine how frequently people focus on the present throughout the day over the course of a week and whether focusing on the present predicts improvements in the 2 components of subjective well-being over time—how people feel and how satisfied they are with their lives. Results indicated that participants were present-focused the majority of the time (66%). Moreover, focusing on the present predicted improvements in life satisfaction (but not happiness) over time by reducing negative rumination. These findings advance our understanding of how temporal orientation and well-being relate.

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One Response to “STUDY ALERT: Being Present: Focusing on the Present Predicts Improvements in Life Satisfaction But Not Happiness”

  1. Gabriele says:

    But from a broad perspective, a satisfying life should not lead us toward happiness? So the first one could act as a “marker” and generator for the second. Referring to this assumption, I can’t really understand the separation you discussed.
    What do you think about?
    Thanks.

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