08/17/2015 05:14 pm ET Updated Aug 17, 2016

Mindfulness Is Great, But Spacing Out Is Good for You, Too

By Abraham Riesman and Melissa Dahl

There's a lot of talk these days about mindfulness: Professional football players, congressmen, and even kindergartners are learning the gentle art of staying focused on the here and the now. And there's nothing wrong with mindfulness -- but it would be a mistake to focus exclusively on it, especially at the expense of ignoring something you might call mindlessness. Spacing out from time to time is beneficial for your psychological health, too, particularly when it comes to tasks that require a little creativity or abstract thinking.

Watch the latest edition of the Science of Us animated video series to feel better about your wandering mind; while you're at it, you can check out our previous episodes, too. (The last one, for example, explored the incredibly important subject of "how to speak cat.") Just, you know -- maybe try to hold off on the spacing out until after you watch the videos.

More from Science of Us:

How to Recover From an All-Nighter
Has Tinder Really Sparked a Dating Apocalypse?
Inside the Brains of Happily Married Couples
How Your Feet Can Help You Sleep