A desire to be happy is universal. When we’re happy, things just seem to flow. This is the state of mind an actor wishes to enter an audition: flowing, hopeful, in the moment. Happiness begets flexibility, creativity, and positive human interactions. Being happy is one of the biggest advantages an actor can have!

According to recent scientific research, the direct path to happiness is to focus on the right here and now–whatever moment that may be. Researcher Matt Killingsworth, who invented an iPhone app called Track Your Happiness, states that as soon as your mind starts to wander, you risk putting a dent in your happiness level. And it’s not just anxious thoughts or regrets that erode at happiness; indeed the research suggests even neutral thoughts–like wondering what to eat for dinner–considerably reduce one’s perceived happiness level. Now if someone is stuck in traffic and is remembering the most pleasurable part of his or her vacation, even that positive mental wandering tends to reduce one’s happiness level a little. In other words, that person is most likely to experience a state of happiness, in this instance, if he or she simply focuses on the commute!

Not surprisingly, it’s the negative mind wandering that most substantially reduces one’s level of joy. This includes personal insecurities, and anxious thoughts about unpleasant tasks one needs to accomplish. When you’re taking a shower, drinking coffee, or talking with a friend, and suddenly thoughts of the wart on your left knee creep into your mind, the research indicates that the key to happiness is to simply shift your thoughts to focus on the present.

Listen to Matt Killingsworth share his discoveries about happiness by clicking here. 

So when you’re putting on make up or getting dressed for an audition, if you zero in on buttoning your buttons or applying mascara instead of allowing your mind to travel elsewhere, you’re empowering a positive state of mind for the big audition. For those of you who like to stop to smell the roses before an audition, just make sure you’re thinking about the roses–and not about needed car repairs, the loads of laundry waiting for you at home, or even your cat. Rather, simplify and focus on the present. Give it a try and let us know how it goes!