Is Day Dreaming Good for You?
A daydream is a visionary fantasy, especially one of happy, pleasant thoughts, hopes or ambitions, imagined as coming to pass, and experienced while awake. The question is – is this practice of dreaming while you are awake good for you?
Psychologists say that daydreaming is good for you because it is attached to emotions that you might not necessarily express in life otherwise. The mental images that we have about future scenarios or plans or reminiscence about past experiences are therapeutic when they are relapsed.
For years, day-dreaming was criticized for being a lazy, non-productive past time and an indication of a brain that cannot concentrate. For years, daydreamers were seen as lazy and in the 1950s psychologists feared that children who day dreamed were subject to neurosis and even psychosis. There is even a disorder called “fantasy prone personality” where an individual has trouble distinguishing between fantasy and reality.
A fantasy prone person is reported to spend a large portion of his or her time fantasizing, have vividly intense fantasies, have paranormal experiences, and have intense religious experiences. The fantasies may include dissociation and sexual fantasies. This is quite different from the personality that just daydreams.
However research, both psychological and metaphysical, has shown that great ideas can come into existence thanks to the brainstorming and creative visualization that sometimes comes with day dreaming. Day dreaming can be an inspirational activity that helps us clarify things about our lives.
A lot of research was done about daydreaming in the 80s by a scientist named Eric Klinger. Klinger's research also showed that over 75% of workers in "boring jobs," such as lifeguards and truck drivers, use vivid daydreams to "ease the boredom" of their routine tasks. Klinger found that less than 5% of the workers' daydreams involved explicitly sexual thoughts and those violent daydreams were also uncommon. This did a lot to discourage the sentiment that only potential criminals and psychopaths engaged in daydreaming.
Other recent research has also shown that daydreaming, much like nighttime dreaming is a time when the brain consolidates learning. Daydreaming may also help people to sort through problems and achieve success.
Research that brain areas associated with complex problem-solving become activated during daydreaming episodes and can help solve problems. Daydreaming can be a source of self-confidence, ingenuity, and creativity. In fact, a lot of successful people use daydreaming as a way to further their ambitions and get inspiration. Famous daydreamers have included Albert Einstein, Peter Jones, Richard Branson, Walt Disney, Beethoven, and Leonardo Da Vinci.
There is also a form of self-hypnosis that is associated with daydreaming. Using self-hypnosis, you can train yourself to direct yourself towards manifesting positive results in your life. You can program your brain to visualize how you want your life to be and then start living it as if it was already your reality. This is a little different than the “wandering mind” we associate with regular daydreaming, which is done with no real intent to achieve results but seems to get us results sometimes anyway!