As a child I dreamt of far-away lands, parallel universes where a different me was living a different life, of places and people that didn’t exist anywhere but in my head. Sometimes those dreams felt so real I could almost imagine them to be true.
We tend to get out of the habit of daydreaming as we grow older. Perhaps because it might be considered childish, a waste of time, and lacking focus, and has no visible outcome. Adult life is about productivity, achievement, and focus.
According to Anita Ghosh in Red Magazine, researchers are increasing understanding of daydreaming and how it boosts creativity, pain tolerance and conversely productivity. Daydreamers were found to be more refreshed and focuses after letting their minds wander, increasing their productivity when they returned to work.
Daydreaming activates a part of the brain associated with memory, introspection, and rest. Without the confines of the external world pushing to think in a certain way, we can generate an internal model to solve problems and reimaging solutions.
Daydreams are different to manifesting, the practice of thinking aspirational thoughts with the goal of turning dreams into reality. Daydreaming is enjoying the prospect of thinking and having appositive experience that ca be almost meditative.
Daydreams is categorised into unintentional, where daydreaming occurs when you don’t want it to, interrupting our focus, whilst intentional daydreaming is the practice of allowing our mind to wander deliberately and with purpose. Intentional daydreaming can be further broken down into focused and unfocused. Focused daydreaming involving an overarching narrative which you regular and guide your imagination by. Unfocused doesn’t settle on specific scenarios and has potential to be more enjoyable.
When we let our minds wander, we think about things we wouldn’t ordinarily think about. It gives us a chance to stretch our creative boundaries. Here are five tips for better daydreaming:
- Create space – modern life takes so much of our time being absorbed in technology and doing “stuff”. Schedule in five minutes every day to daydream.
- Work on it – we are more likely to daydream when our minds are less occupied. Things that you could do on autopilot but are stimulating enough to allow your mind to wander, are best.
- Dream big – when you daydream in fantastical ways, or meaningful ways, you tend to be more creative, inspired, and happier.
- Prime your mind – it can be hard to enjoy daydreaming but prepare with prompts that will guide you to positive thoughts.
- Practice makes perfect – intentional daydreaming requires thinking in one mode for prolonged periods, which can be difficult. If you find yourself wandering off to negative thoughts, gently bring yourself back using your prompts.
I do still daydream about what life would be like if xyz happened, but not to the extend that I’m jealous of those who have that lifestyle. I can take moments to stare out of the window with no purpose at all, other than to take five minutes to watch the birds at the feeder, or the clouds flitting across the sky, whilst I mull over a problem.
I think so long as it doesn’t become a place to avoid what’s going on around you, but you use it as a place to help your make sense of all of that, it doesn’t do any harm.
One thought on “Drifting away with the fairies”
I tend to do most of my daydreaming whilst out walking. Life tends to be a bit full on most days, but there’s always time to switch off when out for a walk 🚶♀️