daydreaming

Daydreaming isn’t just for the seemingly unruly school kids anymore. It is surprisingly beneficial to our mental health and productivity. As we get older and our lives become increasingly demanding, you might find it harder to positively get lost in your thoughts. For years I stopped daydreaming, not realizing it until I was in a healthier mental state. Anxiety and depression made it hard to get lost in joyful and exciting visions. Instead, I would use my mental energy overthinking and focusing on negative aspects of my life. I created storylines that would repeat all day, or fester on angry conversations. 

What is daydreaming? Daydreaming isn’t preparing a mental list of the day’s chores or imagining yourself in a heated discussion with the neighbor you don’t like. Daydreaming is allowing your mind to escape to a pleasurable place using your imagination. It lets you welcome a sense of ease into your life where you can think without rules. Spending time away from daily tension helps decrease stress and improve productivity throughout the day. When you think of what makes you happy, in turn, you will attract happiness. 

So often we find ourselves grabbing our phones when we have a break in the day and mindlessly scrolling on social media. What if we used that time to daydream instead? Like meditation, it may be difficult at first to immerse yourself in a daydream, but with practice, you’ll find it easier to slip into this playful state of mind. Luckily, you can train your brain to daydream and begin receiving the immense benefits of the practice.  

Choose the right time and place. It’s crucial when daydreaming to find a time and place where you can get lost in your thoughts without it interfering with important tasks. You don’t have to necessarily schedule a time to daydream, but think of moments during your day that don’t require much mental attention. Unlike with meditation, where you sit silently, working on emptying your mind from thoughts, daydreaming can be easier while doing mundane tasks. While you wait for the bus or your kids’ carpool line, or washing the dishes at night, are all great times to let your mind wander. If you find that your house is too noisy or distracting, taking a walk or finding a quiet place outside can be a good place to daydream as well. 

Pick a Topic. A good place to start daydreaming is thinking about a vacation you want to take or imagining yourself winning the lottery. It can be helpful to remember a past happy event or think about something you want to happen in the future. Guided visualizations are a great way to exercise your imagination especially when you need help focusing on a topic. Daydreaming helps you imagine what you want to attract and the feelings you want to experience, without any negative emotions attached. If you’re someone who practices manifesting techniques, daydreaming will help you actively visualize and feel your manifestations coming true.  

Dare to Dream. Daydreams don’t need to be logical or make sense to anyone but the dreamer. Allow your mind to have fun and imagine the best case scenarios. Imagine yourself with all the things that would make you happy and all the things you want out of life. There isn’t any thought that is too much. This is your time to dream without guilt or reserve.  

Remember to be mindful. If your mind wanders to negative or anxious thoughts, refocus on the present moment. Concentrating on your breath will help bring you back to the present and away from unwanted thoughts you might be having. Completing a quick body scan can help ground you and reconnect with your body. Try to bring back your focus on positive, meaningful thoughts that bring you pleasure.  

Think about what you want to achieve. You might not want to get anything out of your daydreams, other than a time to escape into happy thoughts. Daydreaming can have a productive effect however, if you use it to envision how you want to decorate a room in your house, or write a book. Keep a journal nearby to write down any thoughts or ideas you have after daydreaming.  

Throughout the day, in moments of boredom, or when I happen to see something that sparks my imagination, I slip into a daydream. I find myself in a better mood, more energetic, and really feeling like I am experiencing the emotions in my mind, in real time. With daily practice, the powerful benefits of daydreaming will begin to unfold as you explore your mind and imagination.   

1 thought on “daydreaming”

  1. Dear Kaitlin, your suggestions for goal-oriented guided visualization and free-associated daydreaming are modalities I will try out in the new year. Trusting us and ours to hope, health, happiness, and harmony.

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