As my primary school teacher introduced what I like to call complex maths (anything beyond division, multiplication, adding and subtracting) my mind drifted off into the world of contemplation. What I was thinking I couldn’t tell you but the fact that my mind was focused elsewhere was true. I envisioned what I’d be having for tea that evening as well as what I’d be doing with my life in 10 years.
I always thought daydreaming meant I lacked a decent attention span – turns out I just hated maths, but no, really. Little did I know that daydreaming as a child could lead me down the path to creativity as a writer. Even better than that, with close to 50% of our waking lives spent in a state of “mind-wandering“, scientific backing shows that there are pro’s to daydreaming.
- Helps your mind relax
Daydreaming has proven to be a stress reliever as well as a place to give your mind a break, according to Everyday Health. This is particularly important if you have spent a long duration of time fixated on a project or task. Fixating on something for long spells can cause you to become bored and lose attention. But, drifting away into the world of thoughts gives you time to mentally get away from what you’re doing, refresh and can even inspire new ideas and thoughts.
Austrian neurologist, Sigmund Freud also advocated for daydreaming and its’ benefits, describing it as “the human desire to alter the existing and often unsatisfactory or unpleasant world of reality“. With the way 2020 has panned out so far, it’s no wonder that we find ourselves zoning out into the world of fluffy clouded imagination.
2. Keeps you motivated
There are many challenges we face in life, whether it’s regarding our career, family life or social life. They are thrown at us unexpectedly and can become a main focus despite our best efforts to “switch off”. Daydreaming for a couple of moments during the day allows space to think up solutions to the problem or ways of handling the issue. This also gives you a chance to visually plan out your ideal future and preferable results. It’s true that a dream is only a figment of your imagination. But, when you actively turn your daydreams (the good ones) into reality, magical things happen. The life that’s desirable to you in your mind is a life worth creating after all.
3. A sign of intelligence
Research suggests that daydreaming is less a sign of stupidity or a lack of attention skills, and more a boosting element of intelligence. NYU psychology professor Scott Barry Kaufman highlights the importance of “spontaneous forms of cognition” with HuffPost, such as “insight, intuition and the triggering of memories and stored information” which are all classed as forms of intelligence accessed through mind-wandering. Often, intelligence is measured by IQ, and though this holds accuracy, a definition so broad cannot be defined by a set of scores.
Kaufman states that daydreaming can play an important role in personal adaptation. ‘Mind-wandering’ can reward an individual through “self-awareness, creative incubation, improvisation and evaluation, future planning, moral reasoning, and reflective compassion”.
Some of my greatest ideas have stemmed from zoning out for a couple of minutes and entering into deep thought. I’ve found this to be the best way to access solutions and new objectives. If you find yourself straying into the land of dreams throughout your day, try not to be too harsh on yourself, it may well be good for you!
Ciao for now x
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