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Day dreaming is an activity that most people do at least once a day, but which is looked down on by our society, which by and large does not understand the connection between imaginative activity and productivity or creativity. Daydreaming is what happens when you let your thoughts wander without trying to focus on anything in particular. You may think about future dreams, a conversation you had with someone, or a picture or website you found online. There need be no rhyme nor reason in how to go about daydreaming, but there are some very specific benefits to daydreaming.
6 Benefits of Day Dreaming
Benefit #1: Working through Problems
Just as with sleeping, daydreaming is a way for your subconscious mind to work through any problems you may be facing and come up with ways to resolve them. You do not have to be asleep for your mind to be able to work through these problems: all you have to do is quiet the conscious mind. This can be done via meditation, or answers may come during daydreaming. If you can find a simple physical activity to do, this often helps problem-solving in daydreams. Taking a walk is often useful for clearing your mind, and this is a great time to let your thoughts wander.
Benefit #2: Clarify Relationship Issues
If you are like many people, you think through conversations after you have them and realize things you should have said. The witty retort that would have put your rude co-worker in his or her place comes ten minutes later, when you are thinking about something completely different.
This is frustrating for many people, but it turns out that this is an important function for building relationships, and your daydreams can help you come up with methods and strategies for communicating more effectively with the people in your life. Next time you find this occurring, try different responses, focusing in your imagination on the other person’s response. You may gain insights into how to communicate with this person by letting your subconscious teach you.
Benefit #3: Boost Your Creativity
Studies have shown that the more you use your creativity, the more creativity you have. Not only can you gain important insights by letting your mind wander, but by deliberately thinking about imaginary things, whether these be dreams and goals for the future, memories of the past, or fantasies about flying unicorns, you increase your capacity to use your imagination, and it will be easier to have new ideas in the future.
The imagination is not something that is only used by artists and writers, either. From solving a problem at work to decorating your kitchen to planning a special date, a strong and vibrant imagination is an important factor in an interesting and happy life. In this way, contrary to so much cultural “wisdom” about abandoning daydreams and living in the real world, daydreams actually directly make your life better and make you a happier and more creative person.
Benefit #4: Lower your Stress and Increase Your Productivity
When you are stressed, you are not performing at your peak capacity. Your mental processes actually slow down and you are not able to make the same logical jumps that you can when you are relaxed. As your body goes into “fight or flight” mode, your baser instincts take over, which may lead to aggression, avoidance, or passivity, none of which will help you accomplish your goals.
By taking fifteen minutes to sit quietly and daydream, though, your blood pressure and heart rate will lower, and you will be able to go about your tasks with more calmness and emotional balance. Not only will you be happier about doing your work after a bit of daydreaming; you will be more productive and effective as well. It may seem counter-intuitive to recommend taking a break to daydream when you are overloaded with work and stressed out, but that is the most important time to do it.
Benefit #5: Improve your Relationships
The way we think often becomes the way our reality is, and nowhere is this truer than in relationships. If you think negative thoughts about your partner or significant other, you are likely to experience conflict with him or her, especially as you begin to expect conflict and react pre-emptively to it. By focusing on the negative aspects that drive you crazy, you will have a heightened emotional reaction to them the next time they happen, your negative thoughts will be confirmed, and the relationship will spiral downward.
On the other hand, if you think positive thoughts about your partner, you are often likely to see these thoughts become true – not necessarily because your partner changed (though there is something to be said for intentional directing) but because you have trained yourself to see and expect good things in your partner rather than bad. By thinking of these things, you will notice them when they happen, confirming your positive thoughts and improving your relationship. No one is perfect, and very few people are completely bad. If you want to build up the good parts in your significant other, start by building them up in your own imagination, through your daydreams, and watch them flower in real life as well.
Benefit #6: Get to Know Yourself Better
How can you know what you want from life if you do not dream about it first? When you daydream, you can begin to understand your desires, your motivations, and your fears. The ideas and concepts that enchant you can provide guidance into the directions in which you ought to set your goals. Your imagination will populate your dream world with the practical concerns you need to consider, if you spend enough time thinking about it. Pay attention to your emotional reactions to these ideas. In addition, your values and personal sets of morals and ethics will be easier for you to understand as you let your imagination wander into different scenarios.