In Praise of Daydreaming

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Ever been caught (and admitted) you were daydreaming? Did you feel guilty? Why?

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While at work, floral department at my local Mariano’s, I admitted to a customer that I was daydreaming instead of pressing the touchscreen to complete the transaction. He replied, “it’s OK, we should daydream more.”

Daydreaming was one of the non-complimentary comments my mother would hear from my elementary school teachers. Yes, I was, and still am a daydreamer.

Daydreaming is my form of meditation. A few minutes to block out distracting noises, of which our world is polluted, especially if you’re an urban dweller like me. Inhale deeply, body still, gentle breaths. Aaaah… there it is…. random thoughts or vision of artwork or one of my daughter’s laugh or a task to be done or…

The new term for daydreaming is mind meandering and researchers believe that it is NOT squandered time. Instead, mind meandering can be beneficial for our brain and its ability to process complex tasks and information.

Daydreamers can perform complex tasks following a period of letting our thoughts wander and roam free for a few minutes. Then our thoughts return to reality with clarity of mind.

Are daydreamers geniuses? New cognitive research is going beyond traditional IQ and EQ testing to discover the value of {intelligence} intuition and sudden insights. Both which are only accessed by daydreaming because of the enhanced empathy AND your ability to visualize your dreams.

Be more creative! (This is my favorite benefit of mind meandering.) You’re among the best minds in history if you’re a daydreamer. Gifted daydreamers include great scientists, writers, composers, mathematicians, musicians, philosophers and artists throughout history who have claimed that stepping away from focused effort and allowing their minds wander opened them up to receive an unexpected ‘ah ha’ moment.

A mental timeout from concentration and exertion to free our minds. Ludwig von Beethoven was known to take a very long walk everyday; carrying with him is notebook and pen/pencil in which to record thoughts and ideas. Consider your daily routine to connect with your Walden Pond.

Another benefit of daydreaming include relaxing which lead to reducing stress. Similar to meditation, daydreaming can help lower blood pressure and headaches to being a guardian for your immune system. Using mind meandering to step away from the nonstop distractions and tensions could help us tame the anxieties and maintain positive physical health.

If you want to improve your memory… daydream. Research suggests that letting our minds wander may be help our brains to memorize or retain information; thus strengthening our brains storage and recall skills.

What a day for a daydream.