If you find yourself escaping into an imagined world of your own, you might be doing something that’s great for your brain. Daydreaming is seen by some people as a sign of being easily distracted or disconnected. However, daydreaming actually exercises our brain and helps us develop our emotions. This Monday, let your mind wander for a while!
One of the best reasons to daydream is stress reduction. The act of daydreaming is similar to self-hypnosis and can mimic a meditative state. By mentally removing yourself from a high-stress situation and following a scenario that is more enjoyable, the brain and the mind both get a break from going into overdrive.
Allowing your imagination to go wild may also tap into your creativity and problem-solving. Without the limitations of real-life logic, physics, or unpredictable human nature, you can daydream yourself into almost any situation and choose your own adventure. Even if your daydream is a presentation for work, daydreaming can expand your original plan into something you weren’t expecting. Daydreams can also help you if you’re stuck in a routine and need to think outside the box. If you find yourself in a rut, take a few minutes to get away and start thinking freely.
Daydreaming may even have an effect on how you treat others. If you spend time imagining how other people may feel, daydreaming can help to make you more empathetic. Maybe the person you think about won’t say exactly what you came up with, but considering their reaction or response keeps you from remaining self-centered.
There are also physiological benefits to daydreaming. If your daydreaming is spent reliving a great experience, this may help your brain develop the ability to retain more memories. Daydreaming also helps you “turn off” parts of your brain in cycles:
“There are two main systems in your brain: the decision-making analytic part and the relatable empathetic part. When you get really involved in one, there isn’t much room for the other to play. Daydreaming allows for a natural and fluid, almost cyclical movement between these two parts of your brain, turning one on and the other on and off as it imagines.”
Daydreaming isn’t just for the distracted – it’s for anyone who needs to reboot how they think once in a while. If your brain needs a reboot this Monday, don’t fight it. Let your mind run free!