I’m A Daydream Believer

posted in: Mindfulness | 0

Okay, you know how I’m always telling you to stay in the present moment? That you can’t change the past, and there’s no use worrying about something that may or may not happen in the future? Well now you have permission to daydream, which sounds a lot like the opposite of present moment. So hear me out.

Merriam Webster defines daydreams as “a pleasant visionary usually wishful creation of the imagination.” Isn’t that the best ever? Don’t you just want to stop what you’re doing and daydream right now?

Of course I’m talking about your occasional wandering of the mind, intentional and helpful. As with most everything in life, you can get too much of a good thing. Taken to excess, daydreaming can take over your life. They even have a name for that all consuming daydreaming. It’s known as maladaptive daydreaming or MDD, and when that happens, one’s daily life can be disrupted. They can have trouble focusing and sleep issues can ensue. Let’s put MDD aside for now and just stick to healthy daydreaming.

Daydreaming is especially helpful for stimulating creativity. I often enlist the help of daydreaming for writing my blog articles for example. Daydreaming can lead to problem-solving and some of the greatest thinkers in history came up with their best work through daydreaming. For example, did you know that Albert Einstein began his work on the theory of relativity while daydreaming about running beside a sunbeam to the edge of the universe? How sweet is that? And Sir Isaac Newton’s theory of gravity really did start by watching an apple fall from a tree.

Daydreaming can be helpful in many jobs. Creative fields like writing and art come to mind. Research and development, or any profession that involves problem solving are all well-suited.

Daydreaming taps into memories that may be long ago and long forgotten, the kind of things you don’t think about when you’re deep in concentration. Take the title to this article for instance. Those of you of a certain age know that “Daydream Believer” is a song by the Monkees, a band popular when I was young. I never missed an episode of the Monkees television show and when I wanted to learn more about the topic of daydreaming, that song instantly came to mind, even though I don’t remember the last time I heard it. This, of course led me to thinking about what might have happened to the members of the band. I found that only one member, Michael Dolenz, is still alive, which led me to remember that he was my friend Cheryl’s favorite, which led me to wonder what ever happened to Cheryl, which led me to … well you get the idea.

While nothing may come of this, it may connect me with an old friend. That’s the thing about daydreaming. You just never know where it may lead. And oh, by the way, I’ll be singing that song for days.

Daydreaming is quite common, and we all engage in it throughout our day. To ensure that daydreaming doesn’t take over your life, I suggest deliberately setting aside time to daydream. Take a daydream break, especially if you’re stuck moving forward on an important task. Your brain will get a much-needed rest, you’ll be refreshed, and you might just come up with some solutions in the process. Let your mind wander, maybe not willy-nilly, you want to maintain some control. Afterall, daydreaming is supposed to be pleasant. So when it starts going down the wrong road, just change direction – there’s nothing pretty down that road.

Give yourself permission to daydream. And for those who can’t get “Daydream Believer” out of your head, you’re welcome.

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