Do you daydream?
Do you think daydreaming reserved for the lazy and the underachievers?
In the past, psychologists associated daydreaming with failure to complete tasks and maintain cognitive control — something that society then fed into. It's why the kid with the wandering mind at school, staring out the window and escaping into his or her imagination, was always the one being called an air-head.
But a new school of thought has started to emerge. Professor Jerome L. Singer launched what is now recognized as a groundbreaking research program into daydreaming, which is still being used by today, to prove the positive effects of dreaming while awake and basking in your imagination.
According to Singer, if you play out desired scenarios in your head, thinking about both the end-goals and the steps that will get you there, you are more likely to step up when those situations start to pan out in real life.
It only makes sense: at the end of the day who was Steve Jobs if not a dreamer? How could he, or any entrepreneur, build new products, new communities, new worlds without indulging in a fair share of fantasy, especially early on when they have to face a lot of naysayers while having nothing physical to hold on to?
The key is to be specific. Start with things that make you happy and seem within your reach — say, a walk on the beach with a loved one. Visualizing in the evening is particularly effective: the last thoughts you have before falling asleep are among the most powerful. Your subconscious doesn’t even make a distinction between reality and fantasy, it just sends this vision to the universe and works to find the fastest, most efficient way to get you what you want.
When life slows down or road blocks come our way, daydreaming takes on new importance. Taking more time for reflection and limiting external distractions, many of us start indulging in daydreaming more frequently and naturally — just like children allow their imagination run wild and imagine life as grown ups.
As Singer put it in his study, daydreaming is a natural and healthy exercise of the human brain — in fact modern psychologists encourage everyone to daydream, spending a few minutes per day in their feel-good fantasies.
But, if your mind has a tendency to wonder towards the negative and all that is worrying you, use doodling or drawing to quiet those thoughts and bring your child-like imagination, which is always present within adults, just a little forgotten, into action.
In addition to positive and feel-good benefits, daydreaming can be constructive too when you put those thoughts on paper, use the power of repetition, and commit to taking action. That's where your journaling practice, positive affirmations, and daily planning will come into play, as big dreams can be broken down into small, achievable action steps.
The benefits of daydreaming are clear and are used by some of the most successful people in the world who have been using the power of daydreaming to make their dreams a reality. So. feel free to let your mind wander up in the clouds from time to time to bring you respite, inspiration, and positivity that you can bring back with you into reality.