Daydreaming is a state in which we are lost in thought. While daydreaming all the time to escape reality isn't recommended, short periods can be beneficial.
Stress Relief: Daydreaming can provide a much-needed break from stressful situations. Whether you're going through the "terrible twos" with your child, dealing with a chronic illness or countless other heavy-duty problems, taking 5 minutes to let your mind wander can help you cope. Imagining yourself in a perfect body, in a serene, happy, peaceful environment, with lots of friends and laughter can help calm your mind and make it easier to tackle the situations you face.
Problem Solving: Daydreaming can help you work through problems of all kinds, from the minor--what outfit to wear to your brother's wedding-- to the serious--what to do about your child's new and persistent habit of acting out.
Decision Making: Daydreaming can help when you are faced with having to make a decision such as whether or not to accept a new job or file for a divorce. Daydreaming allows you to act out different scenarios in your mind to see which one might work best for you and everyone else involved.
Rehearsing: Daydreaming also can help you prepare for events to come such as a discussion with your parent regarding a move to an assisted-living facility, a job interview or appointment with a new doctor. Role play in your head to practice what you will say and the questions you'll ask.
On a personal note: I was born with spina bifida, a birth defect. It happens when the spinal column fails to close. Various degrees of nerve damage occur depending on the location of the lesion on the spine. I had a bunch of health issues to deal with. It was very stressful and I coped through daydreaming. I wondered if this was a healthy way to cope, but it was my way, so I stuck with it. Years later, during a conversation with a psychologist, the subject of daydreaming came up. He confirmed that research has shown it to be a very healthy way of coping. So, instead of abusing myself or lashing out at others, I daydreamed. I'm still here, healthier and happier than I've ever been, so it must have been the right choice for me. I hope it works for you too. Good luck!
For more information on daydreaming, follow this link: Science Daily article on daydreaming http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/09/0511180702.htm
More Answers from Amy Colgan-Niemeyer, NASM Elite Trainer