Amy Colgan-Niemeyer answered:
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.htmDaydreaming 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.... More
Dr. Lara Honos-Webb answered:
Daydreaming is the font of creativity -- it is essentially the process of engaging the imagination. Imagination creates dreams of possibilities. In a review of the emerging research on the benefits of daydreaming, author Josie Glausiusz concludes that "daydreaming, far from being a total timewaster, is a potential portal to the Nobel Prize -- as it was for Albert Einstein, whose visionary daydreams helped him conceive the theory of relativity while he toiled away at a humdrum job in the Swiss patent office."
Other research supports many benefits of daydreaming. Daydreaming can increase social and emotional intelligence. We can release troublesome emotions safely in our imaginary world rather than in the real one, where the consequences would be problematic. And in our imagination we can rehearse social interactions, leading to greater intimacy and more mature relationships.Find out more about this book: The Gift of ADHD: How to Transform Your Child's Problems into StrengthsDaydreaming is the font of creativity -- it is essentially the process of engaging the imagination. Imagination creates dreams of possibilities. In a review of the emerging research on the benefits of daydreaming, author Josie Glausiusz... More
Research involving brain scans showed that when people daydream, the brain actually works harder, and in different ways. The study compared brain activity under two different conditions -- when people played an easy game and when their minds simply wandered freely. And daydreaming lit up the brain areas that researchers expected it to, such as those areas that handle routine daily activities. But, surprisingly, the activity of daydreaming also activated the lateral prefrontal cortex and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex -- the so-called executive network of the brain, where complex problem-solving happens. Which led researchers to conclude that giving your brain a break allows these higher-function areas to work on the weighty questions humming in the background of your thoughts. You know, those big things, like how to solve a problem at work, resolve an argument with your spouse, or start a business venture.
Make It a Habit
The researchers suggest people encourage daily daydreaming with simple, mindless activities. Washing the dishes, knitting, doing jigsaw puzzles, or weeding the garden are all good choices.Research involving brain scans showed that when people daydream, the brain actually works harder, and in different ways. The study compared brain activity under two different conditions -- when people played an easy game and when their minds simply... More