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Daydreaming As Stress Relief

Nov. 15, 2011, 2:35 p.m.


Not long ago, when I told one of my friends that I love daydreaming and spend a lot of my time daydreaming and wandering from topic to topic – he laughed at me. He narrowed his eyes and looked at me surprisingly and told me that I have ADD(Attention deficit disorder) and suggested instead of escaping from reality I should consult a doctor and get it treated properly. According to him, day dreaming will lead me nowhere but to psychosis (Wiki on Psychosis) – an abnormal state of mind according to psychology. He also mentioned that even Freud marked daydreaming as a childish and neurotic act.

I was sad. Really. When I talked to few others surprisingly I found many of us consider daydreaming a waste of time or a pure escapism from reality. I also found many parents advise their kids not to waste their time in daydreaming but focus more on the reality.

From my childhood, when I had to read piles of boring texts books, till my working life when stress became my best friend - daydreaming was like a performance enhancing drug. I simply cannot imagine the journey without it. I simply cannot fight with my stress without the help of daydreaming.

So, of course, I was not ready to accept daydreaming as “childish act”, in fact I wanted prove that lack of it actually can disbalance our life. So, I started digging. To my surprise, “Benefit of daydreaming” in Google returned over 1 million pages including a very cool article on New York Times (NY Times article). I found so many videos, interviews, blogs – so many people started writing in favour of daydreaming. And, it seems it only started couple of years ago.

Daydreamers FINALLY started getting a little respect after all these years of negative treatment.
Psychologists like Jonah Lehrer believe that day dreaming not only important for a healthy mind, but it is probably essential. Day dreaming will
  • Improve Your Memory
  • Improved Creativity
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Boost Your Mood
  • Brainstorm New Ideas

Jonah Lehrer actually mentioned that according to scientist & psychologist Jonathan Schooler, people who are aware when they are daydreaming score significantly higher in various tests of creativity. Jonathan Schooler actually has a dedicated time for daydreaming everyday and he talks about all the great ideas he comes up with during his dedicated daydreaming time.

I guess one day we will have a mandatory daydreaming class in school? Or, Weekly training on daydreaming in office? Or, Psychologist will suggest daydreaming as a stress relief?