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Daydreaming can be good for mental health

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/02/2022 (468 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

 

Daydreams are a series of pleasant thoughts about something you would prefer to be doing at the time or something you would like to do in the future. Daydreaming allows your mind time to drift away to something pleasurable and can be described as a fantasy a person has while awake.
What I find myself daydreaming about most is travel. Although I would love to escape the cold this winter we are still not feeling comfortable booking a trip, given the current COVID-19 pandemic. A few of our friends have recently gone on vacation, however, so for the time being we are living vicariously through photos they have sent us and sharing memories of our previous travels.
Like many others, I was quite upset about not being able to take a winter vacation last year, given the travel restrictions that were in place. I also lost my desire to plan any future vacations, given the unpredictability of the COVID-19 virus. 
However, as time has passed, I have missed travelling so much that I have caught myself frequently daydreaming about sandy beaches and European architecture. 
At one point, I began to wonder if daydreaming about travel was only going to make me miss it even more and perhaps affect my emotional well-being.
Researching the topic, I was happy to learn that daydreaming has benefits and is actually considered good for a person’s overall mental health. Daydreaming is said to be similar to a state of low-level hypnosis and can lessen an individual’s level of stress and anxiety. 
Daydreaming can increase creativity as your thoughts travel through different parts of your brain, collecting pieces of information. While your mind wanders, solutions or better ways of doing things will sometimes also become quite clear. In addition, daydreaming can also improve a persons working memory, which is your mind’s ability to store and recall information.                                                                                                        
Although daydreaming can distract people from what is going on around them, it is OK to allow your mind some time to wander so that it can come back to focus with renewed strength and energy.
Thinking for pleasure can also lead to increased happiness. Hope and the anticipation of a positive outcome affect happiness, and are both a consequence of daydreaming.                                                          
Finally, if your daydreams focus on planning or the steps involved in achieving a goal, studies have shown they can actually help individuals to better prepare for the future. 
Cindy Murdoch is a community correspondent for Transcona. She can be contacted at reflections8@shaw.ca

 

Daydreams are a series of pleasant thoughts about something you would prefer to be doing at the time or something you would like to do in the future. Daydreaming allows your mind time to drift away to something pleasurable and can be described as a fantasy a person has while awake.

Dreamstime.com
A little daydreaming can actually help your mind focus when you return to tasks at hand.
Dreamstime.com A little daydreaming can actually help your mind focus when you return to tasks at hand.

What I find myself daydreaming about most is travel. Although I would love to escape the cold this winter we are still not feeling comfortable booking a trip, given the current COVID-19 pandemic. A few of our friends have recently gone on vacation, however, so for the time being we are living vicariously through photos they have sent us and sharing memories of our previous travels.

Like many others, I was quite upset about not being able to take a winter vacation last year, given the travel restrictions that were in place. I also lost my desire to plan any future vacations, given the unpredictability of the COVID-19 virus. 

However, as time has passed, I have missed travelling so much that I have caught myself frequently daydreaming about sandy beaches and European architecture. 

At one point, I began to wonder if daydreaming about travel was only going to make me miss it even more and perhaps affect my emotional well-being.

Researching the topic, I was happy to learn that daydreaming has benefits and is actually considered good for a person’s overall mental health. Daydreaming is said to be similar to a state of low-level hypnosis and can lessen an individual’s level of stress and anxiety. 

Daydreaming can increase creativity as your thoughts travel through different parts of your brain, collecting pieces of information. While your mind wanders, solutions or better ways of doing things will sometimes also become quite clear. In addition, daydreaming can also improve a persons working memory, which is your mind’s ability to store and recall information.                               

Although daydreaming can distract people from what is going on around them, it is OK to allow your mind some time to wander so that it can come back to focus with renewed strength and energy.

Thinking for pleasure can also lead to increased happiness. Hope and the anticipation of a positive outcome affect happiness, and are both a consequence of daydreaming.                                                          

Finally, if your daydreams focus on planning or the steps involved in achieving a goal, studies have shown they can actually help individuals to better prepare for the future. 

Cindy Murdoch is a community correspondent for Transcona. She can be contacted at reflections8@shaw.ca

Cindy Murdoch

Cindy Murdoch
Transcona community correspondent

Cindy Murdoch is a community correspondent for Transcona. She can be contacted at reflections8@shaw.ca

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