I have a confession to make: I’m a 30-something adult with a big crush on someone! And, even though it’s nothing more than me daydreaming, it brings fun and hope into my life. It puts me in a good mood and makes me want to be and feel pretty. It makes me want to listen to romantic music and smile.
It’s not even a realistic crush, but the daydreaming is like a form of meditation. I sit and let my thoughts drift off so I can think about pleasant scenes and forget my daily stress for a while. It’s like a mental vacation, (with a cute guy ;)) So, today I did some searching online about the value of daydreaming. I found a lot of technical articles about how letting your mind wander can lead to big ideas and inventions, but I also found another shorter article about how daydreams give us hope. I could really relate to several of the ideas in this post:
To quote the author, Amy Fries:
We daydream for a variety of reasons, and one reason is they give us hope and help get us through the rough and boring patches of life. This isn’t a small thing. All of us face our challenging days, and without the capacity to envision a brighter future or new goals, life would be bleak indeed.
That is how I feel. I like the idea that daydreams empower us even when we aren’t at the best spot in our lives. They keep us hopeful and that is important to keep going.
Another quote from the article spoke to me in particular:
While the relationship between daydreams and depression isn’t entirely clear, there are some theories that depression is marked by a lack of daydreaming–in other words, when depressed, we lose our ability to daydream in ways that boost us when feeling low or amuse us when tired or bored.
I’ve always been a dreamer. I was an avid reader as a kid, and I was always staring out windows, (and getting in trouble in school,) because my head was figuratively in the clouds. I loved making up stories and daydreaming about my future. Like many girls, I used to daydream about growing up and marrying a prince charming. I remember when I married my first abusive spouse, I was desperately in love, (or so I thought.) When he started being controlling and critical every day, my daydreaming stopped abruptly. It was like the horror of finding out all my daydreams were wrong killed my hope for the future. I remember telling my therapist that I didn’t daydream anymore. I just had a very gray and bleak vision of what life was going to be like with that man.
When I realized I no longer daydreamed, I felt sad. It was like a part of me had changed and lost my wistful positivity. It was like losing a part of my personality.
But, not forever! I am feeling much more like my old self these days. Even though nothing especially exciting is going on in my life, I feel alive, pretty, hopeful, confident…and like dreaming again. It’s a great feeling!
Daydreams at Work: Wake Up Your Creative Powers
And there is science to back up the benefits of letting your mind wander and take a break…. For example: research shows that when we give our brains a break, our brains have a chance to process things we’ve been learning and we can remember things better.
Daydreaming also correlates with better working memory.
I also found articles that say daydreaming increases happiness and hope, it enhances productivity, it can help build empathy and more.
If nothing else, I know that drifting away into fantasy land gives me a welcome break and helps me think of the good things I’d like to add to my life. I’m enjoying my crush 😉