Updated: Aug 23
3 Steps to Daydream
“Life isn’t about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.” — George Bernard Shaw
Daydreaming is spending time thinking pleasant thoughts about something you would prefer to be doing, or something you would like to achieve in the future.
Daydreaming used to be thought of as stuff of “losers” and “slackers”. However recently opinions have shifted. Daydreaming is now known to be a natural, and healthy resting state of the brain.
It’s not about escaping your world, it’s about reimagining, and then remodeling your world into something new.
The pandemic brought around a big question for most of us. Do you work to live or live to work?
Some parts of Europe and the USA have very different perspectives on the way a work day looks. Spain is known for its siesta, having a long break in the afternoon, often associated with sleeping, or having time out with your family for a long lunch. These breaks allow the brain and mind to rest.
Nowadays the world is constantly “on” with phones, social media, being able to contact friends and family whenever, wherever we are, there are many aspects that prevent us from truly having a break even when we aren’t working.
What would it feel like if we stopped? If we didn’t allow the world to continue to run with us in it? What if we stopped it ourselves?
That’s what daydreaming is. Imagine stopping your brain and giving it a mini siesta during the day. This can even be attainable for the everyday person who has outside forces that influence their schedule. Daydreaming doesn’t have to be a huge chunk of time. Even 5 minutes can make all the difference. That could be sitting, having a coffee, and just taking a personal moment to imagine and dream. The daydream doesn’t have to be something grand either, it is more about the mental pause.
This isn’t about excessive daydreaming that takes up your every waking moment. This isn’t about feeling bad that you don’t have the life you want when you dream about the “impossible”. This is purely about taking time out, putting the focus on letting your brain rest from the hardships of reality, and maybe even having some fun with your thoughts in the process. It’s about taking pauses in our busy day-to-day schedule. Remold your way of thinking.
So how do you daydream? Here are 3 efficient steps:
Slow your brain. Slow it down. Don’t stop, just slow. Make sure you’re in a good, safe space to allow this focus.
Breathe. Be aware of your breathing. Hear it. Really listen to it. Imagine you’re seeing your breath come out of your mouth on a cold day. Zoning in on your breathing will help your brain focus and be in the moment.
Dream. Big or small, it doesn’t matter. Watch your breath continue, in and out of your mouth. When we try to slow our brains, we often have intruding thoughts still pop in, trying to pull our focus. Imagine your thoughts are a river before you. If a thought tries to pull you away from your daydream, acknowledge that thought briefly, and let it continue down the “river” and away from your focus. If you get pulled into another thought, it is important not to judge yourself. It happens to everyone. Just let that thought float by, imagine visualizing your cold breath to refocus your brain, and drift back into your desired daydream. Your daydream could be anything. From having a quick break, to being able to finish your coffee while it’s hot. From going on a mini holiday, to writing that book, to winning the lottery. That’s what’s so wonderful about daydreaming, nothing is “wrong”.
There are several Benefits of Daydreaming:
Gives your brain a rest
Reduces stress and anxiety
Improves your creativity
Improves your physical and mental health
Helps you visualize and realize your goals
So try and find that place. Tune out the outside world and allow your brain to flow freely. See what happens when you allow yourself this time out. It may or may not end with that daydream coming to practical fruition every time, but you’ll always be mentally stronger for it when you allow yourself that creative rest. Embrace the daydream. Enjoy it.