How many times were you told to stop daydreaming and get to work when you were a kid? What about when you became an adult? Some daydreams are pretty silly and out there, but practical daydreaming can help you be productive. Here are some reasons why daydreaming helps to motivate you to accomplish more. Don’t you wish you could go back and tell your teacher about them?
1. It exercises your brain.
Learning is important, but it’s not the only thing your brain needs to be active. Daydreaming lets your mind wander, so thoughts that don’t usually get an audience can move to the forefront of your brain. Instead of using the same portions of your brain for the same daily tasks over and over and over again, daydreaming lets your mind literally wander, like you are going for a walk to get exercise.
2. It makes you a better thinker.
Reading is good for your brain because you’re seeing words on the page, reading them, interpreting them in your mind, and connecting them to understand the story the author is telling you. Daydreaming can be like reading, because you’re giving your brain the freedom to roam and tell you a story. Even if you’re daydreaming about something crazy that could never happen in real life, you’re still being told a story — and you made it up yourself! Interpreting a daydream story is similar to reading, and makes you a better thinker because you’re looking at things in different ways and using your mind to keep you entertained. These traits will help you in your daily tasks, as well as with major tests and projects that seem to require more structured thinking.
3. It makes your more creative.
Daydreaming lets your mind take the reins and shows you how creative it can actually be. Letting your mind wander gives you fuel to help solve problems creatively when you encounter them later in life. It also helps you learn how to approach problems from different angles, and enforces that popular cliche of “thinking outside of the box.”
4. It creates free space in your mind.
You periodically have to run a disk defragmenter program on your computer to group similar files together and free up space on your hard drive. Daydreaming helps your mind complete this same task. When you feel frazzled with hundreds of different things happening in your day, daydreaming lets you step back and think of nothing in particular. You might subconsciously work at bridging the gaps between these problems, or you might be thinking of unicorns jumping over rainbows. Either way, when you come back to the task at hand, you’ll feel refreshed and realize that your brain has been working the whole time.
5. It can lead to deep insights.
Letting your mind stop thinking about things it’s forced to think provides more freedom to let it put a puzzle together. You might not even know these thoughts are floating around in your head. But when you start daydreaming, your brain starts clicking the pieces into place, and you’ll realize that you knew the answer or solution to something all along — you were just overthinking it.
6. It teaches you empathy.
The brain either analyzes or empathizes. If you’re letting your mind wander, you’re not giving it the structure it needs to analyze things. Instead, it will naturally become more emotional. Letting yourself freely experience emotions while you daydream puts you in touch with a side of yourself you might typically restrict. Feeling these emotions as you daydream will help you become more empathetic, even when you are controlling your thoughts. Think of it as a therapy session you can benefit from without even moving from your seat.
7. You’ll find out more about yourself.
How much time do you really allow yourself to think about the most important thing — yourself? It’s your life, so you should be reflecting on yourself a lot. Instead, most of us think about work for a good chunk of your day, then chores, and family, and planning for the next day. Daydreaming gives you an opportunity to explore your true self without even realizing it. Letting your mind wander helps you find out what makes you happy, what you’re passionate about, and what makes your creative side tick. This shows how crucial daydreaming can be for your mental well-being.