Sometimes I open my laptop and start typing. Words just come in like how in a factory, products are being packed one by one! Yet, some other times, I struggle to put my thoughts into words like I’ve forgotten the recipe! Oh please! It is hard to find ideas to write on or create something out, it’s a brain not really a factory!!! But IT’S A BRAIN, NOT A FACTORY! EUREKA!
Millions of years ago, when homo sapiens had some other companions on earth and a fight for survival of the fittest was marching on, homo sapiens (our ancestors) survived even after being a bit weaker than the rest! How? Or should I say WHY!? Yuval Noah Harari wrote in his best-selling book Sapiens, “The ability to speak about fictions/ things that do not exist is the most unique feature of Sapiens language”. He calls it The Cognitive Revolution. We don’t know what caused it, yet it was the way we were different from rest of the species. We created stories, imaginable spirit guides and entertained ourselves. The ability to imagine got us through.
To imagine is not always fun because as we’ve grown, we have learnt to imagine the worst case scenarios as well – resulting in mental health issues!!! But, to Day-dream is different than imagining. We imagine only when needed but we day-dream when nothing at all is needed. It’s a fact that day-dreaming is a healthy brain exercise. We daydream when our brain is free of all the other things that keeps us occupied. For example, a meeting or a project. May be a date or relationships. Things that worry us or makes us think and use our brain more and more comes from different parts of the brain. Analytical & Empathetic brain-both are different. Day-Dreaming involves the use of all the areas of the brain combined except these two. During daydreaming, analytical and empathetic parts of the brain turn each other off! Mainly, when we day-dream all the parts of our brain are active, except these two, which is why we feel extremely relaxed.
It is also a fact that day dreaming makes us more creative. May be that’s why I am writing this, because I day dream like 50% of the time!!! It gives us new ways to express ourselves. So, yay.. Also, We tend to day dream less as we get older, so embrace this gift while you can!!! But another fact is- We day dream on purpose..Obviously, because we want to feel relaxed and we know we’re free to take a break… That might be the reason why we tend to work more enthusiastically after day dreaming… It’s like recharging our creative sides. As our brain controls our day dreams not our minds, I called it an effective brain exercise.
“The cost of oblivious daydreaming was always this moment of return, the realignment with what had been before and now seemed a little worse. ”
― Ian McEwan, Atonement.
It’s not always flowers and sunshine though! Is it?! Sometimes reality is so awful that we tend to escape in the imaginary world! Some researchers have proposed Maladaptive Daydreaming (or daydreaming that causes real problems in people’s lives) as a mental health disorder. They reported more obsessive-compulsive, attention deficit, and dissociative symptoms. Basically, the people who tend to daydream A LOT should stop doing it because it might be affecting their REAL lives as well. It causes distress and dissatisfaction! So beware of what your brain is exercising with.
To sum up- Daydreaming has been my favourite pass time for years. But now that I think about the time I wasted on that, could have been used for something productive may be. But- I grew more creative over time too! So it has it’s pros and cons. I tend to focus on the pros and keep it under a limit.
What do you think? Are you in control of your daydreaming or do you have any incident to share!? Comment below.
Also, Thanks for reading. Namaste.