Have you ever been in class or walking and suddenly you are in this different place in you mind? I know I have, and its called daydreaming. Have you ever wondered why do we day dream? When we daydream the default mode network increases the activity in the brain when we are focus on the external world. Daydreaming can occur at times of frustration, stress, anxiety, or boredom.
Professor Eric Klinger from the University of Minessota said, “just about every thought that people have is related directly or indirectly to one of their goals.” We could be focusing on things that might happen in the future, this when we plan ahead, what are going to be our outcomes, and the decisions we might make. We daydream about stuff like who are we going to marry, or where are we going to live in the future. We also day dream about feelings, intentions, thoughts, solutions, or better ways to do things. There’s two common things people usually daydream about:
But daydreaming also has a dark side. It can affect your mood, meaning that you could be less happy when you daydreaming because you are dreaming of stuff you really want them to happen but they might never happened. It can also distract you from the stuff you really have to do, example if you are writing a blog and suddenly you mind goes to another world, you are going to lose you focus and that is going to affect the work you are doing and how much time you spend doing it.
A Study in York University, psychologist Raymond Mar and associates. They asked men and women from 18-85 years old to report:
- the frequency and vividness of their daydreams
- life satisfaction
- levels of loneliness
- social support
Men- more frequency but lower life satisfaction.
Women- vividness but no frequency was related to lower satisfaction.
If you are daydreaming and it distracts you from the tasks you have to do here are 4 ways you can put your brain network default to its best use:
- Tune out your default network when you need to focus- if you feel that you inner thoughts are distracting you, ignore them that way you are turning them off.
- If your dreams are bothering you, change them- the good thing about daydreaming is that you can change it, daydream about beautiful things.
- Use your daydreams to help, not hurt, your memory- try to stick with things that might happen now instead of going really far.
- Don’t stifle your creativity, but don’t let it interfere with what you need to know- you still have to pay attention to what’s happening around you.