Daydreaming and fantasizing are great ways to explore options, escape the routines of daily life, and find outlets for intense emotion. But sometimes even your daydreams can get stuck in a rut.
We’ve all had the experience when we’ve been in an argument with someone and then mentally rehash the conversation in a daydream, fine-tuning and improving our performance. In the fantasized version, we undoubtedly make the perfect comeback remark or score the debate-winning point. In these kinds of daydreams we’re analyzing conversations, giving ourselves an ego boost in the face of a stressful event, and planning how we might better deal with a similar situation in the future.
Some people have auditory daydreams, in other words, instead of primarily visualizing a scene or creation, they hear the “sounds of music.” Both Mozart and Tchaikovsky wrote about how they would “hear” compositions as they took long walks or rides in the countryside.
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.
Research has caught on “tape” the moment of insight that comes to us in a daydreaming state of mind.
Barack Obama certainly had a dream that one day he would be president. I’m sure that in his younger years many people would have mocked him for this audacious dream, but he followed his inner vision and now he’s the 44th President of the United States.
For the most part, children are natural, prolific, and happy daydreamers, and the process plays an important role in their developing lives. Too often, however, parents and teachers are quick to label daydreaming as a symptom of an Attention Deficit Disorder or the sign of a slacker in the making.