Brain Tool #22: Daydream

Daydreaming is your brain’s natural default mode and is as necessary for healthy brain function as proper sleep and diet!

Play Around with These Steps to Start Daydreaming:

1. Go for a stroll. No ear buds, no phone! Just go for a walk, listen and observe. Let your mind wander
2. Stare out the window. Observe. Listen. Let your mind go
3. Lie on the grass, stare at the clouds, observe and listen
4. Take a bath. Let your mind wander
5. Stare off into space and just be quiet
6. Observe when you are most inclined to let your mind wander and build that into your day as your “daydreaming” time

ANY activity that allows your mind to wander will do!

With Children/Teens:

1. Model daydreaming with your children. Invite them to join you for some star-gazing
2. Get your kids outdoors without ANY electronics or adults directing their play. Pure, unstructured, kid-centered “free time”
3. Observe how much time your kids are spending on electronics and use some of that time for daydreaming, instead!
4. If a child/teen is daydreaming in class, let them! This is far from “idle” time. This is neurologically complex processing time and is necessary for ALL children!

Zoning-Out” with electronics and/or TV is NOT the same as daydreaming. Zoning-out to electronics actually disrupts the free-flow complexity of daydreaming!

What’s Unique About This BrainTool:

1. Daydreaming is far from “idling”. It’s one of the most productive and complex mental states that the brain can engage in
2. Daydreaming improves the following:  self-awareness, memory consolidation, goal formulation, retrieval of deep personal memories, reflection, information synthesis, problem-solving, stress-reduction, moral reasoning, compassion development,  heightened creativity and problem solving!
3. According to a 2009 study at the University of British Columbia, daydreaming was found to recruit a complex network of brain regions in problem solving– including the “executive function” region. Prior to this study, the “executive function”  was thought to be the exclusive domain used in problem solving
4. Daydreaming allows us all to explore in a purely autonomous state

 ”My gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge” ~ Albert Einstein