Is daydreaming a waste of time?

man daydreaming

Absolutely not. You may think that gazing out of the window is a waste of time or, staring at the tiles in the shower for 25 minutes before realising that the water has run cold sounds a bit daft. However, daydreaming is a powerful evolutionary adaptation that offers us tremendous agility on a day-to-day basis.

Here are 5 reasons to encourage more daydreaming.

1. Creative Problem solving

Recent research has suggested that daydreaming facilitates creative problem solving such as that “eureka” moment and it’s highlighted the importance of distractions during demanding tasks to incubate new ideas. Without the presence of cortisol (a chemical released during stressful periods) we’re able to “think outside of the box” and explore previously unexplored options.

Are you a creative? Do your friends think you daydream more than most? Well don’t stop because your next bit of creative genius maybe in that next cloud formation.

2. Solidify identity

Other research suggests that our sense of identity is enhanced when we daydream. By frequently recalling events and conversations, and envisaging what our futures might be like, we form a stronger sense of who we are as individuals.

3. The power of foresight

Instead of actively engaging in certain behaviours, we can visualise our actions in advance and predict their outcome. It helps us to avoid poor decisions and keeps us alive. It's fundamental to 'Prospective Hindsight' - the practice of planning for stressful situations.

4. Empathy

When we daydream neuroimaging shows that key regions of the brain - prefrontal cortex, medial temporal lobes and the parietal cortex - are highly active. They’re also the same regions of the brain that show up when we’re attempting to work out what someone else may be feeling.

We’re inherently social creatures by nature but it’s this skill which allows us to function so successfully as a collective.

5. Ambition

At brain feed we fully subscribe to “living in the moment” but imagine if you had no option to go backwards or forwards in time? The question is, where do you want to be 10 years, 1 year, 6 months, next Saturday?

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