How to daydream productively to reduce stress and foster creativity

How to daydream productively to reduce stress and foster creativity

We’ve been told early on in life that daydreaming can get us in trouble. But studies have shown, that daydreaming is more beneficial than we realize. Daydreaming gives the brain time to recharge, strengthens our imagination, assists problem-solving skills, reduces stress, and helps us be more compassionate. There are simple ways to introduce daydreaming throughout the day for a more vibrant, positive perspective on work and life in general.

Benefits of daydreaming

The benefits of daydreaming are numerous. If more people were aware of its benefits, it would become a valuable source of health, wellness and ingenuity. We might even add daydreaming courses or workshops for personal and professional development. By adding daydreaming to our schedules, we would grow closer to achieving our personal and professional goals because we would open up space for possibility.

  1. Daydreaming helps reduce stress

    Through daydreams, we relive moments that weren’t as successful as we’d hoped. This fosters better future preparedness, giving us the opportunity to blow off a little steam and reduce stress. Daydreaming is an excellent way to bolster emotional readiness and to relax throughout the work day.

  2. Daydreaming helps boost creativity

    Daydreaming doesn’t just boost inspiration, it fosters an environment for creativity where dreams become reality. When we participate in creative behaviors, we’re likely to see an improvement in focus, intuition, and social skills – just to name a few. Through daydreaming, we encourage the brain to visualize future scenarios or construct new methods for problem-solving. This leads to originality and promotes innovation.

  3. Daydreaming boosts mental agility

    Mental agility equals flexibility which allows us to be more relaxed and less anxious. This has a tremendous effect on our overall well-being. When our minds are flexible, we can solve problems at both work and home  with more clarity and certainty.

  4. Daydreaming increases empathy

    Compassion plays a huge role in how we deal with others and the world around us. Daydreaming allows us to step into another person’s shoes and imagine the world from a different point of view. When we have empathy for others, we have the ability to build stronger bonds with work colleagues and others, working together with greater cooperation and understanding.

How to daydream effectively

Here are some steps for daydreaming successfully.

  1. Daydream in moments that make sense

    Daydream over a cup of coffee or tea. Avoid daydreaming in settings that require attention like a meeting or conference call. Use daydreaming appropriately.

    Studies suggest moving our bodies every hour for cardiovascular health, but stepping away from our desks and projects is crucial for wellness. Therefore, factor in daydreaming when you get up to stretch. When you take a break, think about what activities you’d like to do over the weekend or where you’d like to go on a vacation. Give your spirit the opportunity to explore uncharted areas of the subconscious.

  2. Set an alarm for breaks

    Set an alarm for breaks if you have a habit of ignoring breaks. Either use an app or a soothing alarm that eases you into daydreaming. Don’t forget an alarm to signal when daydreaming should stop, too. It’s just as easy to get carried away with workloads as it is with daydreaming, so having a way to monitor time is useful and responsible.

  3. Listen to soothing sounds

    To enhance daydreaming, listen to sounds that evoke positivity. Some people like to sit in silence and let their mind create a soundtrack while others prefer to listen to music of their own choosing, like upbeat popular tunes, Tibetan bowls, binaural beats, or nature sounds.

  4. Look at pictures for inspiration

    Although using the imagination is essential, scrolling through pictures or books can add extra help when our creativity isn’t sharp. Some like to search travel websites or magazines to imagine dream vacations while others engage in nature-gazing online when green spaces might not be so accessible. Find a window in the office and gaze outside, if possible. Make sure the daydreaming is positive. In the face of negativity, daydreaming will uplift your soul and carry you to new heights.

  5. Doodle

    Doodling is a form of daydreaming and studies show that those who doodle are making stronger brain connections than those who don’t doodle. By doodling, the brain links new information with a personal action, doodling, which enhances memory.

    If you’re not one for doodling, adult coloring books are an excellent substitute. Adult coloring books come in a variety of styles to suit various tastes – from animals and architecture to culture and cuisine. Grab some colored pencils or markers, then let color therapy recharge brain waves.

  6. Daydream away from the office

    Don’t just daydream at work, do it away from the office, too.

    • Daydream while hiking in a forest or taking a bath. Make time for activities like yoga, art, or play with a dog or cat to increase feel good hormones. Daydreaming can be done in conjunction with activities that don’t require too much concentration. Washing the dishes, waiting in line at the grocery store, or gardening are ideal moments.
    • Positive daydreams ensure a better outlook on life. By changing your perspective, you can change your life. Let yourself imagine a successful business presentation, a well-planned project, or a promotion. Build a promising future by creating optimistic daydream scenarios.
    • Silence your phone and computer for maximum benefits. Set aside a few minutes during a mundane activity or chore, then create a story. You can even write down future goals if that feels comfortable.
    • Daydreaming can also come from the past. Remember the new software system at work that seemed impossible at first or the conference call that had you shaking in your boots. Although difficult or frightening at the time, they had positive results.

Set time aside to daydream or let the practice come and go organically. Either way, you’ll reap the benefits of daydreaming the more you engage in it. So let your mind wander as it may. And be certain that those daydreams serve their purpose whether or not you realize it today.