Daydreaming related to well-being

Posted on April 17, 2015

Daydreaming is often associated with lapses of attention, memory loss and depression. Daydreaming consumes as much as 50% of our awaken state. If it is maladaptive, it might be disastrous. Whether daydreaming is good for one, it depends on your momentary goal, who you are and what kind of thoughts enters your mind. Thus, it can aid or disrupt your pursuit of your goals.

Some might have recurring, ruminative thoughts that keeps bothering them. Mindfulness could help to alleviate it. However, more often than not, people tend to daydream about the future, as a means to resolve the current problems and uncompleted personal goals. They fall into a reverie in the process.

Social daydreams might impact on one’s present feelings. When they are looking at pleasant daydreams of social content, they tend to feel an increase in feelings of love and connection, as well as happiness. However, the same effects does not apply to non-social daydreams. The benefit of daydreaming seemed to be associated with the actual content of the daydreams, not merely an increase in positive emotions.

They also found that daydreaming about close significant others was particularly conductive to well-being. The increases in positive emotions were only seen when the person in the daydream was considered highly central to their lives. This study suggests is that even just imagining close others can bring out the same feelings of love and connection!
Indeed, daydreaming about close loved ones can be an adaptive emotion regulation strategy to compensate for feelings of social alienation in daily life. As the researchers conclude, “people’s everyday social feelings are shaped by their imaginary, as well as actual, social worlds, and daydreams can be a source of positive other-directed feelings.”

This is consistent with prior research showing that daydreaming about people not close to us predicts greater loneliness, whereas daydreaming about close others predicts greater life satisfaction. This study also suggest that there are indeed many positive effects to daydreaming as well.


Source material from Scientific American