Why you must stop daydreaming and 7 ways to stop?
Why you must stop Daydreaming
It is because of various reasons. It might seem good to roam in the world you yourself made to present yourself the way you want to, but it is not good for your mental health. Plus, if you decide to stop here is the remedy for you.
Side effects of daydreaming
People aren’t just empty minded. People who are daydreaming may be intensely ruminating on their future accomplishments, hopes, and goals. But according to one research, daydreaming possess its dark sides too.
According to Igor Marchetti (Ghent University) and colleagues, individuals who struggle with negative emotions or who are under intense stress are particularly vulnerable to negative thoughts when their minds wander.
“In other words, a powerful and negative emotional reactivity to internal cues has the capacity to lock the train of thoughts into a thematically narrow content channel (i.e., funneling effect) and to substantially reduce the breadth of the associative network,” the researchers ( Igor Marchetti (Ghent University) and colleagues) write.
Marchetti and colleagues note that consequently, for at-risk individuals, mind wandering may pave the way toward depressive symptoms or other mood disorders. And studies suggest that may be especially true when they engage in daydreaming, rather than problem solving, as a response to stress.
“Many findings indeed report that well-known mechanisms leading to depression, such as rumination, hopelessness, low self-esteem, and cognitive reactivity, are consistently associated with daydreaming and are likely to exacerbate negative mood in individuals,” they explain.
Daydreaming can also impact your memory and you can forget the already learned things.
Intriguingly, dozens of experimental studies have suggested that positive distractions can help relieve depressed mood.
How not to Daydream
1 Analyzing your Patterns
You must first understand why you are daydreaming by analyzing your thoughts you think of. Sometimes Individuals daydream to avoid stress or they are free and have nothing to do.
- Make a list of the types of thoughts you have, and what you think the function of this fantasy is. For example, you might identify that you frequently think about conversations with friends, which helps you predict what might happen and practice how to respond.
- Ask yourself, “what is the purpose of my day dreaming in general?” Do you daydream to escape, distract, make yourself feel better, or pass the time?
2 Recognize patterns in daydreaming.
Do you daydream at school mostly, or at work? Are there certain situations that trigger your daydreaming behavior?
- Recognize how often you daydream. Set your alarm for one hour. Keep a tally of how many times you drifted off into a daydream for that hour. For example, the moment you notice you are daydreaming, write a tally mark on a piece of paper, and so on. This will increase your awareness of how much you actually daydream. Sometimes it may take you a few minutes to realize that you were in a daydream and that is okay, just tally each time you notice that you were drifting off.
3 Enhance awareness
You must first be aware of your daydreaming when it occurs in order to begin to change it. Once you have identified the purpose, patterns, and consequences of your daydreaming, it may be helpful to start noticing when you are daydreaming in the moment.
Signs you may be daydreaming include: losing eye contact with someone during a conversation, having difficulty focusing on your current task, not remembering what was just said in a conversation, thinking thoughts unrelated to the current situation, and having imaginary conversations with people or imagining events occurring in your head.
4 Make moments
Right when you notice you are daydreaming, get up and do something active.
This serves as a way to get some of your physical energy out, which may in turn, help your mind to re-focus and reduce daydreaming.
- Try stretching. Reach for the sky as high as you can without feeling uncomfortable. Then spread your legs apart while standing and reach toward the ground (just as far as is comfortable for you).
- You can do jumping jacks, run in place, or shake your arms. Try anything active that is safe and appropriate for the place and situation you are in.
5 Get a good night sleep
A lack of sleep quality has been associated with increases in daydreaming. If you do not allow your mind to rest at night, it can become over-active during the day. Individuals with sleep issues also experience higher rates of depression, anxiety, and medical problems.
6 Develop Your Hobbies
Engage in fun activities that you can focus your attention on.
- Do something that inspires you such as: hiking in a beautiful place, meditation, looking at art, etc.
- Try exercise such as: biking, hiking, sports, etc.
- Avoid activities that may increase daydreaming such as watch television excessively. Watching too much television could possibly lead to decreased creativity and increase daydreaming behaviors.
7 Plan less, do more
Planning can be a form of daydreaming because you spend a lot of time thinking about a situation and not much time accomplishing anything. It’s time stop dreaming and start doing!
- Have a schedule and stick to it. If you find yourself daydreaming, get up and leave the situation or do something productive.
- If you drift into a daydream, gently bring yourself back to what you were doing before your mind wandered. Try to be accepting and non-judgmental of yourself.