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Daydream your way to creativity

My mother tells me that when my brother was in elementary school, she would come home from teacher conferences in tears because she didn’t get a good report from my brother’s teacher. Apparently, my brother wasn’t paying attention in class. He was staring out the window. He was daydreaming.

As it turns out, daydreaming can be a creativity tool. And it has other benefits too. It can relieve stress and lower blood pressure.

Have you ever noticed that when you’re trying really hard to think of how to fix something or move forward in your writing, you just get more stuck and stressed out? Then when you give up and go on to something else, just let your mind drift, the solution pops into your brain? (This works when you’ve lost something too and are trying too hard to remember where you left it).

The part of our brain that handles analytical and decision making tasks seems to work better when we’re daydreaming.

My friend has a favorite painting he likes to look at and imagine he’s in the scene. When he wants to give his brain a break from work, he takes a few moments and “goes in” to the picture. Here are a few more ways to go into daydreaming mode:

Go outside. Either go for a stroll around your neighborhood or a park or sit outside and let your mind drift.  Pick something to think about like a fun vacation you’ve taken or happy experience.

Do breathing exercises. Sometimes in the stress of regular life, we forget to breathe deeply. Stretch out on your bed or sit in a comfy chair and focus on breathing deeply. It has a way of relieving tension in your body. Then let your mind drift.

Use your imagination. Speaking of letting your mind drift, imagine something relaxing. I like to picture myself out on a boat in a lake. I think of the feel of the sun on my face and the rocking of the boat in the water.

Turn your phone off. If you have to wait in the doctor’s office or you’re taking the train or bus to school or work, use the time to daydream instead of checking for email or sending texts. You may be surprised at how refreshed you feel at the end of the journey.

Read this article for more information about daydreaming.

Here’s a link to research about daydreaming.

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