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how often do you daydream? is it beneficial for you?

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daydream

A daydream is a visionary fantasy experienced while awake, especially one of happy, pleasant thoughts, hopes, or ambitions.[1] There are so many different types of daydreaming that there is still no consensus definition amongst psychologists.[1] While daydreams may include fantasies about future scenarios or plans, reminiscences about past experiences, or vivid dream-like images, they are often connected with some type of emotion.

Eric Klinger's research in the 1980s showed that most daydreams are about ordinary, everyday events and help to remind us of mundane tasks. Klinger's research also showed that over 3/4 of workers in 'boring jobs,' such as lifeguards and truck drivers, use vivid daydreams to "ease the boredom" of their routine tasks. Klinger found that less than five percent of the workers' daydreams involved explicitly sexual thoughts and that violent daydreams were also uncommon.

I tend to drift off when I'm at work and I'm doing a task I'm unconsciously competent at.

Israeli high school students who scored high on the Daydreaming Scale of the IPI had more empathy than students who scored low. [2][3]

I'm not too sure what they mean by "more empathy", but from the sound of it I would prefer scoring low and not having any empathy.

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ADELAIDE: Our minds may wander during boring tasks because daydreaming is actually the brain's normal state, rather than a pointless distraction, according to a new U.S. study.
http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/980

How often do you find yourself in a daydream during the average day. Do you think it is a waste of time or beneficial, and why?

I wasn't really able to find any more detailed information on this topic.

Edit: I searched a little and found Tenure's topic on "developing a sense of life" http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.php?showtopic=9836

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It's not just thinking in general, it's about thinking about stuff I don't want to think about too. When you stand on a train platform, and you think how easy it would be to jump down and touch the third rail, or just jump in front of the train.
..

This happens to me all the time, completely wild and unnecessary thoughts which I would never act on (unless I want to be dead, in jail etc).

Edited by yoni
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Of course, context is important.

I tend to really "drift" when I daydream, so I can't do it while driving or I really will drift [into another lane]. But since this is obvious, I'll move on.

I daydream quite often. I can't really put a number-of-times-per-day out there.

Now that I think about it, I would consider daydreaming "analyzing how I feel about something" rather than active thinking (redundant term) which is based much more on reason.

More often than not, when I daydream it's usually about what I want or what I want to do. For example, lately I've been thinking about asking this girl I like out on a date. So, some of my daydreams consist of imagining what our date would be like. Other things I daydream about are what I'll do and have when I'm finished with undergrad and grad school.

I guess another way to look at daydreaming is a real passive form of thinking, mostly for emotional benefit; something like running a car on idle. Daydreaming about grad school doesn't get me there but it does make me feel better about staying up until 4 in the morning doing Laplace transforms of circuits.

During a boring task, where a small portion of our focus has to be dedicated to the task, say 40% (this is just a general estimate for the sake of example), it would make sense to fill in the rest with light daydreaming which would only use 60%; whereas deeper thinking (90-100%) would interfere with your task at hand. With this in mind, it would seem more efficient to daydream (or just do some light thinking) while doing a mundane task.

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I tend to daydream easily and a lot. But I'm in control of it. I can easily identify that I am doing it and prolong it or stop it. Daydreams often come without willing it. I have a great imagination. But I write fiction, so daydreaming is part of my job. I'll ask myself questions of what I want to write, and then a daydream will ensue, that necessarily must be interrupted with words, but can easily be re-started. Or something I will witness something interesting or something interesting will happen to me, and then it leads to a day dream, as something that would make for a good story. When you operate on the could be should be principle, daydreaming is inescapable. Naturalism does require daydreaming but it is too close to home. Even a Romantic, though, has to engage in 'Naturalistic' day dreaming.

I wonder when people daydreamed more--before movies and television and video games engulfed us since? Has such abundance of non-personally originating visual stimulation lessened our need to daydream and our ability do so easily? Or has it made our daydreaming abilities much more automatized? I don't know.

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I daydream constantly. I daydream about all sorts of things. Unlike the author's findings though, my daydreams frequenly are either violent or sexual (not both at once, thankfully, though one can lead into the other). But I also daydream about things that have happened, things that could have happened, what have you. I spend a lot of time daydreaming about alternate universes, like one of my alter egos in a story-scape. This is certainly useful for writing fiction. I don't tend to daydream much about my future or what I'm going to do. That's more often the subject of more straightforward consideration, full-on thoughts where I'm focus. My daydreams are more about drifting away, I think. I'm often accused of having my "head in the clouds" or being "absentminded", but I get great pleasure out of considering random possibilities and alternatives.

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I daydream all the time. Mostly when I listen to music I daydream that I am on stage performing that song because I can't seem to get an actual band together in this pissant town. Or a lot of the time I daydream that I am talking to someone because in reality I have nobody to talk to. I hate daydreaming because I know it isn't real and it seems so empty, but honestly if I didn't I think I would jump off a bridge or something.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I daydream a lot, especially if a long time has passed since I have done any writing. Generally I find myself immersed in my imagination when I am performing mundane tasks, or if I am surrounded by particularly boring or insufferable people. In elementary school, I would get into trouble with my teachers for daydreaming and completely ignoring what was going on in class. I daydreamed very often from grades 4 through 7 and was reprimanded on a weekly basis. It was the cause of my only discipline problems in school, I was otherwise a well-behaved kid.

Now I find myself daydreaming a couple of times a day, but I am usually able to carry on routine tasks while doing so. I find it to be a great way to play out scenarios in my mind, especially where potential story plots and character development are concerned.

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I used to daydream TOO MUCH. I remember being less than 6 and walking in circles on the sun, really concentrated, building an empire in my mind. When my father strucked me an innocent "what's going on?", I felt ashamed and could't explain it, not that I was demanded too. Ever since that time I've spent a lot of time daydreaming in front of a blank page or a map with a black pilot at hand. I would either build alternative history lines in my mind, sometimes then placing the new (or old) countries on the map; or buildings (hotels ad cruiseships mostly) then drawing each window, calculating the cost of each room planning locations or itineraries. I didnt write or draw everything I though of, it was more like a constant daydreaming, a parallel reality which I recognized wasn't real (that makes me sane) but somehow it gave me great shame.

As I grew older the daydreams did not disappear but I could devide them into "platonic" dreams: like me having the perfect life in the perfect universe and feasible daydreams, like future plans. The former I'm afraid are pathological, but I'm almoast rid of them, The latter I think they are an important way to focus your mind on long range goals.

I should clarify that we're talking about fully controlable dreams, not flashes of uncosciousness. Also interesting, when sleeping bad I can feel I control my dreams.

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