Did you know that daydreams can have some big benefits?
I know we have all been told at some point to pick our chin up off of our palm, stop staring out the window and quit daydreaming!
Actually daydreaming is considered a very good thing indeed.
Scientific interest in daydreaming was kicked off about ten years ago when Marcus Raichle, a neurologist and professor with Washington University in St. Louis, discovered that several parts of the brain become unusually active metabolically when the brain is thought to be idling. His findings further showed that day daydreaming is the mind’s default mode… and that is not a bad thing.
Today researchers know that daydream content helps you map onto your mind everyday goals, aspirations and even apprehensions. For the average person, daydreaming typically represents a kind of mental rehearsal, maintaining the brain in a state of readiness to respond. As pioneering psychologist Jerome Singerpointed out, “You can engage in trial action without any consequences. Such fantasies may fulfill a psychic need.”
Another benefit of daydreaming is practicing the art of disengagement and visualization. These skills are quite valuable during times of stress and they are particularly valuable in athletic performance, such as marathon running, long distance swimming and other events that where it is an advantage to disengage from pain and stress and visualize success!
I am also available for phone consultations with athletes around the U.S. and in-person visits with athletes in Southern California.
Jack N. Singer, Ph.D.
Certified and Licensed Sport and Clinical Psychologist
Diplomate, National Institute of Sports Professionals, Division of Psychologists
Diplomate, American Academy of Behavioral Medicine
Certified Hypnotherapist, American Academy of Clinical Hypnosis