With around 60,000 to 70,000 thoughts every day, have you ever wondered what you think about most of the time? Moreover, are you truly using the power of daydreaming, letting your mind wander, or are your thoughts predominantly the same ones as yesterday? Are they positive and towards what you want? Or, do they keep you stuck in a spiral of sameness, or worse still, negativity?
If you don’t know, it’s worth thinking about for a moment. Your thoughts, just like your behaviour, can become habits. Thoughts can help or hinder your life. Furthermore, we spend much of our time thinking. Moreover, it seems we cannot go longer than about three seconds without a thought popping up into our busy head.
Our brains use a massive amount of energy and need a rest from time to time
Additionally, when we think while working, our brain consumes large amounts of energy. What this means is, the neurochemicals associated with thought become depleted. When this happens, we lose focus, productivity falls, and we are less creative. Even worse, we get stuck trying to work something out, literally ‘doing our head in.’ We desperately try to find the solution to our current problem or challenge to no avail. Unfortunately, our overthinking pattern creates stress hormones which stop our creative abilities and clouds our capacity to think clearly.
Finally, we lose impetus for our project and our attention is hijacked by more pleasurable tasks and seemingly random activities. This includes, scrolling on social media, surfing emails with no fixed agenda or moving location in the search of something to eat or drink.
It’s important therefore to find effective ways to give our brain and mind a break. This is exactly where the hidden power of daydreaming can be helpful. However, first, let’s look at the power of our thoughts and why they play such a vital part in our success, productivity, creative skills and our mental and physical health.
Our brains needs a rest and this is where the power of daydreaming comes in
The science of epigenetic shows us that our thoughts control our biology, which means, simply thinking about something can cause your brain to change through the waves of energy that are generated.
We all have the ability to think, feel and choose our thoughts and beliefs, which make up our attitude, our mindset. Furthermore, this means your mindset is possibly your most powerful tool. Moreover, learning how to harness the power of your mind, especially your subconscious mind, is a critical skill to develop. In addition, harnessing your mind power can take you forward to living the life of your dreams and aspirations. Contrast to this, it can hold you back, anchoring you to your past and away from living the life you want.
A thought is not only a thing; a thought is a thing that influences other things.’Lynne McTaggart
Use the power of daydreaming to focus on someone you love for improving brain health
Simply by thinking about someone you love, can cause structural changes in an area of the brain called the caudate nucleus. Structural changes that are beneficial to your brain and mental wellbeing. However, the opposite can occur. Too much stress and thinking about a stressful event can exacerbate anxiety and worry.
Furthermore, evidence is available suggesting that controlling one’s inner thought life and detoxing the mind is a preventative against Alzheimer’s. And if that doesn’t encourage you to look after your mental health, I don’t know what will.
Accordingly, your mindset holds great power and can fuel your success or freeze your forward progress. Moreover, it forms your attitude and shapes your significance and meaning in life. Specifically, your clusters of thoughts with attached information and emotions generate your particular perception or view of life. They can be positive, negative, good, bad, optimistic or pessimistic.
Switch off your brain and take time alone with you and your thoughts
To rest your busy head and look after your brain and mind health, you need to stop actively thinking. To cope with the demands of life, our minds and brains need to internally ‘reboot’ which can only happen when we are alone with our thoughts. It’s critical to have downtime to function optimally.
We literally need to switch off all external stimuli, giving our thoughts some quality ‘me time,’ to harness the power of daydreaming. Contrary to what many people believe, the mind does not grind to a halt when we are doing nothing. Creative thinking, spontaneous thought and mind wandering occurs when thoughts are relatively free from focused thinking.
Neuroscience Researcher. Mark Waldman, says:
“Daydreaming and mind wandering are essential for learning and maintaining a healthy brain. When you take a couple of “daydreaming” breaks each hour, simply close your eyes and let your thoughts and feelings wander to wherever they want to go, after a minute or two you will feel refreshed.”
This form of ‘mindlessness,’ using the power of daydreaming, is an essential process for encoding new information into long-term memory. Furthermore, it also stimulates the creativity circuits in your frontal lobes. Finally, creativity is a key skill for leaders and business owners to develop.
Dr. Jonathan Schooler, a researcher at the University of Santa Barbara in California’s department of psychological and brain sciences, says:
“Mind wandering seems to be very useful for planning and creative thought.”
The Power of Daydreaming can also help manage anxiety
There are other benefits to the power of daydreaming or mind wandering. According to Harvard University’s Medical School health blog, “Mind wandering can help manage anxiety.” Like meditation or restful activities, the power of daydreaming acts as a natural remedy to alleviate stress and anxiety.
So, take some time today to let your mind wander. Use the hidden power of daydreaming to your advantage. When you get stuck in your head and cannot solve a problem, check out for a few minutes. Change environments and use the power of daydreaming to come up with solutions to refresh your perspective. Just as athletes use purposeful, deliberate practice to achieve their goals, you can use purposeful deliberate thinking to assist you.
Take frequent breaks and allow your mind to wander and harness its wonderful imagination
Remember to include exercise to refresh your brain and improve your creativity. Take some walks outside. Enjoy being present in nature with no specific thinking agenda. Soak up the simple beauty of the environment and enjoy the sights around you as you allow your mind to wander. Importantly, when you have one of those eureka moments or an insight, which rarely occurs at your desk anyway, make sure you capture it.
Write it down before it is gone forever. Einstein cites the power of daydreaming, or what he calls, ‘Gedankenexperimente,’ ideas that he twirled around in his head as crucial in his steps to discover the theory of relativity. Our imaginations really are powerful tools for creating magnificent things and achieving our dreams and goals. Furthermore, athletes use mental rehearsal and visualisation in the pursuit of their goals with great success.
Letting our thoughts drift can actually help us solve problems when focusing on them does not work.
In the next article, I will take this one step further by suggesting a powerful second skill to develop. A skill to develop and make into a habit, especially if you are someone who is prone to negative thinking or toxic, ruminating thoughts.
About the Author
Mandy Napier is a Global High Performance Mindset Coach. who is dedicated to supporting high achievers fulfil their potential and achieve extraordinary results professionally and personally. Transformations are the norm, and results guaranteed.
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