In James Thurber’s short story, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, Mitty is the passive and ordinary man who leads a mundane and boring existence.
Mitty’s disposition is a reflection of the life for many individuals. Teeming with dissatisfaction with his life, his marriage and the way he gets treated by others, Mitty goes into daydreaming mode to become extraordinary.
Through daydreaming, Mitty relies on his amazing journeys into a land of fantasy as he indulges in adventures after adventures, each one more unbelievable than the previous one.
The state experienced by a daydreamer is one that is pure escapist fantasy. Fantasy that is dreamlike, but while fully awake. Daydreams are reflections of unfulfilled desires and hopes.
Why is daydreaming important you may ask? Will it not waste time?
The answer would be a “yes” to its significance in our life and a “no” if it does affect our daily responsibilities and chores.
In our regular daily regulated life, by only accomplishing our tasks of the day, we do not become creative through focus alone. This is one of the reasons why children are fantastic in their ability to be creative. With their shorter attention span when compared to adults, they are able to switch into daydreaming mode as easily as they are able to get back to reality.
Our long term goals, finding a solution to a challenging situation all need to be thought of when the mind is free and not in a whirlpool of thoughts that require immediate attention. This is also one of the reasons why creative thoughts occur while doing a task that may not need your complete concentration, eg: while you are going for your morning walk.
In life, while focus is important in enabling us to succeed, daydreaming is a process that plays a role all on its own. It can be described as a journey that can never be dull or predictable.
Our daydreams help us to introspect and many a time mirror solutions to unanswered questions. It is also an activity that spurs our creativity and helps seek creative answers to some questions.
There may be many instances that we find ourselves engaged in one activity, eg: driving, but we are immersed in a day dream till we realise we have reached the gate of our home. The process of daydreaming is one that encourages our ability to multitask.
With our constant involvement of daily activities and the interruptions of the flowing thoughts, daydreaming gives an infinite number of ways to help us effectively tackle distractions from the environment .
Life Enhancement through Daydreaming
Our private or personal life can be enhanced through positive daydreaming. Positive daydreaming is all about thinking about happy situations with loved ones. Situations that are enjoyable and fun. For eg: as parents who have college going children, their eagerly awaited visits may have the parents go into states of daydreaming about the joy the children will bring when they visit home again.
Reminiscing about our past, the present and the future creates a sense of connectivity with our existence and our identity. The future is a prospect that daydreaming tends to focus the most on. Our focus on the future results of the decisions we make, events we look forward to or dread, life changing moments all give enough fodder for a daydreaming trip.
Daydreaming is known to help us unconsciously prepare for the probable “visualized” future experiences.
Daydreaming as a Form of Meditation
Our desire to unwind and feel rested is satiated to an extent by daydreaming.
Room fragrances, aromatic incense, soothing music, the sounds of water trickling into a pool or chirping birds can all help you to “travel” to a dream in an awakened state that would be relaxing. Should you be pining for that long overdue camping trip with friends, the sound of crackling plastic chocolate wrapper is one that could induce the visualization of a crackling fire in a forest campsite!
The positive affect of daydreaming can be likened to the effect of undergoing meditation. While you let go of the stress of the moment by flying off to fantasy world, you experience temperory serenity and reduction in anxiety.
Daydreaming as a Visualization to Success
Daydreaming about a situation that causes undue anxiety such as flying can help the person to an extent by mentally preparing him for the task ahead through visualizing the success of the experience. The obvious subtle connection between daydreaming and hypnotherapy exists, but for few critical factors.
The process of being under hypnosis in a hypnotherapy session is one that is guided by a hypnotherapist and the purpose is made with intent.
Hypnotherapy is also a state that is induced through the positive suggestions given by hypnotherapist for a beneficial change.
Daydreaming is a state that a person travels to on their own accord without guidance or support from anyone.
We are often suggested to visualize our success and most often than than not, daydreams indeed convey what we aspire to be, where we aspire to reach and our achievement of goals. It lays great emphasis on visualizing.
Our wish to be successful, our desire to be attributed with leadership qualities, attachments, fears, phobias, effective communication abilities, dislikes and altruistic motives are all some of the factors that affect our daydreams.
A Daydream can be a powerful tool that helps us to affirm at a subconscious level what dreams we need to pursue and what we need to let go of.