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Psychology Explains How Daydreaming Reduces Anxiety

Sometimes you need to get away from it all. Daydreaming is a great way to do this if you can’t physically escape. Fantasizing about something that makes you happy … well, it makes you happy.

Sometimes it can be taboo – it comes with the idea that you are wasting your time or are not efficient. However, it can be healthy for you and has other benefits. In this article, you will learn how to reduce anxiety.

What is daydreaming?

You probably already know that daydreaming is when you sit or lie down somewhere, stare into space, and imagine being somewhere else, doing something else, or being someone else. It’s where you fantasize about your wildest dreams. It is where you imagine a private alternative life in your head where you are enchanted and free from judgment.

This is a perfect description, but scientifically speaking it goes beyond that. Dr. Eric Klinger, a professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota, says that daydreaming helps reveal your goals, your innermost desires, and your fears. It’s safe to say that daydreaming helps you stay focused and mentally balanced.

Daydreams benefits

Having regular daydreams can offer you quite a few benefits in addition to those mentioned above. While the benefits are primarily related to mental and emotional health, improving these two can improve physical health. Some of these benefits include:

  • Decrease in stress
  • Improved memory
  • Better mood
  • Greater creativity
  • Improved performance and improved productivity

With all these benefits, it should come as no surprise that daydreaming is a great way to reduce anxiety. It is almost like a holistic and natural approach to improving health. As long as daydreaming doesn’t become a disruption to your life, it’s a great way to temporarily escape your stressors.

Disadvantages of daydreaming

There is a bit of controversy surrounding daydreams. While most psychologists agree that fantasizing about your desires has benefits, some say that daydreaming can do more harm than good. Some psychologists believe that daydreaming is indicative of mental illness.

Before you panic, be aware that these psychologists who believe that daydreaming is harmful to refer to people who daydream excessively. Dr. Lauren Cook, Ph.D., says that excessive daydreaming could be a sign of concentration difficulties, which occurs in many Mental illness. As long as you’re not getting distracted in the middle of important tasks, you should be fine.

There is also the problem of daydreaming about bad things. This is known as intrusive thoughts. You may dream of a loved one or of yourself dying or committing suicide. You may dream that some random disaster will strike or that you will contract some random deadly disease. According to psychologists, this is a sign of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

If you daydream in this regard, you need help. However, if they are harmless, they can be useful in your daily life.

How daydreaming reduces anxiety

In discussing how dreams reduce anxietyIt will be under the assumption that you are having good dreams, not intrusive thoughts. Because daydreaming and daydreaming offer so many mental health benefits, it’s no surprise that they ease anxiety. Here is some background on anxiety to help you understand why daydreaming helps relieve anxiety.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a natural response your body gives when it is stressed. It’s that feeling you have before a first date, at a job interview, or before an important test. You may sweat, have a fast heartbeat, and feel uncomfortable.

Anxiety gets a bad rap, but it isn’t necessarily a bad one. Anxiety was (and still can be) a survival mechanism that the human body developed to protect itself from danger. Causes a release of adrenaline that prepares you for the fight or flight scenario.

In ancient times, this was useful when humans were trying to survive in the wild, but the fight or flight response is not necessary for dating and interviews in modern times. Unfortunately, anxiety doesn’t know, so it’s still there.

Anxiety can sometimes be irritating and unpleasant, especially if you find yourself drenched in a bucket of sweat. However, whether it is good or bad depends on how often you feel anxious, how anxious you feel, and how you handle anxiety.

Anxiety versus anxiety disorder

There is anxiety and then there are anxiety disorders. A little bit of anxiety is fine, but when anxiety becomes debilitating, it can be called a disorder. While daydreaming helps people suffering from anxiety and anxiety disorders, it is more necessary for people suffering from disorders.

exist Many types of anxiety disorders:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Separation anxiety disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Phobias
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Illness anxiety disorder

According to the American Anxiety and Depression Association (ADAA), anxiety disorders are the major mental health illness In America. It affects 40 million adults in the US, but only about 37% of them receive treatment. Phobias are the leading anxiety disorder affecting Americans, while social anxiety disorder ranks second.

Even if a person suffers from a disorder rather than usual anxiety, it is easily treatable. Daydreaming is not a substitute for medical / professional treatment, but it does help.

Relieve anxiety with daydreaming

This section is the meat and potatoes of the article. Daydreaming can ease anxiety symptoms, as well as how often a person may experience anxiety. Here are the ways that daydreams do this.

1. It can make you happier.

Fantasizing about things that make you happy can actually make you happy even if those things aren’t real. Being happier helps reduce the effect stressors have on your psyche. The happier you are, the more things can “get out of you.” When you can shake things off so easily, they are less likely to make you anxious.

2. You will have a safe space.

Feeling safe is a basic human need, as indicated Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. According to Maslow, needs above safety (psychological and fulfillment) cannot be met until the need for safety is satisfied. As you can imagine, a person whose psychological needs are not being met will be at high risk for anxiety disorders.

Daydreaming is one way a person can create a safe space. This is extremely important for people who may feel like they don’t have a safe space in real life. While fantasies should never replace real life, it’s okay to retreat to a safe space until you can have one in real life. It is a survival mechanism that can help people get through the most difficult times.

3. You can let your creativity fly.

Many people have so many mixed thoughts and ideas in their brains. While these creative thoughts aren’t bad, having your brain constantly clogged with repeated thoughts and ideas can lead to stress and burnout. This can put a person at a higher risk for anxiety.

The best way to stop this is to get it all out. Daydreaming is a great way to let your imagination run wild without being judged. Not only will it clear your mind, but it can lead you to some of the best ideas you’ve ever come up with.

4. You can reveal things about yourself that you did not know.

Daydreaming is a bit like meditating, except that it is not clearing the mind. You’re letting it wander You would be surprised how much your unconscious mind has. When you are conscious, you may be blocking these unconscious thoughts, but letting your mind wander into a safe space that you have created can allow these unconscious thoughts to reveal themselves.

You may discover needs that are not being met, things in your work or life area that make you unhappy, problems that may be affecting your health, and more. Discovering these things allows you to fix them, leading to an environment and lifestyle less likely to trigger anxiety.

Final thoughts on daydreaming

There are so many opinions, both professional and amateur, about daydreaming. Some people say that daydreaming is good, while others think it is bad. Psychologists even say that it can indicate a mental illness.

The truth is, anything is bad for you if you do it too much. If you allow yourself to daydream about interfering with your daily functioning or if you replace reality with fantasy, then yes, it is a problem. However, if escape your fantasies For a time to get away from stress, having daydreams can be incredibly valuable.

As long as your daydreams are kept in check, it can be beneficial to your health. There is no debate as to whether it can help with anxiety or not, if it is done in small doses; it can be as relaxing as a massage. Plus, the other benefits you get from daydreaming make it even more worthwhile. Don’t be afraid to give it a try, it’s normal and most people are daydreaming anyway.


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