When works gets increasingly busy and intense, when the longer hours creep in and you find yourself short on discretionary time, do you ever wonder whether you’d be healthier with a daily dose of daydreaming?
My daydreams are almost always derived from or related to my hobby of fantasy roleplaying games. I immerse myself in the thoughts and recent memories of my fantasy characters, or I allow my mind to wander the mysterious vistas of the Worlds I have created in my imagination.
On the one hand, you might argue that having a daily dose of immersion into a fantasy Otherworld would be positive because it allows you a break from mundane day-to-day reality. Picture being able to step into role as a fantastic character, or wander with our minds to some wondrous place even as we lightly consider ideas for a future game: would this not be a pleasant way to unwind at the end of a long day?
On the other hand, we generally have responsibilities and cannot simply lay them aside at our convenience. Some days the pressures of work require longer hours. If we have families, the children are not going to simply disappear to accommodate our pleasures. Surely, you might argue, we need to accept that there simply isn’t enough time in each day to indulge our fantasies.
But I can’t help wondering if a few minutes – and I am simply proposing 5 or 10 minutes – spent allowing our minds to wander and daydream into the fantastic realms we create wouldn’t lead to a better state of mind and wellbeing.
I know that, as a child, I would daydream. Often the adults around me – especially teachers but also my parents – would react negatively to this behaviour. I learned, as a consequence, that daydreaming was “bad”. But many studies into wellbeing seem to point to the idea that space for imagination improves mood. Time for wonder engenders creativity and can provoke awe or even joy.
At the end of the longest couple of days I’ve faced in many months, I am going to allow my mind to wander. If only for a few minutes, it seems to me that a little indulgence into my imagination will, in the end, prove richer.