How to use daydreaming to your advantage

People often think of daydreaming as a waste of mental resources. It turns out, letting your mind drift off can lead to profound benefits. Research suggests that your brain continues processing complex information as you daydream. It may even give you a clearer picture of what to do to overcome a problem in your personal or professional life.

Parents and teachers have scolded children for daydreaming for generations. However, daydreaming has an unfair reputation. A new study from the University of British Columbia found that brains are more active during a daydream than previously thought. The study found that brain activity continues in areas of the brain when your mind wanders.

Your brain is comprised of different regions that are responsible for different mental activities. For example, certain areas of the brain are responsible for complex problem-solving. Experts believed that these areas of the brain went dormant when you daydream. The latest research shows the opposite. These areas of the brain remain highly active during daydreaming.

The study involved placing subjects in an fMRI scanner. The subjects performed a simple task while researchers tracked their brain activity. The authors of the study point out that we spend up to a third of our waking lives daydreaming. They believe that this is an important cognitive state. Daydreaming may help you sort through your concerns and anxieties. You continue to use the brain’s “executive network” when your mind wanders. This executive network is used when solving complicated problems.


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If you struggle to find a solution to a complex problem, try letting your mind wander. The researchers also suggest switching to a simpler task. Performing a simple, mundane task can provide enough of a distraction to help your mind drift off. You can read more about the research from the University of British Columbia here.

So, the next time that you’re stumped, shut your mind off. Let yourself daydream. Letting your mind wander may help you find the solution you need. Unfortunately, daydreaming doesn’t come easy for everyone. If stress and anxiety keep your mind too busy to relax, try using NLP techniques. NLP and positive psychology offer several methods that promote relaxation and increased mental stamina. You can increase your resilience to negativity, making it easier to shut off your mind and daydream.

A common practice is mindfulness. This involves being fully present and aware of your surroundings and thoughts. Learning to override negativity with positivity is another area where NLP can help. NLP techniques such as cognitive reframing using NLP anchors help you recognise and challenge negative thoughts as they enter your mind. Instead of dwelling on the sources of your stress and anxiety, you can keep a clear mind.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia have shown that your brain remains active when you daydream, but what if you can’t relax your mind? Learn more about NLP for relaxation, stress relief, and anxiety relief with help from an experienced confidence coach. Explore my one-to-one coaching services and online courses at