My favorite part of camping is sitting by the fire. When the logs crackle and orange flames flicker, I visit my pondering place. I love to daydream. I think of my daydreams as a kind of reality waiting for me in the future. Dreaming plants the seeds which will eventually grow to maturity and bear fruit.
Is dreaming a waste of time?
As a child, my teacher reprimanded me for looking out of the window during class. The outdoors seemed much more interesting than what was happening on the chalkboard. She tried to keep me from daydreaming by calling me up to the front of the room to work math problems in front of the class. I felt embarrassed. It seemed that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t stop daydreaming.
Scientists describe daydreaming as “short-term detachment from ones immediate surroundings.” Think of it as a pleasant mini-vacation from your immediate location. When you daydream you use your mind instead of brain. Far from being a waste of time, mind-wandering allows us to think differently. Recent research has shown that daydreaming can be useful.
Here are some benefits of mind-wandering:
People who daydream are happier because hope and anticipation are related to the practice of imagining the achievement of our goals.
Daydreaming lowers blood pressure due to less stress.
Letting our minds wander can promote our creativity and problem-solving abilities. (I don’t think my math teacher understood this one.)
Time spent in reflection can help us become more compassionate because we can contemplate what others are feeling.
Daydreaming improves our working memory.
What did King Solomon know?
King Solomon is considered one of the wisest men who ever lived. Proverbs 29:18 reminds us “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”
Although daydreaming isn’t one of God’s commandments, resting from our daily routine is. Resting provides an opportunity to let our brains function differently. When our brain is relaxing, we are free to allow our minds to create and problem solve in new ways.
There are many settings conducive to excellent daydreaming. What is your favorite place to dream?