Daydreaming is a normal part of the brain’s thought process. Even though humans have the power to initiate it, it usually happens on its own. A daydream is a stream of consciousness that focuses on inner thoughts instead of what’s currently happening. Have you found yourself zoning out more frequently during meetings or classes? Well, let’s learn a few interesting facts about daydreaming.

1. Some Parts of a Person’s Brain Switch Off When They Daydream

According to Professor Thomas Andrillon from the Paris Brain Institute, some parts of the human brain become dormant when daydreaming. He cited an individual’s slow reaction to stimuli when they are daydreaming as his proof. For example, a person daydreaming might not hear their name being called or may take some time to respond.

2. Boredom Triggers Daydreaming

Scientists have discovered a close connection between boredom and daydreaming. Think about it. When do you find yourself daydreaming? Probably when watching a boring movie or attending a class that doesn’t interest you. It is nearly impossible to daydream when focused on tasks such as working or worried about something.

3. There is a Daydreaming Disorder

Even though daydreaming is normal, it can sometimes turn into a disorder known as maladaptive daydreaming. It mostly happens when an individual daydreams for a longer duration than is considered normal. People with this condition often use it as an escape mechanism from unavoidable circumstances, such as trauma.

4. Doodling Can Prevent Daydreaming

Doodling refers to drawing pictures or words while thinking about something else. Even though it is mostly used to treat boredom, research shows doodling can also prevent a person’s mind from daydreaming.

5. Humans Spend 46.9% of Their Waking Hours Daydreaming

Harvard University conducted a study on more than 2,200 volunteers via iPhone. The participants were frequently asked about their thoughts and moods, even when working on serious tasks. This study concluded that the respondents spent 46.9% of their waking hours daydreaming, making it a prevalent phenomenon.

6. There is a Reason People Don’t Crash Their Cars While Driving and Daydreaming

On long drives, most people’s minds tend to wander off. But have you ever wondered why they don’t crash their cars while driving and daydreaming? Well, there is a part of our brain that acts as a sixth sense and makes us aware of distractions such as oncoming traffic. If anything, studies show you’re safer off daydreaming and driving than driving and texting. By the way, texting while driving is among the leading causes of car crashes.

7. Children Who Daydream Fall Behind at School

A study by Queen’s University in Belfast shows that students who daydream tend to fall behind at school as it reduces their memory recall abilities. Teachers and parents are encouraged to identify children whose minds easily wander off and look for ways of mitigating the problem.

8. Daydreams Can Last from Several Seconds to Hours

A typical daydream can last from a few seconds up to several hours. For people with maladaptive daydreaming, it can last up to 5 hours daily. In most cases, however, daydreams often last for a few seconds and occur several times within a day.

9. Daydreaming Declines When You Age

One interesting fact about daydreaming is that it declines gradually as we age. Most daydreams are about the future, so the more they step into it, the less they worry about it. Additionally, as time passes, many things become routine, making daydreaming less unlikely.

10. More Stress Equals More Daydreams

People react differently to stress; for some, daydreaming is their escape tool. If you daydream more than usual, take a step back and evaluate your stress levels.

11. Daydreaming isn’t Always Involuntarily

Human beings are actually responsible for letting their minds wander. Whenever you start drifting, you have the power to stop such thoughts instantly. However, most of us tend to let our minds wander because daydreams are often better than our actual lives.

12. Daydreaming Increases Dopamine Production in the Brain

Whether artistic, sexual, or romantic, daydreams often revolve around positive imaginations. As a result, this triggers the production of happy chemicals such as dopamine and oxytocin in the brain. This is why daydreamers are always in a good mood. However, you need to be careful with daydream-induced dopamine because the happiness you feel is often unreal.

13. Daydreamers are More Empathetic

Daydreamers can imagine someone’s scenario as their own. As a result, they tend to be more empathetic to others and the things they are going through in life.

14. Daydreaming Can Make A Person More Creative

For artists and musicians, daydreaming can be a source of creativity. However, it should be done with limitations as it can also be destructive.

15. Daydreaming Makes People Lose Track of What They Were Doing

The strangest thing about daydreaming is that it makes you forget what you were doing. This is why when you snap out of a daydream, it often takes long to recollect what you were doing, whether it was a class, meeting, or assignment.

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Last Update: May 1, 2024