108. Why do we day dream?


A day dream is a visual fantasy experienced by us, while we are wide awake. Usually it is based on pleasant and happy thoughts, hopes and ambitions, plans for the future or memories of the past. A series of thoughts transport us from the present to a day dream. We sit staring into a distance with blank eyes while the mind is absorbed in the day dream.

Surveys have proved that even ordinary men and women (who are down to earth and practical) spend a large part of their waking hours in some sort of a fantasy, revere or day dream. They spend 11% or more of their waking hours in day dreaming.

Even persons who are engaged in important tasks, which demand all their attention, are found to indulge in day dreams. These are the moments they stop paying attention to what they do and enter an inner theatre of imagination, for the fulfillment of a wish. The work may go on mechanically due to constant practice but the mind is else where.

Sustained fantasies are clearer than dream since we are wide awake. They are longer, more coherent, more colourful and more accurate. All fantasies seem to have a healing and creative power. It may be a way of coping with our deep seated fears and anxieties.

Day dreaming might be considered by some skeptics as a waste of time or as a past time of the lazy people. But creative people such as novelists, film makers and composers get brilliant ideas when they day dream.

Research scientists, mathematicians, and physicists develop new concepts and find new solutions to old problems when they day dream. When a person day dreams, his normal inhibitions are by-passed.

For hard core criminals, this provides a mental theatre to plan and rehearse a crime, before they actually commit it. The evidences lay in the horror filled biographies of the infamous serial killers. They claim to have had frequently recurring violent fantasies-before actually turning to murder.

Day dreaming is a rare boon indeed! We should know how to make the best of that boon for creation and not for destruction.

Visalakshi Ramani

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