“Hey, you—quit daydreaming.”
Does this sound familiar?
If you answered yes, then you may suffer from daydreaming. But don’t consult a doctor, because you’re perfectly fine. In fact, you’re better than fine—you’re intelligent and have a strong capacity for memory.
According to a recent study published in the journal Psychological Science, a head stuck in the clouds is a sign of better memory retention, which subsequently is a sign of intelligence. Hear that slackers in the back? All hope isn’t lost.
The study tested several volunteers and assessed their basic memory capacity while performing other tasks. The study concluded that as long as the task at hand is not overwhelmingly difficult, people who have additional memory can let their mind drift, while still completing the task.
In other words, write down notes in class, daydream and get an A in class—I foresee no problems with that situation.
And doesn’t this relieve so much pressure? Gone are the days when you thought your daydreaming habits were detrimental to your education. Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life and—wait, you’re daydreaming right now, aren’t you?
Okay, I’m being a tad bit facetious because, realistically, constantly daydreaming during your classes is probably not the best way to succeed, or even pass. But daydreaming is just a way for our minds to escape the endless stresses of our daily lives, and it’s not a crime to dabble in a little daydream from time to time.
I’ll admit my mind has wandered off during class from time to time. But it always meanders back, usually a little less stressed and a little more determined to focus.
It’s been said we spend one third of our waking lives daydreaming. For me, that means I am spending a lot of my life fantasizing about Ryan Gosling, but that’s irrelevant. What is relevant is with so much time spent daydreaming, it would be a shame if it were merely unproductive.
Well, guess what? I’ve got even more good news. Apparently, daydreaming is also a way that we can solve complex problems. Areas of our brain, which were previously thought to be inactive during a daydream session, could actually be trying to come up with solutions to your daily conundrums. There are also apparently a lot of studies done on daydreams that I didn’t know about until yesterday.
But this theory is intriguing. I could potentially be figuring out all the complex issues in my life, while simultaneously avoiding thinking about said issues. Let’s apply this to real life—or at least let me tell you how it applies to my life, and then you can enthusiastically nod your head and say, “That totally happens to me too!”
I consistently find my best thinking occurs when I’m not actually thinking. My mind is at its happiest and becomes instantly flooded with ideas when I let it roam free.
Though, as a disclaimer, I don’t recommend devoting your entire mental capacity to fashioning far-off dreams during your final exams.
But for those who have been chastised in the past for being an absent-minded daydreamer, don’t beat yourself up, because you might actually be accomplishing more than you think—what’s that Ryan Gosling? Why yes, of course I’ll marry you. I thought you’d never ask.
Oh, sorry about that—I must have been daydreaming.