Did you know that by daydreaming the unconscious mind is being quite useful?

Studies have proved that people spend between 30% and 47% of their day daydreaming. Jonah Lehrer posted for his New Yorker science blog, Frontal Cortex, an article in which he states that humans are incorrigible daydreamers but this useless activity is nothing but a useful one! How?

An experiment was given on a hundred and forty-five undergraduate students. They were given a test of creativity called the “unusual use” task. They had to list as many uses as possible for mundane objects such as toothpicks, bricks, and clothes hangers, in 2 minutes. When they finished, they took a twelve-minute break. Meanwhile, they were divided into groups to do one of the following things: rest in a quiet room, or perform a difficult short-term memory task, or do something extremely boring. After the break, they had a more creative test to do. The students who were assigned to the boring task (the daydreamers) came up with 41% more possibilities for the test than the other students. It seems that the more you daydream, the more you invent additional possibilities in your mind, because the unconscious minds ponder new ways to make new uses of any given task.

Lehrer wrote: “If this all sounds like scientific justification for afternoon naps, long showers, and Russian literature, you’re right. “We always assume that you get more done when you’re consciously paying attention to a problem” “That’s what it means, after all, to be ‘working on something.’ But this is often a mistake. If you’re trying to solve a complex problem, then you need to give yourself a real break, to let the mind incubate the problem all by itself. We shouldn’t be so afraid to actually take some time off.”

Apparently, daydreaming has been shown by psychologists and neuroscientists to be a great way to allow the brain to process complex thoughts and problems. It activates many areas of the brain, and sometimes additional areas are activated during times of intense focus and concentration. Not only will you be resting your mind and straying from reality, but you’ll be also training your mind to become more creative and productive!

Go ahead and daydream!

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