Daydreaming is good for you! I found this article in the Boston Globe via a new blog on The New York Times website, called Ideas. The article is long and thorough and does a good job of explaining the science behind this great news. There’s a funny paragraph where a distinction is made between two kinds of daydreamers:
However, not all daydreams seem to inspire creativity. In his experiments, Schooler distinguishes between two types of daydreaming. The first type consists of people who notice they are daydreaming only when asked by the researcher. Even though they are told to press a button as soon as they realize their mind has started to wander, these people fail to press the button. The second type, in contrast, occurs when subjects catch themselves daydreaming during the experiment, without needing to be questioned. Schooler and colleagues found that individuals who are unaware of their own daydreaming while it’s happening don’t seem to exhibit increased creativity.
“The point is that it’s not enough to just daydream,” Schooler says. “Letting your mind drift off is the easy part. The hard part is maintaining enough awareness so that even when you start to daydream you can interrupt yourself and notice a creative insight.”
I’m happy to say that I usually snap out of it quite easily. Which has probably to do with another trait of mine – the trait of being easily distracted…