Does Daydreaming Help To Boost Creativity?
The mere act of daydreaming has been shown to be a valuable creative medium. Perhaps, more so than other natural states of mind. And who'd have guessed that? Daydreaming is an activity, that you indulge in without actually knowing there is anything to gain from it. The imaginative flights of daydreaming seem to have been similarly ignored, with few insights or insightful writing. But there is a lot to learn from daydreaming and the process of daydreaming.
Straying away from the daily rat race only to return with a new idea for the world can be a difficult thing to do, but there's a certain group of people who are able to take on a daydream and come out with new insights and inspirations.
Prepare yourself to be a bit surprised. It appears, that daydreaming might just help you in what it seems the most important part of making your ideas become tangible creativity. The idea is that when you daydream, you're using your imagination in a way that supports your "problem-solving" mode.
You don't actually do anything special to daydream; it's just you sitting in a comfortable place with a clear mind and letting your thoughts run free. You should probably close your eyes, but it's not like that really matters. You can just let your mind drift to wherever it wants to go.
You're basically just creating an environment for your mind to do its work. This is in contrast to the "active thinking" that most people do, which is focused, directed, and often times, a lot more chaotic.
This passive, relaxed state of mind is what you should daydream in. You can do it whenever you have free time and you should really dedicate more time to it. Just find a comfortable place to sit, relax and let your mind wonder.
When the daydreaming process is done right, you come away with a number of benefits. More so than most other ways of creating, there are a number of surprising benefits to be had. You can learn a lot, simply by daydreaming. It is a form of "quiet learning". You can also gain inspiration. Inspiration in the form of concepts, images, solutions and more. You can bring these elements together in unique ways to make something new. There are even psychological benefits.
By daydreaming, you reduce stress, you sharpen your memory and you become more emotionally stable. In this process, you are essentially using your mind like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. There's one other important thing to note. Daydreaming is a very individual process. Everyone's daydreaming process is different, but there are some common features, that all daydreaming processes share.
Many creative individuals credit their breakthroughs to some sort of creative "eureka" moment. A flash of inspiration so strong, that it completely changed the course of a person's life. While such a moment is a common sight in artists, scientists and other forms of creative expression, it is rather rare in the world of ideas. In fact, most people fail to have such a moment. They struggle for years before their breakthrough finally comes.
There is actually a decent amount of evidence to suggest just that. Artists and other creators tend to use their daydreaming state as a way to generate new ideas and find inspiration. Some also claim to have had "eureka" moments when they were daydreaming. The scientific community is still largely undecided on the actual nature of such moments. But there is a fair consensus, that the act of daydreaming can contribute to creative thinking in some way, shape, or form.
You might be thinking to yourself, that this all sounds like a lot of hogwash. Why would anyone spend time daydreaming about such a useless activity? Well, for one thing, you are wrong. For another, daydreaming really is a form of relaxation. You don't really have all that much to lose from giving it a go. So let's explore this topic further.
In order to explore the connections between daydreaming and creative thinking, we need to first define both.
Creative thinking is the process by which human beings distinguish between what is real and what is not. It is the process of innovation and discovery. It is the foundation of human advancement and progress.
In order to be creative, one must be willing to accept risk. New ideas cannot be protected by the status quo, nor can they be safely predicted. At the same time, they cannot be frivolous. There must be a balance between originality and conformity. In short, being creative is a matter of balancing risk and gain.
In contrast, daydreaming is a mental activity in which you place low value on risk. You have nothing to lose, so you try to maintain a logical consistency within your fantasies. As a result, daydreaming is often characterized by a lack of innovation. You simply recreate the same things, that you have already seen countless times.
For this reason, most people tend to daydream in an illogical way. They create fantastical and imaginary situations in order to escape from the monotony of their daily lives. Now that we have a better idea of what we're talking about, we can start exploring the connections between the two.
There are many ways in which creative thinking resembles daydreaming. Both are states of mind in which the rules and regulations of reality slip away. In the daydreaming state, there is no clear goal to be achieved. The goal is to escape from the real world as you have already experienced it.
For this reason, daydreaming is often very self-centered. You are the sole source of your own motivation. You create goals for yourself, you imagine their fulfillment and you will yourself towards that end. To daydream, you must be willing to lose track of time, to lose track of reality and to create an entirely fictional world in which you can be the most powerful being in the Universe.
Daydreaming also requires a certain lack of inhibition. If you have a clear goal in mind, you will not be as likely to daydream. Without a clear goal, you will be more likely to daydream. While both states of mind are similar, they are not the same. In fact, they often come together in interesting and unpredictable ways. A single idea can cross the boundaries between the daydreaming and creative states of mind.
The two moments when these boundaries are crossed are what I refer to as a "creative eureka" moment. If you're daydreaming, you might have an idea for a story or a song. If you are going into the creative state of mind, you might have an idea for a piece of art. But the crossing of the boundaries is not always pleasant.
Sometimes the "eureka" moment is a creative disaster. But more often than not, it is a mixture of the two. That is to say, the outcome is something different, than either moment would have been on its own.
Sometimes the creative output is amazing. Other times it is awful. But it always exists, because of the combination of both the daydreaming and the creative moment. If you are lucky, the results of your "eureka" moment might contribute to your breakthrough at some later date.