What do you anticipate and daydream about today?
Maybe you responded, “Nothing!” While I get that, let me encourage you not to let the current unstableness of the world rob you of your dreams. Rather, I argue today is the perfect time to dream wildly.
Before your mind tries to change the channel, let’s think about this for a minute. 🙂
These days you may find your thoughts running wildly. And most of those thoughts may be of various negative scenarios. For those of us who’ve seen drastic reductions in income and work opportunities, daily concerns about paying the bills dominate. That focus increases stress and anxiety. While this may be the reality, increased tension doesn’t help our thoughts, emotions, or physical body.
Is it possible to flip the switch on your thoughts?
Yes, it is. It’s a scientific fact.
“It turns out that the same brain region stimulated during daydreaming and mind-wandering also lights up when we’re ruminating and worrying. The trick for most of us, though, is how to train our minds to wander without getting lost in fret, anxiety, or utter indolence,” says Jeffrey Davis.
Stop and remember what it felt like to daydream as a child.
Relive the smells and memories. Where are you in those memories? A favorite room? Chair? On your back in the grass? Up a tree? Now, what’s happening to your emotions? Do you sense your body relaxing? Did you start to smile? I did!
When you use daydreams and memories to recall positive experiences, you can lower stress and anxiety.
You free your mind to focus on something other than the current problem. And the cool thing is that when you allow your mind to ruminate on the issue for a time while doing a non-cognitive task, you often come up with creative solutions. This behind-the-scenes dreaming explains why we wake up in the middle of the night with an “aha” about a sticky problem or think of the perfect answer to a convoluted issue while showering.
Creative businesses use this concept to generate solutions and new products. It’s called brainstorming. I think now is a great time to add some of these unique daydreaming techniques to our homes.
Before you start to daydream, agree to these 5 ground rules.
- Money is not a factor.
- No idea is too wild or far-fetched. Think way outside the box, like so far outside you can’t see the box.
- No squashing someone’s idea.
- Turn off your logical side.
- Turn off all cell phones, TVs, computers, and game stations.
7 Directed Daydreams to Lift Your Spirits
If you have trouble getting into the spirit of this exercise, close your eyes. Picture yourself in your favorite spot. Breathe deeply until you feel your body relax.
Ready? Now unlock your free spirit and answer the following.
If you could:
- Be anything in the next five years, what would you be and why?
- Go anywhere in the world, where would you go? What draws you to that place?
- Patent an idea, what would it be?
- Change one thing in your life today; what would you change? How would that improve your life?
- Regain your sense of wonder. What do you need?
- Find your dream job or career; what would it be?
- Restore your broken marriage, how would you do that? What needs to happen?
During this directed daydreaming session, each person gets to answer these questions. Allow yourself to let go of all preconceived ideas. Enter into the spontaneity and fun. Dream audaciously.
When we feel trapped, stressed, overly tired, overwhelmed, or otherwise out of our known routine, we lose our ability to daydream and anticipate.
Life becomes a series of slogging through the mud to the next thing. Joy evaporates like water, dropped on a hot skillet. If you relate to color, your world turns gray. Yuck!
If the rift in your marriage gapes before you, you have the gift of time to find ways to work through the issues and heal. Don’t waste this time fighting or giving your spouse the silent treatment (a form of emotional abuse!). You have a phone, call someone to make a phone or a virtual appointment. If your spouse isn’t ready, that’s okay. You need help. Let’s chat.
It’s time to start dreaming again.
And, yes, I know the coronavirus has rocked our world. That’s why it’s more important than ever to dream. We need a sense of anticipation to overcome the doom and gloom. Our minds focus on something. Why not change its direction to something that brings joy?
I live in constant anticipation of good stuff. It’s not being “Pollyanna” about things, but most stories don’t have the ending we would give them right away. The better endings come later. Bob Goff
I hope today you’ll choose to live in anticipation of the good stuff. Yes, the world feels weird right now. Life, as we’re used to, has changed. Grieve the losses you’ve experienced. I am. Then, daydream new opportunities. If you can’t answer the when and how yet, that’s okay—dream about what’s possible. Look for solutions to your current issues.
As he explained to his disciples about his impending death, they didn’t get it. Some were probably frustrated with him, and others plain confused. They wanted quick, simple answers. They wanted him to take over the world and make it right the way they pictured it should look. But that wasn’t the way to save the world. Jesus knew as his disciples watched him be crucified and die, they would scatter out of fear for their lives. They would grieve and struggle to believe Jesus was the promised Messiah. But, as he promised the disciples, their mourning would turn to joy like that of a mother giving birth—what a vivid word picture.
Friends, in this world, we struggle.
That’s a fact of life. It’s what we do and learn from the struggle that changes us. Will you join me today to brainstorm solutions and future possibilities? Or will you stay frozen in fear?
It’s your choice.