If you are like me, then daydreaming is an unconscious impulse.
I’m at my desk. My eyes glance at my to-do list, and then my pupils lose their focus.
I’m curled in bed with my crush. We’ve rented a cabin and are waking up as the morning sun creeps in. The view from our window shows a valley littered with sequoias…
I shake my head. I stop myself. I feel frustrated. Now is the time to work, not fantasize about a life that I don’t have…a life that (dishearteningly) feels more fulfilling than the one I’m living right now.
It’s time to stop interrupting your daydreams.
I used to do this all the time. No, not daydreaming.
I used to interrupt a fantasy the moment I felt myself getting carried away.
This was self-flagellation. Not only was I interrupting a pleasurable moment, but each time I caught myself indulging in a fantasy I felt a self-imposed wave of shame. I should have more self-discipline. I should enjoy my real life more than this fantasy.
I believed that my mind was betraying me. Showing me a life that I couldn’t live up to and making me feel unappreciative of the gifts I already had.
I thought it was normal to be in a tug-of-war between disciplining-the-mind and an “unruly imagination”.
Turns out, daydreaming is healthy. It is a way we connect to our sexuality and discover what we truly want from life.
And I gained this clarity through one simple exercise.
Instead of policing your fantasies, always allow them to unfold.
For the next seven days give yourself permission to indulge in each fantasy as it arises. See what happens when you let your fantasy unfold in your mind’s eye. Do not stop until the fantasy fades away organically, and your real-life comes back into focus.
At the end of each day write about how you felt. What fantasies came to mind? How did it feel to ride that wave until the waters of your mind became still? Where did your fantasy take you? At what point did your conscious mind wake back up? What happened when it did?
Three Reasons To Try This Exercise Right Now
Aside from the fact that this practice is free and involves little risk, it can also change your life significantly. At least, it changed mine.
(1) When I allowed myself to daydream, I became more present in my everyday life.
Upon completing this exercise, I felt like I had unlocked a secret weapon: a key to fulfillment and purpose.
First, I discovered that my daydreams usually last between 3–5 minutes. Sometimes, if I’m feeling particularly saucy, they can go on for about seven minutes.
That’s about as long as a smoker needs to finish a cigarette. If smokers can take several breaks during their workday, then there was no shame in me allowing “dreaming breaks” when I felt the itch to travel into the recesses of my mind.
Then I realized, by giving my subconscious fantasies the room they needed to arise and stimulate me, I was more present.
When we try to stifle our urges, they come out in other ways. This includes our imagination. Before this exercise, I had a hard time paying attention and listening. Being present felt unmasterable.
Once I let my mind indulge, I had no problem focusing, being present, or listening to others.
“Daydreaming not only boosts your creativity and problem-solving skills, but it also helps you concentrate and focus on a specific task. It helps your mind wander to thoughts and areas that it might not wander if you had not set aside time for daydreaming.” — Everyday Health
Just like a smoker takes five minutes off the clock light up. If a fantasy begins to unravel in your mind's eye, take a five-minute dream break.
Indulge in your emotions and trust in your desires. Then come back to your desk rejuvenated from the break and the fact that you just connected to your higher self.
What did you discover while you were traveling through your mind?
(2) Daydreaming made my thoughts more creative, unique, and independent from societal pressure.
We have all inherited ideas of how life is “supposed to be” and what will “make us happy”. These, broadly, boil down to getting the dream job, house, car, spouse, and posting photos of it all.
Basically, we are on a timeline to make our life look good on paper without being encouraged to think critically about this life we are building.
When you start to fantasize pay close attention to how your body reacts.
Our thoughts are explorers, traveling deeper into our minds and helping us make important discoveries.
I’ve gotten lost in daydreams only to realize I’m suddenly disturbed. My imagination took a turn down a street I was told I’d like…but it turns out this isn’t the life path I wanted.
While society doesn’t encourage us to question our life, goals, and the pursuit of happiness your fantasies do.
Your fantasies are all about you. What do you like? What don’t you like? What do you want to create more of?
Your body is responding to each stimulating moment of a daydream.
Pair your mind with your body and together you have a compass that is so clear you can persevere through any thunderstorm. Coming out of turbulent waters into a life that will actually satisfy you.
Do you know what happiness, arousal, and fulfillment feels like for you? If not, it’s time to daydream and find out.
(3) I stopped using my mind to “escape” my reality.
Raise your hand if you’ve had a reoccurring fantasy that started to depress you after a while. It might have begun as a daydream, but now it’s an escape. Each time you travel to this mental destination, you return to your real life more depressed than when you left it.
This was my reality for a long time. Fantasies were an escape and self-flagellation.
When I started saying yes to my fantasies I was scared. What if this exercise would make me feel even more sad and aimless?
Instead, giving myself permission to dream and just feel the fantasy had the opposite effect. Any power I had given to my “uncontrollable mind” evaporated. Gone was the tug-of-war. I had dropped the rope.
Which meant there was no way for me to lose or “be bad”.
When we give ourselves permission to indulge in something that previously caused us shame that negativity loses its power over us.
This was my experience after coming out of the closet, quitting my job to pursue my passion, and now proves to be true when I daydream.
If your mind tries to remind you to feel guilt or shame for indulging, literally tell yourself “no”.
Sometimes, it takes a firm no to make room for a life-changing, yes!
Diets don’t work. When we try to curb our hunger, we often end up binge eating and hating ourselves worse by the end of this cycle.
I find that the same phenomenon occurs with fantasies. When I tried to control my imagination, I’d have a small stint of success followed by a fantasy binge. Thus, my daydreams felt unhealthy.
If you are in love with a fantasy. The dream partner. The dream career. The dream anything. Give yourself seven days to indulge. Don’t interrupt when a fantasy starts, and when you are in your dream, allow yourself to explore everything that comes to the surface. Then, journal each night before bed.
After seven days of this practice check-in with yourself. Do you want to continue indulging, or were you happier before this exercise? There is no right answer.
I found daydreaming to be an incredible practice. When I followed my daydreams all the way through I made huge breakthroughs in my life, my beliefs, and what really will makes me happy.
I hope diving into your imagination brings you clarity too.
Nadège is a sexuality scholar and spiritual mentor who uses her knowledge to bring warmth to heavy topics. Stay up to date with all her empowering discoveries here.