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day dreams

cant remember my dreams much lately, so thought i would ask a question while i am waiting for them to come back! What do others think about day dreams? sometimes i think they must be more connected to the unconscious than waking counsciousness. They seem to be something i lose myself in, not something i go into with awareness if that makes sense. I am wondering how much attention to pay to the thoughts and images that come up in my day dreams, and i guess how much investment of my energy they require, or should i just let them be. let them just kinda be an indulgence or an escape from my rationality. any insights?
edwina

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Re: day dreams

edwina,
The jury is still out on the importance of daydreams compared to those dreams we have while we sleep. More research is needed to determine the importance of daydreams. I personally think of daydreams as a combination of wishful thinking {or even fantasies} combined with a semi-conscious awareness of one's surroundings when they do day dream. Much like the twi-light zone where reality meets fantasy.

There are benefits from daydreaming. I personally enjoy them because they do let the mind take a break from the conscious world of stresses.
The following is what I believe is an excellent description of what we know about daydreams.

A daydream is a fantasy that a person has while awake, often about spontaneous and fanciful thoughts not connected to the person's immediate situation. There are so many different types of daydreaming that there is still no consensus definition amongst psychologists. While daydreams may include fantasies about future scenarios or plans, reminiscences about past experiences, or vivid dream-like images, they are often connected with some type of emotion.

Daydreaming may take the form of a train of thought, leading the daydreamer away from being aware of his or her immediate surroundings, and concentrating more and more on these new directions of thought. To an observer, they may appear to be affecting a blank stare into the distance, and only a sudden stimulus will startle the daydreamer out of their reverie.

While daydreaming has long been derided as a lazy, non-productive pastime, as can be seen in the use of the derogatory phrase "pipe dream," daydreaming can be constructive in some contexts. There are numerous examples of people in creative or artistic careers, such as composers, novelists, and filmmakers, developing new ideas through daydreaming. Similarly, research scientists, mathematicians, and physicists have developed new ideas by daydreaming about their subject areas.

Of course, excessive daydreaming may be bad for some individuals, such as severely depressed people who daydream about their shortcomings, thus miring themselves further in their depression. However, people who daydream more than average may have some psychological strengths, such as increased empathy. Some psychologists use the mental imagery created during their clients’ daydreaming to help gain insight into their mental state.

History
Daydreaming was long held in disrepute in the Western world and was associated with laziness. In the late 1800s, Sigmund Freud argued that some daydreams with grandiose fantasies are self-gratifying attempts at "wish fulfillment." Freud also called daydreaming infantile and neurotic. In the 1950s, some educational psychologists warned parents not to let their children daydream, for fear that the children may be sucked into "neurosis and even psychosis."

In the late 1960s, psychologist Jerome L. Singer of Yale University and psychologist John S. Antrobus of the City College of New York created a daydream questionnaire. The questionnaire, called the Imaginal Processes Inventory (IPI) has been used to investigate daydreams. Psychologists Leonard Giambra and George Huba used the IPI and found that daydreamers' imaginary images vary in three ways: how vivid or enjoyable the daydreams are, how many guilt- or fear-filled daydreams they have, and how "deeply" into the daydream people go.


Recent research
Eric Klinger's research in the 1980s showed that most daydreams are about ordinary, everyday events and help to remind us of mundane tasks. Klinger's research also showed that over 3/4 of workers in boring jobs, such as lifeguards and truck drivers, use vivid daydreams to "ease the boredom" of their routine tasks. Klinger found that less than five percent of the workers' daydreams involved explicitly sexual thoughts and that violent daydreams were also uncommon.

Israeli high school students who scored high on the daydreaming scale of the IPI had more empathy than students who scored low. Some psychologists, such as Los Angeles’ Joseph E. Shorr, use the mental imagery created during their clients’ daydreaming to help gain insight into their mental state and make diagnoses.

Gerard

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Re: day dreams

Thanx Gerard, That was helpfull info. I do think there is a whole scale of daydreaming experience. Sometimes they are very light, with alot of concious control, other times they are very deep with not much control at all- really like a waking dream. Anyway fortunatly i remembered a great dream last night full of metaphore that i will post later.
edwina

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