Has your mind ever wandered, making you think of things different from the experience you’re currently having? Has it ever given you creative ideas?

Sometimes we can find creative solutions to our problems, which make reaching our goals easier.

In this article, two psychologists explored the different ways daydreaming can help us in our creative processes.

Insight: When we have an insight, the idea or solution comes to us out of nowhere.

Analytical Problem Solving : When we try to solve a problem, we consciously try to find a solution. In other words, we’re aware of each step we’re making.

Daydreaming has a different effect on each of these processes.

Positive-constructive: It’s full of pleasant thoughts and planning

Guilty-dysphoric: It’s full of unpleasant thoughts, like failure

Poor Attentional Control: It’s when we can’t focus on either internal or external events

Through 2 studies, they discovered that:

They found that the more our minds wander, the more we can solve problems using insight.

When we find a solution to reach our goals using insight, that part in our brain that blocks environmental input is activated, so we focus more on the task at hand.

When we focus more on ourselves during daydreaming, it’s more likely to experience creative insight.

Positive mood, in general, has a significant impact on creativity, because it makes us more intellectually flexible.

When we’re daydreaming, our imagination isn’t disturbed by our environment, and we think about our current goals.

Positive-constructive daydreaming makes us become more open to new experiences, which leads to creativity.

Daydreaming usually gets in the way of analytic thought. But if it’s deliberate and structured, it can help analytical problem solving.

When we set goals and plan ahead, we see some obstacles on our way, which can be solved with creative thinking.

Each person daydreams differently. We should try and see which way works best for us and our creative process- this way, we can benefit from the good effects of daydreaming.

Daydreaming isn’t the only tool we can use to focus more on our goals. Check out this practical tool to learn more about setting good goals and sticking to them!

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