This week’s thrive in five is about daydreaming to boost energy
This month we will be giving you five tips on how to get more energy into your day. The first tip is something that I haven’t talked much about, despite the fact I do it every day. It’s the idea of daydreaming, and how a magic minute of mind wandering can boost your energy levels.
Daydreaming: the good and the bad
Past studies have stated that a wandering mind is an unhappy mind. There’s a huge amount of pressure on us to stay focused and not get distracted by our thoughts. From an early age, daydreaming is discouraged as our full attention is required for essential learning. Therefore, it’s in our nature to feel stressed when our thoughts are turned away from the task in hand. More recently, however, science suggests that daydreaming can be extremely useful when done correctly.
What is pleasant daydreaming?
Though the research is young, it is clear that there’s a good and bad way to let your mind wander. Findings show that emotional content can predict your subsequent mood. An easy example of this would be how thinking about a loved one or looking forward to something that’s going to happen can make you happy, whereas rumination (replaying negative past experiences) can lead to feelings of depression. Often referred to as intentional daydreaming, thinking for pleasure encourages your brain to relax, helping you to decompress, and reducing levels of stress and anxiety. Pleasant daydreaming also increases productivity by promoting a more abstract thought process, enhancing your creative ability to “think outside the box” when problem-solving.
Learning to enjoy thinking
If I’m between calls, or waiting to start a meeting, I allow my eye drift over to the window, and I daydream. This takes me away from that screen for just a moment to think about something else. I call this a magic minute, a small opportunity for me to relax and refresh my brain. Though I’m not completely disconnected from the person I’m about to speak to, or my objectives for that call, it’s enough to give me that sliver of energy to enhance focus.
I want you to try it: look out of your window, observe what’s going on, be present in the moment. It may be once an hour, or just organically, whenever you’re in between tasks, or you realise you’ve got 10 minutes free. This is one small thing that is simple and easy to implement to inject more energy into your day.
You may enjoy my TEDx talk on why fitness if more important than fatness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SLP1BF7KBQ
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