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Topic: Excessive daydreaming

7 posts, 0 answered
  1. Susanna4568
    Susanna4568 avatar
    13 posts
    22 April 2021

    Hi everyone! I'm still relatively new to these threads so I'm sorry if I break any forum rules :/ (I also wasn't sure what section to post in)

    I started seeing a therapist last year after dealing with anxiety, intrusive thoughts and OCD. A lot of this was caused, or at least worsened, by me being quite isolated due to COVID (I'm no longer isolated). My anxiety/intrusive thoughts have improved and I'm no longer seeing my psychologist.

    I've always been someone who has daydreamed a lot. I had a vivid imagination as a kid and I think I daydreamed just for fun. However, since my decline in my mental health last year, I have noticed a huge increase in my daydreaming. It has only been recently I've recognised how much it impacts my life; I can do it for hours at a time.

    I feel as though I'm almost addicted to it, and it is definitely a form of escapism. My life almost feels boring without it which then in turn makes me feel sad/depressed. I also kinda feel guilty when I do it, as I do have a close family and who I like spending time with, but I just cant help but daydream almost all the time.

    Even though I somewhat enjoy the daydreaming when I'm actually doing it, it feels unhealthy and I feel like it is starting to take over my life. I worry that I will lose my grip on reality because of it, which makes me anxious.

    I guess I would like some advice/any opinions on this? I am hoping to return to my therapist again to talk about it with them too. Thank you :)

  2. geoff
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    geoff avatar
    15268 posts
    23 April 2021 in reply to Susanna4568

    Hello Susanna, and welcome to the site.

    For some people anxiety can cause OCD, I have had it for a long time, and this illness can cause 'intrusive thoughts', so if you are able to search this in your browser or alternatively type it in the search bar at the top of this page then it will open an enormous web concerning this topic.

    These thoughts are able to come and go, depending on the particular situation you're in and your psychologist will be able to help you with these.

    Please let us know what you think.

    Geoff.

  3. therising
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    2172 posts
    23 April 2021 in reply to Susanna4568

    Hi Susanna

    So glad to hear your mental health's improved so much for you. Sounds life changing which must feel so liberating.

    With the daydreaming, I've found there can definitely be many pros yet also some cons to this, which I'm sure you can relate to. Personally, I'm a massive daydreamer and my 15yo son has inherited his mum's trait. At the moment I have him seeing a neuropsychologist, because things have gotten a little out of control (yes, partly due to the influences of COVID lock down last year). As our GP initially touched on - While we're exercising this part of the brain mostly, we're not exercising the mental processing part enough at times. What can come about is an imbalance that can make it difficult to concentrate, mentally process things and so on.

    The up side of being a daydreamer...hang on, let me rephrase that. The up side of being someone who can go into a state of meditation at the drop of a hat is...they have a natural ability to tune out from potential stress, the ability to trigger the parasympathetic nervous system (the opposing system to our fight or flight one), the ability to tap into the imagination with no effort etc, etc. It's such a shame we're not taught how to daydream constructively when we're little.

    Personally, I've found there's some art to daydreaming. Give a couple of examples

    • Half in/half out: When a friend's explaining to you a confrontation they had with someone, you can be hearing what they're saying while meditating deeply on the imagery, regarding how it may have played out. In your imagination, you may see something they didn't. Perhaps, in your mind, you imagine the other person becoming more and more agitated. You might then ask your friend 'Could you see the other person was gradually becoming more agitated?' Your friend may say 'Actually, yeah, I can see that now. They were'.
    • Daydreaming/meditating on a challenge: You may be sitting there thinking 'I don't know what to do in this situation, I'm completely lost', before going into a state of daydreaming. You're not thinking, when suddenly what comes to mind is the solution. It either comes as an image of what you need to do or you might hear, in your mind, what you need to do next. Daydreaming can be a channel for inspiration

    There are so many famous daydreamers in history. They're typically visionary leaders, inventors, composers, entrepreneurs and so on. Strong in channeling into natural inspiration and intuition, they also practiced balance.

    :)

    2 people found this helpful
  4. therising
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    2172 posts
    23 April 2021 in reply to Susanna4568

    Hi Susanna

    Forgot to add that it can be incredibly hard at times for me to snap myself out of daydreaming. Sometimes it becomes trance-like and addictive. If it's any help, when this happens what comes to mind may be 'Get up' (out of the chair) and get moving. I have to pay attention to this and take action or else I can stay daydreaming for ages. I may not want to get up but I know I have to. If it makes any sense, getting up actually grounds me out of daydreaming. Kinda like if daydreaming is a channel for relaxation, getting up is what 'changes the channel', so to speak.

    :)

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Petal22
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    Petal22 avatar
    1311 posts
    25 April 2021 in reply to Susanna4568

    Hi Susanna4568,

    That’s great you are seeing your therapist to talk about this.

    I had severe OCD but have now recovered....

    I once you to live in my head a little too much...... I did OCD therapy and learned many strategies for living in the present moment....

    I now focus on living in the present moment......

    when I feel myself in my head I gently bring myself out and focus on the present moment eg..... what I am doing......

    I found attention training extremely helpful for this 😊

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Susanna4568
    Susanna4568 avatar
    13 posts
    12 May 2021 in reply to Petal22

    Hi Petal22, thank you so much for your response!

    I will certainly have a look into attention training for this as I definitely struggle with being engaged with the present moment. I think it might be related to my OCD and overthinking so I will mention this to my psychologist.

    Thank you once again!

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Susanna4568
    Susanna4568 avatar
    13 posts
    12 May 2021 in reply to therising

    Hi therising!

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I found your reply very informative and helpful, especially the mental processing and meditation aspect of daydreaming as I have never had someone explain this to me before. Thank you for also suggesting getting up and moving around as I have found this beneficial to help ground me and 'get me out' of my daydreaming; I love your analogy of 'changing the channel'.

    Thank you once again for your response! :)

    1 person found this helpful

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