Did you know your brain gets a workout every time your mind wanders?
A study using functional MRI’s, tracked the activity of the daydreaming mind. The scans showed that while in reverie, the brain operates in both default mode as well as in the complex problem-solving state called the “executive network”.
Interestingly, the mind engaged the executive network more when the participants were less conscious of their daydreams.
So while daydreaming can be relaxing, it is far from a passive experience.
Finding Solutions to Problems
Daydreaming helps us cope and make sense of our daily lives as well.
Dr. Immordino-Yang of the University of Southern California argues that daydreaming is essential to our emotional wellbeing. The daydreaming mind is introspective. It processes our learning and experience and contrives meaning from them.
Daydreaming can be self-protective as well, giving over to fantasy after difficult experiences.
And it brings out the creativity in us. One experiment featured in Psychological Science, led by Benjamin Baird and Jonathan Schooler of the University of California at Santa Barbara measured the ingenuity of the daydreaming mind. Participants were asked to take a creativity test. After a 12-minute rest, they continued with another test, revisiting questions from the first.
For the break period, some participants rested, others took a memory test, while the last group engaged in trivial work to elicit daydreaming.
The result? The participants, who were allowed to daydream on their break, demonstrated 40% more creativity, coming up with more innovative solutions to the problems given in the first round.
Most of us have probably experience this phenomenon. A name or thought will escape us. After a several minutes or hours, the thought will reveal itself in a moment of epiphany.
What Does This Have To Do With Weight Loss?
In our busy modern lives, we have little time for reflection. Bombarded with constant information, the average person is more disconnected from his thoughts than ever.
This disconnect is unhealthy for our minds and our bodies. To be really at peace, one has to be mindful of what’s going on inside one’s head.
Scientists have proven that 80% of our thoughts in the average day are negative. Not only do these thoughts wear us down emotionally, they prevent us from achieving our goals.
Our thoughts are who we are. They have a direct impact on how we feel and perceive our reality. If you are angry, it is because you are thinking of something that’s making you angry. The only way to control that emotion is to control the thought behind it.
If you want to achieve a goal like weight loss, than changing these negative thoughts is a must. If you don’t believe you can do it, you most likely won’t be able to.
Becoming conscious of your thoughts and taking time for reflection brings sanity to your life and can be crucial steps on the path to better health.
Try turning off the TV, computer and cell phone and engage in some good old-fashioned daydreaming the next time you have free time. Your mind and body will thank you for it.