On new year’s day I set a goal to read a book each month of 2020 and to date I have already smashed my target by reading 17 books in a number of genres including autobiographies, spiritual and self-help books. I see reading as an important tool to extend my knowledge and in some cases challenge my pre-existing beliefs.
My latest good read was Bodypower, The secret of self-healing by Vernon Coleman, which was first published in 1994. It covers topics on how your body can heal itself, how your personality affects your health and how to relax your body and mind. It was in this chapter that I discovered a gem of inspiration.
It was no revelation to me to read that a stressful mind has a detrimental effect on the physical body and that this bombardment of constant information is responsible for stress related disease and symptoms. What inspired me was that Coleman promotes the practice of daydreaming to be a form of meditation.
“Daydreaming is a natural process and a natural method of escape and relaxation, which most us learn without training as we grew up in a world full of pressures”
Daydreaming is different from meditating in that when we daydream, we allow our mind to float along its own journey by moving, thinking and visualising whilst in meditation the emphasis is on abandoning our thoughts and striving for an inner stillness.
As children we naturally daydream, but this is often frowned upon by teachers and parents and whilst there is a time to pay attention and concentrate, there is also a time to disconnect.
According to psychologists, we spend up to half our mental activity on daydreams. They assist in realising our goals and aspirations. A primary function of daydreaming is to keep your life’s goals in front of you and rehearse new situations whilst scanning the past so that you are able to learn from them.
In the past I would never have considered myself to be a daydreamer, but I now have to admit that I do daydream and through visualising an event either in the past or the future I am able to create the outcome. I love to go to a special beach in Portugal, especially on a wet day. I can hear the crashing of the waves, the smell of salt in the air, the warmth of the sun on my sun and the warm soft sand under my feet. It immediately dispels any negativity or stress I am experiencing by replacing it with a more positive relaxed frame of mind.
There is one member of my family who spends many hours daydreaming, and he can daydream virtually anywhere, and at any time. He is always alert and hears a biscuit tin being opened when he’s more than thirty feet away.
If you are feeling stressed and under pressure, consider using daydreaming to take yourself to a different place and notice how your body starts to respond to a more relaxed frame of mind.
For more solutions on how to manage stress contact me.