How to Stop DayDreaming

Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

Everybody daydreams. Under normal circumstances the habit is harmless. Daydreaming may be a way to pass time, escape into self-discovery or develop creative ideas. However, when the act interferes with daily functioning, the indulgence becomes a problem. Individuals must then make the effort to reduce the instances or eliminate the behavior completely. Consider the many ways in which you may gain control over your thought processes.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep helps the brain make sense of daily or life events. When people suffer from a lack of sufficient REM sleep, the brain malfunctions while awake. Individuals may find themselves drifting off unintentionally or at worst, experiencing hallucinations. Help the body prepare for restful sleep by getting physical activity during the day. Avoid caffeine or using stimulating electronics or other activities right before bedtime. Sleep in a comfortable bed with comfortable bedding in a darkened room void of noise or other distractions.

Stay Alert

During waking hours, use techniques that keep you fresh and energized. Open a window and get some fresh air. Indulge in a cup of coffee or tea. Listen to motivating instrumental music. In this way, you keep the creative right side of the brain busy while accomplishing boring tasks that cause the mind to aimlessly wander. Discipline yourself to listen to the world around you inside and out.

Stop Procrastinating

Most people have a list of tasks that need to be done at home and at work. Stop avoiding these issues and start crossing them off of the list. Engage your brain by setting a goal to complete a task daily or multiple chores throughout the week. Once completed, consider the accomplishment a victory. Reward yourself by doing something enjoyable.

Assert Yourself

Many people indulge in daydreaming as a means of considering ways to handle certain people or circumstances. If self-expression is a problem, think about finding a way to allow yourself the freedom to express your thoughts or feelings. Perhaps take up painting, start a journal or write a short story. These tactics actively engage both sides of the brain while encouraging creativity.

Get Physical

While participating in different types of physical activity, the mind tends to focus on the activity and the body's response to the circumstances. Choose an exercise or sport that prevents your mind from wandering and keeps you in the moment. Join a team sport, enter a competitive relay or any type of exercise where you have the chance to interact with other people.

Pay Attention

Chronic daydreaming stems from an inability to focus and pay attention. There are a variety of ways to train your brain to master these skills. Explore the Internet for brain training games. Game consoles and smartphone downloads are other options. You might also practice focusing on something for a specified amount of time. When you find yourself drifting off, bring your focus back to the present.

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