The Houdini in You


maybe she is dreaming of better days? --- than...
Daydreaming

Okay so whenever I’m  running, I find myself experiencing brief bursts of imaginative interplay where my mind disengages from the painful experience of running through the treacherous trails. I daydream when I run. It helps tune out those aches and pains defying the task at hand. My day dreams vary from work related to random fantasies like finally telling my one irritating friend what I really think.

This is the Houdini moment. We all do it. When, despite herculean efforts to participate in the present moment, our minds latch onto an experience,  tenaciously holding on, fantasizing and speculating on whatever scenario if fancies. It happens every where, in meetings, in the shower, even when driving.

I fancy myself to be a participant of the present moment. But time and time again I find myself at that crucial moment. That fork on the road of the present and the road of fantasy. And I have to decide whether its worth it to stick it out and focus on whatever is going on, or give in and engage in whatever little mini movie my mind wants to generate.

Daydreaming is a form of fantasy and according to Sigmund Freud was once considered a form of laziness. Thankfully, science has come a long way and today we find that it has some use in our lives. Eric Klinger, a scientist who performed extensive research in the 80’s on daydreaming found that the mind chose to daydream as a means to cope with the daily humdrum of life. He also found that people who daydreamed about their jobs often found solutions to problems they were having. And in another study, students in Israel who scored high on their day dream chart also had more empathy than those who scored low on their daydream charts.What was even more interesting is that studies show that people rarely have violent daydreams.

So what does all this tell us?

Daydreaming is not all that bad. Just be careful when you choose to engage in your Houdini moment. When you mentally disappear from the present. You have the power to choose when you daydream and what you daydreamed about.

Its like chocolate. It’s good for you in the right dose at the right time.

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