Daydream your worries away

Daydreaming is a great way to fight stress. In fact, living with your head in the clouds can help you keep your feet on the ground.
Do you remember how it felt to be stuck in a stuffy classroom on a beautiful June afternoon? Perhaps the teacher was explaining the intricacies of the Peloponnesian Wars but your mind was a million miles away. All you had to do was glance out the window and stare at the clouds to be transported into a realm where anything was possible.
As we grow up we train ourselves not to let the mind wander. We need to stick to the task. You can’t be scatter-brained if you are working with heavy machinery. You certainly want to pay attention if you are driving a vehicle. (Although there are times when I have been on “autopilot” and can’t remember how I got from Point A to Point B. Frightening!)
But when it is safe to do so, daydreaming can be a great way to take a mini-vacation in your mind. Like a vacation, daydreaming might help to keep you healthy.
You might start by remembering something pleasant from your childhood. Where did you feel the happiest? What made you feel excited and alive?
I have a wonderful memory of playing with my brother and sister on the grassy banks of a creek on our farm. We stamped down brome grass to make “rooms” beneath the willows. It was a great place to read and nap on a warm afternoon. Until this day, the memory of sunlight flickering through the leaves … golden and green…instantly erases the furrows in my forehead. When I think of that space I can smell the trees and grass, hear the buzzing of insects and experience the comfort of an experience shared with my siblings. Although the phrase has become trite… that memory is my “special place” in my mind.
Daydreaming can be more than memories; it can be a new story you tell yourself. Perhaps you see shapes in the clouds. Then the clouds shift and your mind concocts a story about what you are seeing. Soon the clouds carry your mind away and your body is totally relaxed.
Children are masters of daydreaming. They appear to be less rooted in “reality” than adults. But are dreams less real than the world we can quantify? If daydreaming helps us cope with the stresses of the real world, isn’t it real too?