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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > No. 155 > Daydream believer

Daydream believer

As children, we are told daydreaming will hamper our success, but new studies are uncovering its value. Alex Fisher tries some serious staring into space

Clouds pass across the dappled sky and a gentle sun glows through my closed eyes. A breeze ripples over my skin. The sea below is just audible, a gentle shush… shush… made by waves rolling onto sand. It’s 8.30am on a Monday: back in the city, people are racing to work on trains, bikes and on foot. They are stuck in traffic jams, eating toast as they pull on coats, locking doors, checking phones, looking for change and sealing packed lunches in plastic containers. Not me. Today, the only task I have given myself is to daydream. Am I wasting my time?

As a child, I would spend many hours looking out of my bedroom window, the swaying trees in the garden an out of- focus backdrop for my wandering imagination. Where did I go? I don’t rightly remember, but I have a sense that worlds were built, emotions felt, personal dynamics acted out and the deepest themes and inspiration for my life sprang into existence there.

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