Daydreaming as Spiritual Practice?


Contributed by board member, The Rev. Philip Hardwick

“Everything you can imagine is real.” –Pablo Picasso

Where is the balance between imagination and fanciful daydreaming? Is there a place for fanciful daydreaming in your life?

Would you believe it if I told you that daydreaming has many benefits? It receives a bad rap from folks who want to keep it real and be productive. Some say daydreaming is a slacker’s activity. However, studies show that daydreaming helps to reduce stress, stir the imagination, and increase productivity. It allows the daydreamer to relax and take a mental break. In some cases, it is a lot like meditation and visualization.

Controlled daydreaming is also useful in conflict management and behavioral change. Have you ever replayed in your mind an argument or personal conflict that you had with someone? When I do, it helps me insert what I could have said or done instead. It gives me the opportunity to correct my behavior in my mind so that I can respond differently the next time a similar situation arises. Daydreaming about it also helps to uncover some hidden belief that was acting as law in my life; I have the opportunity to uncover, discover, and discard that belief since it no longer serves me.

So, Picasso had it right. And fanciful daydreaming is like my favorite icing on the cake.