I don’t think there is a person in this world who has not had their illusions. We all have a tendency to go blank or daydream about our future or the things we would like to do.
According to the researchers, we spend between 10 and 20 percent of our time absorbed in illusions and imagination. Those around us might say that we are spaced out, bored, that we are not interested in the topic of a discussion or the activity we are doing at the time, and in some cases, we run the risk of being classified as emotionally unstable.
Why does delusional thinking occur and how does it benefit us?
We daydream because we may encounter some difficulties in real life or we cannot cope with stress, and as such, we find refuge in imagination, which makes us “go blank ” in front of others. Illusions are a form of escapism that can help us build our goals, strategies or find solutions to various problems.
Therefore, brain activity does not decrease during wishful thinking and daydreaming, as others may believe. On the contrary, cognitive processes become more intense, which means that we focus more on problems or goals. This leads us to a clearer understanding of the steps to take as we motivate ourselves.
In fact, it is even recommended that we allow ourselves to daydream at work, say British researchers from the University of Lancashire cited by the Daily Mail. Their recently published study indicates that daydreaming helps us be more creative and find solutions to our problems more easily.
In addition, illusions help us regulate our emotions, making us more empathetic and patient. But there are also negative consequences of delusional thinking.
There is not much scientific data on the advantages and disadvantages of illusions because it is a phenomenon that until now has not been studied very thoroughly.
How do I know if daydreaming is affecting me?
How often it is normal to fall into imaginary scenarios per day is not exactly known, but a warning sign should be given when we come to build an alternative life in our minds.
Imaginary lives can profoundly affect our professional and personal lives. We can no longer see the difference between realistic and unrealistic plans, we can be more easily affected by people’s behavior due to the high expectations we start to build.
Professor Eli Somers, an Israeli psychotherapist, claims that in such situations, we are talking about adjustment disorder, but it is not yet recognized by the medical community.
Cluttered and wishful thinking can lead to bouts of depression and anxiety as the individual struggles to find motivation or resources to meet challenges.
Who is more prone to daydreaming?
It would be unfair to point the finger at certain types of people who will indulge in illusions. However, there are some personality traits that can increase the chances of it. Some of the main personality types that are most affected by daydreaming can be:
- Intuitive introverts
- Intuitive Introvert Thinker
- Judicious Intuitive Introverted Thinker
- Lawyer personality
- Mediator personality
Intuitive introverts can sometimes have a hard time verbalizing their thoughts and feelings, much less describing their plans for the future. So an internal conversation or a few minutes of daydreaming is what helps you get your ideas in order and prepare for potential challenges.
Empaths are very sensitive to their environment and people’s personal problems. As a result of their ability to absorb energy, they often feel stressed, anxious, or depressed.
When reality is too harsh for them and they cannot find joy, they tend to escape into their imaginary world where nothing disturbs their peace.
A narcissist will spend most of his time creating scenarios in which his grandeur will help him gain power or become famous for those unmatched qualities. In their opinion, there is neither room for failure nor enough time to focus on the real problems or the people around them.
An alternative reason that narcissists often fantasize may be due to their poor stress management skills.
Brooding personalities are never happy with superficial things and as such there must be something really special and interesting to bring them out of their shell.
When a conversation or an event does not satisfy their interest, they hide in their minds where they analyze the past or contemplate the future.
Neurotics are known to be squeamish and obsessed with problem solving. However, the researchers noted that they are also very creative thinkers.
The explanation is given by its hyperactivity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain that handles thoughts related to threat. This is why a neurotic will spend so much time daydreaming.
How to stop thinking about excessive desires and daydreaming?
If you find yourself lost in imaginary thoughts or scenarios more often than you should, try to understand the pattern or cause. Is it a pain from the past that you can’t heal? A goal that you passionately want to achieve? Whatever the cause, stop daydreaming and find solutions that could help you overcome your problem or, failing that, achieve your goal.
If you can’t find joy or circumstances seem to put emotional pressure on you, try to identify solutions that could solve the problems or stay away from them for a while.