Mental Health Monday–Daydreaming is required for good brain functioning

On August 30, the LA Times reported the importance of daydreaming. Here’s the full article.

The gist: You know that running commentary going through your mind day in and day out? Well, neuroscientists are finding this “idle chatter” is very important. So important, in fact, that it’s been given its own term–“default mode network.”

This network connects us to our past memories, helps us envision future scenarios, and collects information from our present. When daydreaming, these neural networks work in unison. Scientists believe this may lead us to a path of figuring out where and how our concept of “self” is created. (In other words, there really is something to all this psychology stuff! ;)) It even has been identified as being faulty in Alzheimer’s, Schizophrenia, depression, and autism. This mode, therefore, is incredibly important in our mental well-being.

So, dear creative friends, all those hours you (and I) spend daydreaming characters, plots, settings, inciting events, and tension-filled scenes is NOT wasted!

Here’s a particularly encouraging quote from the article:

“People have this fear of being inadequately engaged, and as a consequence they overlook how engaging their own minds can be,” Schooler says. “Each one of us can be pretty good company to ourselves if we allow our minds to go there.”

Alrighty, so whaddya think about this?