Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
I have wondered, is there anything you have found helpful in making the outside world more fun so that you may daydream less, or make them seem less significant?
I mean /specific/ things you have done like:
-groups to join
Basically anything that gives you a sense of identity and/or purpose that is unrelated to your DD's.
Sense of identity i get is when i talk with my friends about different things it can be anything like kinda sports or movies etc when they say yes your the one whom i like talking to about various interesting things , i feel i am real and it ain't that bad , so me on one side ''the real world'' is trying to get social n to interact with people around so maybe it can keep me away from DD for a while .
I'm doing a correspondence course just now and writing essays for that requires so much mental effort and concentration that I can't really DD.
I'd say media and creative hobbies only make it worse for me. Music, TV and movies are huge triggers and if I start anything creative/practical in real life, either my idealised version of myself or one of my daydream characters will suddenly become incredibly good at it and win some kind of award for it (even when it's something you really don't get awards for!), which is a bit demotivating for me.
I agree with The Elite above that interaction with other people will help keep me in the real world. I *can* DD when people are around, even when I'm talking to them, but only if the conversation is really dull. If we're talking about something fun, I won't. Having said that, I don't get the same strength of feelings from talking to real people as I do from DD-ing, which is frustrating. If I'm in company too long I get very grumpy, start to resent the real people and want to be alone to DD.
for me discovering my spirituallity really helped. And it helped because its something so much more significant than pretty much anything here in the physical world; our egos, emotions, thoughts, wants, desires. If youre into that kind of thing, meditation helps because what it basically is is staying in the moment.
i also keep in mind certain phrases and affirmations like: 'whatever you do, do it with a purpose', for example. and what that means to me is being aware of every single moment and trying to get the best out of it. Especially the small things; instead of just doing it because you have to and not really thinking about why, put your awareness into it and actually think about what the purpose of it is, this way youll get more joy out of reality because youll be more appreciative.
basically work on ways to make your own life more tolerable, and not only by adding things, but by changing things; like the way you react to a situation that makes you angry or sad or whatever. or changing the way you see yourself. if your real life is slightly more enjoyable, youll dd less.
someone said on this site somewhere that losing md is like losing a friend and youll have to give yourself time to greive but over time youll realise you need them less and less. i try to think of md like that, like a friend that im losing, but being ok with it over time
being social and having hobbies also helps me, but unfortunatly being over stimulated (which happens when im social for too long) gets me dding.
i guess the sad truth is, there is no quick fix...its like losing weight, you actually have to change your lifestyle to be successful. for mders , in my opinion the main thing to change is the pessimistic view we have of ourselves and the world, at least in my experience, becoming more positive has been the thing that helps the most, and that takes TIME. you have to reprogram your mind
Over the past few years, I feel like my MD has made me a lot less social and while it's not really in my nature anymore to make plans with people, I have kind of forced myself to keep appointments and agree to hang out with people.
A few other things that I do not necessarily to reduce DD, but just things that I do/enjoy without having to deal with MD:
-I enjoy watching sports so attending games is especially awesome because you can't help but get really into it w/ all the other fans. Though I have to admit, if I watch it on TV sometimes, it may trigger a DD...but in person this doesn't happen.
-I'm a pretty spiritual person so I enjoy working on that side of myself and reaffirming my faith and beliefs.
-I'm definitely not a gym rat but I really enjoy running and even though you'd think that would be the perfect time to DD, I actually don't even though I have music in. When I got really into running, I also started tracking my diet and ended up learning a lot about nutrition and exercise, which was pretty neat.
-I also blog/journal every once in a while. I discuss stuff that's happening in my real life and even though no one reads it but me, I have never discussed my issues with MD on it. Never thought to, actually.
Out of anything you can do, activities that are social will most likely cause the largest reduction in DDing because you're interacting with people so you're probably not going to be circling around or pacing or whatever in public. Looking back on all my years of having MD there was 1 period of time I specifically recall not DDing/thinking much about MD. I don't know if I was even aware of it at the time so I can't even really say what caused it..it was for at least 3 months, but all I know is that I was really busy w/ communal activities (like volunteer stuff, school, general social functions).
If you're in school, do you think you'd be interested in joining some sort of club? If you're creative/artsy, maybe you can make some sort of room/home decor. If you're a foodie, maybe you can commit to a making a new meal/dessert each month. As Lisa said earlier, whatever you do, do it with purpose and I'll add that you should also make it about you. That may sound selfish but you just want to make sure it's something that is engaging to you and that you identify with.
Being around people, like others have said, and definitely my dogs, helps keep me out of DD. Having really high energy dogs that need a lot of attention and training forces me to be in the real world. And they totally know when I'm not and will "point it out" to me! One of my pups will sometimes even come over and put her head on my lap! I think staying comfortably busy helps a lot. Also, activities that require total focus. I ride and train horses, and when I'm doing that, no way can I DD. Now, I do DD about reaching goals in my activities and riding, and that's not good! But when I'm actually riding, that's another story. I think that's one of the keys---teaching yourself to take that first step and actually START something you want to do.
I've noticed that if I over-commit myself and become too busy, the need to DD gets pent up. Then I'll have like a weekend or even week long bender when I get some time off. I think the key is to find things I really WANT to do, not just start committing to activities because I think I should have more activities in my life. But finding really worthwhile and meaningful things can obviously be tricky, and then resisting the urge to DD about them also.
It's hard, because after really stressful times, we all want and probably even need to relax a little bit. But for me at least, as soon as I let myself "do nothing," the urge to DD comes up.