Now that we've had some time to think about this & discuss it, let's start creating a plan to help.  Let's try and make a list that we can refer to & refer others to.  Here's my question:


What helps? 


Not just what helps you stop daydreaming.  This is a condition we need to learn to live with. 


What helps in any way possible?  Interpret that in every way possible, and be as specific as possible. 

Some ways you can think of it:


What helps make your life better?

What helps you feel like you’re living a more fulfilling life?

What helps you feel like you’re in control?

What helps you daydream less & what helps you daydream more?

What makes your daydreams more productive?

What makes your daydreams feel less productive?

When do you leave your daydreams feeling better & more charged?

What makes them leave you feeling more sluggish?

What helps you feel stronger?

What helps you feel safer?

What helps you feel more confident?


Let’s act like we’re compiling a list of things to tell new people who’re just figuring out they’re going through this & are not sure what to do.  What advice would you give them to help them feel more empowered?

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There are a few things that I use to reduce my daydreaming, especially in the run up to exams

 

  • Be in public. I find it nearly impossible to dream without running back and forth over a distance of between 2 and 10 metres, I'd look an idiot doing that in a library or something.
  • Listen to classical music. I dont get the urge to dream with classical music and if played loud enough can block out other triggers.
  • Avoid headphones. Listening to music played through speakers kind of detaches me from triggers within the music.
  • Hide ipod. If i get the urge to listen to my ipod and start dreaming then in the time it takes to find the ipod, the urge dissipates.
  • Obstacles. I have a route up and down the garden that I have to run up and down (as i know the route of around 8 metres and so will not fall over or crash into things.) by blocking that route with an obstacle, the time it takes to move it lessens the urge.

 

I know most of that involves musically inspired dreaming, but applying those rules during my latest set of exams worked much better than the cold turkey i attempted last year.

Good advice :) 

Skye Dalton said:

What helps make your life better?

Being close to God, not focusing on myself, reaching out to others, helping people in need.


What helps you feel like you’re living a more fulfilling life?

When I am making a difference in the world, when I feel someones day was a little better because I helped any way I could.


What helps you feel like you’re in control?

When I stop trying so hard to control everyone and every thing and just take one day at a time, 1 baby step at a time.


What helps you daydream less & what helps you daydream more?

Things that help me daydream less: Spending time with God and developing my prayer life. This is the main thing actually.   Things that make me daydream more: Getting away from God, watching too much tv (triggers), getting upset about certain situations.


What makes your daydreams more productive?  

If I choose to daydream about something that is really going on in my life.  Example, I can dd about my messy desk and how it would look all cleaned and think of all sorts of neat organizing ideas and before I know it, I have the desire to get up and go clean my desk! 


What makes your daydreams feel less productive?

When the dd is just focused on me being the star of the dd. It really doesn't accomplish much because after I am done dding, I am just let down by the fact that I could never be that person I just imagined myself being.


When do you leave your daydreams feeling better & more charged?

I never really feel more charged or better from the fantasy type ones, like I said, I only feel let down if the dd is fantasy and not pertaining to real life. They only make me feel better if it's a real life situation where I need to fix something in my house or organize and clean out my desk, those types of things.


What makes them leave you feeling more sluggish?

I think it is the addiction aspect of it, if I let myself be taken in by them, I feel like they are sucking my life away. I never feel like I accomplished anything in real life from the daydreams and it almost feels as though that sucks the life out of me. 


What helps you feel stronger?    Living real life and not living life inside the dds in my head.


What helps you feel safer?   I would be tempted to say that dding certain things do, but really, when I step out and do something that I think I fear in real life and find out that I actually enjoyed it, this brings a new safe feeling to me. That I don't really have to fear all the things I think I do.


What helps you feel more confident?    Not trying to be perfect, not caring if I am the best at everything, letting go of pride and accepting that I am just a human that is imperfect and makes mistakes.

 I just joined this board recently.  I started daydreaming at age 12. I'm in my 40's now.  It became an addiction the moment I began doing it. I went for 2 years without daydreaming at age 28 and 29.  Then I relapsed and started again. Then stopped daydreaming again in August of last year in 2011.  About a month ago, I caved and had a dd for about 3 hours, then stopped and haven't since then.  I have learned why I do it, what my triggers are and how to stop. I am not saying I am cured because I never know if it will happen again in the future, but I have really learned to turn it off. I can only give that credit to the Lord.   :)

Instead of having certain characters, I usually confront a "wave" of daydreams. They sometimes develop so fast that I can hardly watch them consciously-I just can't keep track of what happens. It's like a drug.

There are two things that help me. The one is exercising on two-timing real world and imaginary world. Being both here and there without losing track of the real world isn't easy, but it's better than living all-imaginary (better than living all-real sometimes, too :p) A useful device is having parts of the imaginary world appear on the real one. It is a game that looks almost childish in principle. For example, "seeing" imaginary friends I can speak with telepathically often help me in not imagining anything else. One figure is much easier to control than a mass wave of thoughts. Also, having your favorite heroes by your side can be fun. Or you can get used to your fears' subjects by keeping them close, I've overcome several this way. There are a lot of fun things you can do this way. I love art, so I can overcome the "daydreaming wave" by drawing my surroundings on an invisible canvas. When I feel vulnerable I imagine wearing a shiny armor or hold a rapier-makes me feel stronger. Well, you get the point. By actively involving your surroundings, your brain won't fully get separated from reality.

The second way is more important. Most effectively, I get helped by figuring out the reasons I overly-daydream and confronting them.

One was my overly-protective family. I made my first big step by choosing to study science at a distant city. I sacrificed my dream of studying art, but knew I wouldn't have hopes of handling life otherwise. It helped, up to a point.

Unfortunately, another "trigger" is having to study, while not getting money or action. Getting a job did wonders for me!

The third part was my social avoidance. Few are kind to a pathological dreamer, so it's no wonder I ended up avoiding people consciously. But I pushed myself to speak in public at organized occasions (e.g. I'd get in the debate club, or the theater club). Tried my best to find ways for people to understand me. Maybe not my daydreaming part, I often joke about this in public. But since people got to know the rest of me too, there is no real problem. As long as they're patient with your absent-mindedness, of course. I'm sometimes called mad or silly but I just laugh, not everyone can understand that part of me-or the wonders of my dreamworld!

Did I mention my job is at sales? I even became a trainer. And my "dreamworld creativity" played a part in it.

Now I can almost daydream at will-in comparison with the past. I still tend to shut in myself, and still can't control minor triggers (movies, news, music e.t.c.) but at least I'm not doomed to walk in a floating dream 24/7 for the rest of my life.

1. What helps make your life better?

Getting to the root of what is making my life worse and changing my beliefs about it.


2. What helps you feel like you're living a more fulfilling life?

Doing instead of thinking about doing.


3. What helps you feel like you're in control?

Realizing I'm not and never will be. Living is not about control it is about experiencing. Life is too chaotic and unpredictable to ever be in control, you just have to take chances and hope for the best while being prepared for the worst.


4. What helps you daydream less&what helps you daydream more?

What helps me daydream less is to immediately look at some object that is in the room and imagine I have fired an arrow at it from my daydream in my head out my eyes into the object I am looking at in reality. It causes my attention to gradually shift inside out rather than causing a sudden shock transition that will send my mind running back to the daydream for comfort. What helps me daydream more is to write, draw, or do some other activity that requires fictional thinking.


5. What makes your daydreams feel less productive?

6. What makes your daydreams feel more productive?

My daydreams can't be less productive or more productive, they are fictions. It is my behavior, actions, and choices that are more or less productive.

7. When do you leave your daydreams feeling better & more charged?

Any positive thinking, daydreaming or not, is likely to make you feel better. Similarly any negative thinking, daydreaming or not, is likely to make you feel worse. Think more positive thoughts about the world around you and you won't be so eager to leave it behind.

 

8. What makes them leave you feeling more sluggish?

Wanting them to be more than the fiction they are.


9. What helps you fell safer?

Realizing safety is an illusion, life is threatening even when you are hiding from it. No bravery or heroics ever arise without a challenge, no story would be interesting without some kind of conflict.


10. What helps you feel more confident?

Confident about what? You can't expect to be confident about all things all the time, confidence is about familiarity. The more you experience a certain situation (or similar situations) the more you know what to expect or can try to predict, so you feel more sure of actions in those situations. However, life is unpredictable for the most part so you can never truly be 100% confident because you can always be thrown a curve ball. So really, confidence is not a necessity for action it is just a byproduct of repeated experience.

I like the arrow idea, nice!

Nice one John K. I'm going to do a screen print of your answers and read them over a couple of times. Some good affirmations there. :D

Honestly I just figured that's who I was. I recently (like in the last year) found a way to turn it off with out any problem. I started meditating.  Now not they I want to promote one type over another,  but when I started using the Silva method, is when I truly got a handle on it. Just wanted to share that with y'all. Now I decide when to let it run or not. I stumbled onto your site just tonight, I've had this as long as I can recall. Now I don't worry about it any more.

Yes I always do that. Since the main character of my fantasy has become my ideal self ,I have started daydreaming  about my future and their are many special scenes which I repeat again and again because I find those feelings so pleasant .Sometimes I even modify the dialogues.

Adriene said:

Well first let me explain, my "full blown" daydreams are those ones where I need to be alone because I act a lot of them out, or I pace the room. They are usually set off by a distinct trigger. The rest of the time I think I'm a little like Cordellia. I always feel like I'm rearranging storylines or or picking up external stimuli to incorporate into by daydreams. Now to the question, right before the full blown episode I feel a definite compulsion. And I get excited about it because I want to see where the daydream takes me. I hope that answers your question.

By the way, I just want to ask this while we have a conversation rolling even though it's not really related: Do you ever feel yourself repeating daydreams? You know, ones that were particularly fulfilling, emotional, exciting, dramatic, etc. Or do you ever go back to some daydreams to change the "storyline" or perfect it in some way? (For lack of a better word.)

Will said:
Also, and this is something that I think might be key.... What do you notice happens right before the onset of a daydream (preferably a full-blown episode)? How closely have you been able to pay attention to the moments leading up to it? Specifically, what is it that you notice happening, both with thoughts and feelings? I'll share my description, but I want to hold off and first hear yours :) My hunch is that it should be similar for all of us and so I don't want to ruin it. If you haven't ever made the effort to observe this period of time, it's a little tricky... but definitely worth the insight :

I've lived in daydreams since I was 5 I'm 32 now. For the most part I can function properly in both worlds even tho my attention is obviously split. I daydream less now then I did a few years ago. I used to think the dreams were real they still seem very real but I recognize that they are escape mechanisms. Father issues led to having adoptive fathers in my worlds. A conflict of beliefs caused me to be both a witch princess and Christian priestess. A lack of friends led me to make a multitude of friends in my worlds. A lack of dexterity led me to be a warrior, dancer and acrobat in my worlds. Has I have dealt with my real world issues I find myself daydreaming less and less. Maybe that can help others think about your daydream worlds and what makes them better or worse then the real one. Then address these issues.

I have found that diet, exercise and supplements have made a significant difference in my desire to day dream.  I often take focus factor and that is helpful when I need to study, and I also try to not be at home as much as possible since I can't really get into the daydreams without pacing and twirling.  

For school, I have been fairly lucky recently and found some friends who are understanding of my situation and willing to study with me to keep me on task. 

I have found that telling my close friends and family has been extremely helpful, and I have much more self acceptance now than I did when I was hiding it.  I think planning out a concrete course of action is necessary if you want to be highly functional. 

I also joined the military right out of High School, and my MD symptoms almost completely stopped!  Unfortunately I've been out for awhile now and my symptoms are back. They are better when I am on a strict routine, which my husband tries to reinforce. 

For example: 

6:00 AM - Wake Up

6:30 AM - Morning Chores consisting of washing whatever is in the sink, cleaning the cat boxes and feeding the pets and horse.

7:00 AM - Gym

9:00 AM - Arrive at work

11:30 AM - Lunch

5:00 PM - Leave Work

6:00 PM - Feed pets, clean horse corral, start dinner unless the hubby has started dinner

7:00 - 8:00 PM - Eat, do dishes, general clean up

8:30 PM - 10:30 PM - Free time to do whatever, laundry, internet, shower, DD, etc.

Having a white board to write down what needs to be done and keeping a pad with paper and pen in my purse also helps.  I also use rememberthemilk.com for my smart phone so I always have my to do list at my finger tips.  I have found most of my issues are memory related, and if I try really hard to be disciplined then the DDing decreases. 

It is very difficult to do this on my own, luckily I have my husband who helps keep me accountable, and even then I am very disappointed by how much I fall short.  That's mainly why I want to try drug therapy and see if I can get better control of my life. 

I have also noticed that I had several older "father figures" and older brother types, and that I probably created them because I have some major issues with the real thing. I also noticed that I have no older girls who act motherly, and I have a very sweet mother in real life. It is interesting looking at my characters as pieces I consider "missing" in my real life, but I know it doesn't fit for all of them.

Shannon Price said:

I've lived in daydreams since I was 5 I'm 32 now. For the most part I can function properly in both worlds even tho my attention is obviously split. I daydream less now then I did a few years ago. I used to think the dreams were real they still seem very real but I recognize that they are escape mechanisms. Father issues led to having adoptive fathers in my worlds. A conflict of beliefs caused me to be both a witch princess and Christian priestess. A lack of friends led me to make a multitude of friends in my worlds. A lack of dexterity led me to be a warrior, dancer and acrobat in my worlds. Has I have dealt with my real world issues I find myself daydreaming less and less. Maybe that can help others think about your daydream worlds and what makes them better or worse then the real one. Then address these issues.

Caffiene is a trigger!!! Oh man I have been doing it all wrong then, I drink that stuff by the heaps! I always thought that maybe by speeding up my brain I could keep myself my concentrated and less likely to daydream or slip in daydream world????



Will said:

I agree this is probably switching topics back to triggers... So I'll post back to the caffeine as a Trigger discussion (Since there is no general Trigger post and I don't know where else to put it).


Cordellia Amethyste Rose said:
I'm constantly reliving old scenarios along with new ones I create. I still relive ones from as far back as 17 years, no joke.

One thing that concerns me a little about this site is that people are having a hard time searching through these forums because they're constantly shifting topics. If this conversation is going to move on to different triggers & other questions, can we move it to another post? Is that reasonable? I'd really like to make this a bit more searchable.

Adriene said:
Well first let me explain, my "full blown" daydreams are those ones where I need to be alone because I act a lot of them out, or I pace the room. They are usually set off by a distinct trigger. The rest of the time I think I'm a little like Cordellia. I always feel like I'm rearranging storylines or or picking up external stimuli to incorporate into by daydreams. Now to the question, right before the full blown episode I feel a definite compulsion. And I get excited about it because I want to see where the daydream takes me. I hope that answers your question.

By the way, I just want to ask this while we have a conversation rolling even though it's not really related: Do you ever feel yourself repeating daydreams? You know, ones that were particularly fulfilling, emotional, exciting, dramatic, etc. Or do you ever go back to some daydreams to change the "storyline" or perfect it in some way? (For lack of a better word.)

Will said:
Also, and this is something that I think might be key.... What do you notice happens right before the onset of a daydream (preferably a full-blown episode)? How closely have you been able to pay attention to the moments leading up to it? Specifically, what is it that you notice happening, both with thoughts and feelings? I'll share my description, but I want to hold off and first hear yours :) My hunch is that it should be similar for all of us and so I don't want to ruin it. If you haven't ever made the effort to observe this period of time, it's a little tricky... but definitely worth the insight :

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