Where wild minds come to rest
What has helped me reduce my daydreaming? I'm not wonderful at any of these things, but I am continuously working towards improvement!
1. Being around people.
I’ve always been very shy and a bit introverted. As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve often felt insecure around people and have experienced low levels of self esteem. When I was about 20, I had a severe breakdown that caused me to have to be hospitalized for a long period of time. When I was released from he hospital, I moved into a halfway housed and shared a room with two other people. Introvert me hated this. However, suddenly, I never had any time alone. I noticed my daydreaming decreasing almost because I didn’t have the space to engage in the behavior.
With less time daydreaming, I was able to focus on other goals. I started college! This brought all kinds of new social situations and again, I noticed that the time I spent dreaming decreased. I started to date and make friends. Eventually, I moved out of my hometown to attend a Graduate Program. Knowing how important it was for me to be socially engaged, I moved into a housing cooperative with 30 people. Currently, I am living with 11 other people in a shared home. Sometimes it is exhausting as I am still very much an introvert. However, I realize how important it is for me to be socially engaged and connected in order to control mental health issues, including MDD.
2.Being Engaged with meaningful projects
Just as important it is for me to be socially involved, it is equally important for me to take part in activities that keep me busy and feel meaningful. Whenever I find myself slipping into a depression, I also get less involved with projects. Inevitably, this leads to increased hours in my fantasy dream land. It can be hard to force myself to keep busy when I'm feeling down and just want to drift off to another place. However, I work very hard to keep up projects that keep engaged. Some of the projects that I do to keep me occupied: (not including a 40 hour work week!) Learning guitar, playing drums, drawing, hulahooping, dancing of all kinds, yoga, writing. Some of these things I can even do alone to fill my INTROVERT needs!
Honestly, I am still working hard on this one and I can’t say that I am great at it. With that said, I think the more that I can learn to be present, in my body and aware of my surroundings, the less I daydream. Sometimes I will literally touch my leg and say, “Stay here, Nicole.” I’m leanring to pay attention to my breath and to what I am feeling in my body. I am trying to learn to notice sounds, smells, tastes. The more I notice these things, the more present I can remain. About 10 months ago I started to do yoga and I feel that this has really brought me deeper into learning to be mindful. I still have a ton of work to do, though!
With all this said, I still struggle with MDD. I especially struggle when I am experiencing stress of difficult emotions. Recently, I noticed that I might do it a bit at work and when I’m around people. It will only be a few seconds in which I pace in the dream and then realizes what I am doing and quickly stop. Sometimes I will, “crave,” it. I’ll need to set aside time to do it because it helps me to work out an issue in my head. I think it’s about finding balance.