How I Stopped Daydreaming and Started Living a More Fulfilling Life
I've always been a daydreamer.
I don't know how common it is with people but I've always struggled with it.
I imagine scenarios where I save the day or problems to solve.
I don't know when it started but I've come to the realisation that I have to fix it.
Here's how I did it.
Why do people daydream?
In my humble opinion, I think people daydream because they just want to escape their reality.
I wanted to escape my life, problems, and insecurities.
I imagined myself in bizarre scenarios, doing crazy things, and being the powerful cool chad.
I know this may sound a bit cringe worthy but it was what on my mind.
Sometime I daydream about me being wealthy and supporting my family financially.
Some people might say, well that's a form of visualisation.
Your visualising your goals.
That's the problem.
I'm just visualising.
I'm not doing the work.
I get the pleasure of thinking that I accomplished the goal but in reality I didn't do anything.
I got the dopamine hit and then reality hits me.
I'm nowhere close to my goals before I started "visualising".
Instead of focusing on the what ifs.
Let's focus on doing the work.
So to help me, become more present here are some techniques I used to build my "being-present" skill.
It's all about awareness
I used to dream a lot when I was a kid.
There were lots of nights when I had nightmares, sleep walks, or the dreaded sleep paralysis.
I used to get scared a lot because of it but eventually I got used to it.
So whenever I got sleep paralysis, I would just calm down and go back to sleep.
But it wasn't just any sleep, I just awakened the ability to lucid dream on command.
I had so much fun.
Of course I tried all the different fantasies I had as a 13 year old kid but it got boring quickly.
One annoying thing of lucid dreaming is that sometimes you would have false awakenings which are dreams that feel like real life but aren't real life.
Imagine dreaming about your whole day and going back to sleep and then actually waking up.
Imagine if that happened for two or three days in one dream.
Yea that was annoying.
So after some extensive research on the worlds best source of information Reddit, I found techniques to check whether I am dreaming or not.
It's called a reality check.
The technique I used was counting to ten using my fingers.
If I could do that normally, then it's real life.
If I couldn't and my fingers become all wobbly then I'm definitely in a dream.
Anyways how does this relate to daydreaming.
Well when you catch yourself daydreaming, use one of the reality check techniques.
- Count to 10 using your fingers.
- Describe an object beside you.
- Take a deep breath.
- If you wanna go the extreme route, then you could pinch yourself.
The point is to make yourself aware of the present moment.
Now that we know how to shift our focus on the present moment.
Let's talk about how to keep it in that moment.
My attention span is fucked.
It's still better than most people but it's not as good as I want it to be.
I can't watch a movie without looking at my phone once.
But it was worse.
Back when I couldn't read books because I was always distracted.
I thought I had ADHD.
Thankfully that was not the case.
It was just that my focusing muscle was weak.
I had to train it.
I had to find a way.
So as any software engineer would do, I just googled my way and stumbled upon the practice of meditation.
So I downloaded an app (Headspace) and began my first session.
The day one program was 10 minutes.
I barely lasted three without opening my eyes.
But I kept on going, I felt stupid but I knew it would eventually work.
The more I kept doing it, the more present I became.
I started being comfortable focusing on my breath.
One minute of focus became two then three and so on.
I can proudly say that I can last ten minutes of meditation.
I can't exaggerate the benefits of this.
I started to incorporate mindfulness to other activities of my life such as walking, coding, and most importantly socialising.
I have become more attentive and more kind.
Daydreaming is just a form of escapism.
I just wanted to escape my life and responsibilities and maybe you want the same.
But to truly live a better life, you have to face things head-on and just deal with them.
I know some people have it much worse than me and probably need some form of therapy.
But I hope I have inspired you to be more mindful in your day-to-day life.
Thank you for reading.