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Why Daydreaming Isn’t a Waste of Time | MindShift

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Our brains have two operating systems, Immordino-Yang and her coauthors explain in an article to be published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science. The first, which they call the âlooking out system,â orients our attention to the external environment, allowing us to get stuff done. The other, which they term the âlooking in system,â directs us inward, setting our thoughts

A lack of time to daydream may even hamper kidsâ capacity to pay attention when they need to.

free to wander. By scanning the brains of study subjects asked simply to rest and relax, scientists have discovered that our minds are anything but inactive in these moments. Relieved of the obligation to pay attention to whatâs going on around us, we engage instead with a rich internal environment: recalling the past, imagining the future, replaying recent interactions and sorting out our feelings. Itâs when we engage our brainsâ âlooking inâ mode, notes Immordino-Yang, that we make meaning out of the mass of experiences and information we encounter when weâre âlooking out.â

Daydreaming can make you more creative -- but also more unhappy.

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