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7. Some people will lie in bed for hours daydreaming, and may either have difficulty going to sleep because of this, or have difficulty getting out of bed once awake. They may also neglect basic functions such as regular meals, showering, and other daily activities because of their daydreaming.
But among all this talk of “mind wandering” and “executive control failure”, let’s please not forget about the third daydreaming style that has been identified: Positive-Constructive Daydreaming. This style of daydreaming—which Jerome L. Singer has spent most of his career studying— is a normal, universal feature of human cognition. As Eric Klinger and his colleagues have shown, Positive-Constructive Daydreaming is not pathological . Jonathan Smallwood and Jonathan Schooler have argued that mind wandering is a goal-driven process, even though it’s not directed toward an external task . As they also note in a recent review , mind wandering may serve multiple adaptive functions, such as future planning, sorting out current concerns, cycling through different information streams, distributed learning (vs. cramming), and creativity.
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This version of How to Keep From Excessively Daydreaming was reviewed by Tasha Rube, LMSW on August 1, 2017.
Mind wandering happens on two levels: one, when we realize we’re not on task, and two, when we’re not even aware that our mind is drifting. The latter, mind wandering without awareness, is officially called "zoning out."