Even when we are awake, we are as good as asleep most of the time. We’re busy daydreaming. That’s fine IF our daydreaming – our mental movies – are positive. If they’re negative, there are consequences.
For example, if somebody annoys you, or sleights you in some way, you might run a mental movie over and over about it. This will lead you to not only feeling miserable and agitated, or out-and-out angry, but you might well take action as a result of it. Either you will pull up the person on their supposed rudeness, or even get into a fight over it.
They might deserve this. But stop to think. Maybe they were having a really bad day and took it out on you. That would mean they didn’t intentionally plan on being rude to you. Which case, best to let it go. Take no notice.
I mean, why spend hours stewing on it by running negative daydreams and mental moves about it? Kind of a waste of time.
And if somebody does deserve being pulled up it’s better to weigh it up rationally, plan a strategy, and forget about it until you see them next. That way, when you confront them it will be in a considered and unemotional way – and you’ll likely come out on top. But the real benefit is you won’t be feeling anger or agitation – which, let’s face it, few of us enjoy.
Bottom line is: Most of the stuff that winds us up, or upsets us, is the result of fantasizing – letting our imaginations run and run.
It’s best to reason things through. Ask yourself if the fantasy you’re running has any genuine validity (usually it doesn’t). That way, you’ll be able to maintain equilibrium and enjoy life more.
There really is nothing to be gained from running pointless fantasies and daydreams through your mind if they agitate you or make you miserable – or lead to actions that upset the balance of your life.
Best to wake up and not be a slave to your imagination.
Author and journalist