Winter dreams can make for a great road trip season

Winter dreamsRoad trip season is more the stuff of winter dreams than reality this time of year. Snow, ice, frozen windshields and bad weather are not good reasons to get us in the car and out on the road. Broke after the holidays, cabin-fever starting to set in, it seems only natural to daydream about being someplace else. Psychologists say that’s perfectly normal and might even be helpful to planning future travels.

“Daydreaming is characterized by a shift of attention away from focusing on a physical or mental task to a series of thoughts derived from long-term memory (often taking a narrative form)” Psychologists Scott Barry Kaufman and Jerome L. Singer say in Scientific American.

Maybe now is the time to pull up those photos from the last road trip, vacation or travel of any kind and re-live those memories. Apparently, we might already be thinking of them anyway.Daydreaming, or 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” note Kaufman and Singer.

In other words, when we daydream we may appear to be doing nothing but in reality, things are going on behind the scenes, much like a computer might perform routine maintenance tasks that are also not displayed.

This video tells more about how daydreaming can result in some of the best, most creative travel plans. Pay attention. Really.



Jonah Lehrer: The Surprising Benefits of Daydreaming



Flickr photo by strudelt