Does anyone else find they get lost in their own little world when they’re out for a run?
If you often feel your mind wandering while you’re pounding the pavement, you’re not alone. And for best news is, having your head in the clouds isn’t necessarily a bad thing!
Once considered to be the enemy of focus and concentration, ‘mind-wandering’ actually serves a very beneficial purpose of helping us gain order and direction in our lives. So much so, in fact, that is thought to be an essential personal resource for coping with life. Who’d have thought it? And it’s just as well, since according to psychologists, we spend up to half of our mental activity on daydreams.
But why are daydreams so useful?
Apparently, daydreaming is the most effective self-to-self channel of communication, tuning us in to the ideas of our subconscious.
It is often referred to as “Autobiographical Planning” since it allows us to explore life’s possibilities (our innermost hopes, desires and fears) in a safe environment, almost like a dress rehearsal for new situations. Daydreaming also allows us to scan and revisit past experiences so we can learn from them.
The idea goes against the popular one of ‘being present’ and mindful, as we are so often encouraged to be. Quite the opposite, in fact, as daydreaming effectively detaches us from our immediate situation.
Instead, we might muse over more accomplished versions of ourselves - a bit like playing a film in our heads with us in the leading role. Daydreaming, from this stance, can be used to change our mood, and either relax or entertain depending on the genre.
Quite why this mental chatter abounds when we’re mid-5k is down to the fact that running is primarily a physical task. The lack of mental engagement (Schooler) leaves the mind free to wander in an unstructured, disjointed fashion. This ‘freestyle’ thought pattern is thought to be the most conducive to coming up with creative ideas and solutions to the most meaningful problems. The lack of digital stimulus and distractions we have when running can also be credited with creating this headspace.
This whole ‘daydream power’ phenomenon is one that Natalie Farrell of Yummy Yoga Girl knows too well. So much so, that the concepts for her unique and sustainable yoga clothing range were all coined in moments of inspiration while travelled the world. These ‘Moodi’ leggings (pictured) were inspired from her time in Colombo in Sri Lanka. She said ‘there was a electrifying thunderstorm - we had just arrived and I hung out of our hotel window mesmerised at the natural beauty filling the skies. The colours represent female intuition and the beauty of being natural and embracing the cyclical patterns of life.’ The styles are all designed from lightweight, sweat wicking and silky soft Italian fabric, so you can feel comfortable - and perhaps a little bit more inspired - in your next workout!
Sponsored by Yummy Yoga Girl