Daydreams about significant others are associated with increased happiness, love and connection
From the U.K. science journal Consciousness and Cognition...
We examined whether imagining others during daydreams might confer emotional benefits.
- Social daydreams were associated with increased happiness, love and connection.
- These effects were only present when daydreams involved close significant others.
- Findings are consistent with an emotion-regulatory role for social daydreams.
Social relationships and interactions contribute to daily emotional well-being. The emotional benefits that come from engaging with others are known to arise from real events, but do they also come from the imagination during daydreaming activity? Using experience sampling methodology with 101 participants, we obtained 371 reports of naturally occurring daydreams with social and non-social content and self-reported feelings before and after daydreaming. Social, but not non-social, daydreams were associated with increased happiness, love and connection and this effect was not solely attributable to the emotional content of the daydreams. These effects were only present when participants were lacking in these feelings before daydreaming and when the daydream involved imagining others with whom the daydreamer had a high quality relationship. Findings are consistent with the idea that social daydreams may function to regulate emotion: imagining close others may serve the current emotional needs of daydreamers by increasing positive feelings towards themselves and others.
Full article here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053810014002451