We tend to think of daydreams as a distraction, but we can use them to reduce stress, boost problem-solving skills, enhance creativity, and organise our lives.
* When you have a decision to make, daydream about possible outcomes of each alternative. Vary what you do and notice the way that changes other aspects of the situation.
* When you are in a stressful situation, take a few seconds to imagine that you are in your favourite holiday spot. Notice the details: what do you see, hear and feel?
* When you face a challenge, daydream what advice you might get from someone who is, or was, skilled at coping with that kind of problem.
* If you have a recurring daydream, ask yourself what message that might have. As psychology professor Steven Jay Lynn points out: "Spontaneous daytime fantasies are one of the cheapest, most powerful coping tools we have." And they're available any time you need them.
Jurgen Wolff is a hypnotherapist, teacher, and writer. His most recent book is Do Something Different, published by Virgin Business Guides. His free monthly Brainstorm creativity e-bulletin is available from BstormUK@aol.com