Day-dreaming can actually lead to cues about an individual’s Mental Health.
Do you ever think where does your mind roam around when you have inactive or idle time?
The University of Arizona published a study in the Scientific Reports that can address some signals, the findings of the research can demonstrate an unexpected amount related to our Mental Health.
Andrews-Hanna likewise makes reference to the examination on the force of externalizing our internal contemplations.
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Research on Day-dreaming by UArizona
The research includes 78 participants who were to give voice to their thoughts for whole 10 minutes while relaxing in a room without their tech devices. The researchers were using the audio apparatus to record their thoughts.
They later transcribed those recordings and give an analysis of them for volume. There were more than 2000 thoughts that were analyzed in total.
The first author, the graduate student, Quentin Rafaelli, of UArizona, from the Department of Psychology, said, “We wanted to mimic the small breaks we have throughout the day, such as when waiting in a line at the cafe, lying in bed at night, taking a shower and so on. These are all the times during which the external demands are minimal and internal thoughts tend to creep in.”
According to the author, Most of the psychological researches that address human thoughts either tells them what to think about, use the questionnaires of self-report, ask to remember past thoughts or feelings, and try to freeze-frame the snapshots of these times of thoughts in a variety of moments in a time.
According to the assistant Professor Psychology, Jessica Andrews-Hanna, who is the co-author and also supervised the research in her lab, “While insightful in its own right these snapshot approach doesn’t tell us much about how our thoughts unfold and transition over time. The features of our thinking are significant for our mental health. To capture these properties of dynamics of thinking, we need a method that records these thoughts in real-time and also for extended periods.”
So, Day-dreaming can really prompt signals about a person’s Mental Health.
Day-dreaming and Ruminative Individuals
The Scientists looked to quantify examples of reasoning. Mostly they were interested in ruminative reasoning, consistently investigating similarly negative thoughts, which is a popular symptom for depression.
According to Rafaelli, most participants spent 10 minutes about the present and future neutrally, the high scoring on questionnaires experienced negative and past thoughts. Ruminative individuals are mostly thinking about themselves.
Authors analyzed thought based on duration and focus of broad a d narrow type. Ruminative individuals mostly have negative thoughts that get narrower over time.
According to the co-author that it showed how individuals trap in thinking cycles. The sample was random and without any inclusion of people with mental health issues but the research exhibits all the issues in just 10 minutes. There were also individuals with productive thoughts.
The co-author added that many people thought creatively and found it as a refreshing break from the busy world.
The exercise was unexpectedly found out to be therapeutic for many individuals.
Andrews-Hanna also mentions the research on the power of externalizing our inner thoughts.
The authors are conducting versions of this study and are still in process of evaluating the results.
Future Psychological Features of Idle Thoughts
The researchers are next interested in the Default Mode Network, it plays a significant role in internal thoughts, a brain network. They are studying the functions and carving out the functions with rumination and intrusive thoughts, the dysfunctional thinking modes.
It has potential for magnetic resonance imaging functions. Also, a popular method, resting-state fMRI, has potential for magnetic resonance imaging functions, usually use by neuroscientists for brain imaging.
It involves an individual in a brain scanner for 10 minutes and records, patterns, brain activity, and spontaneous thoughts that emerge by connectivity.
Andrews-Hanna hopes to eventually add the psychological features of idle thoughts to patterns of activity biologically. Also, the changing connectivity altering across the period to procure a fuller image of conciseness and mental health condition.
She added, “We hope that in the future, our inner mental lives won’t be a huge mystery.”