Humans have an innate ability to daydream; it comes as naturally as our five senses. While daydreaming can be a huge distraction, there are recent studies that suggest daydreaming can be a beneficial part of life.

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, a psychological scientist and a professor of education, psychology and neuroscience at the University of Southern California, reveals that the "default mode" of the brain is noticeably active when we are resting and focused within. This study proposes brain activity during rest is correlated with elements of socioemotional functioning like self-awareness and moral judgment, as well as different features of learning and memory. According to Immordino-Yang, the lead study author, inward focus can positively impact the way we build memories and how we interpret learning into new context.     

Although it is important for the progress of outward relationships and the capacity to move between those relationships may improve our maturity with practice, latest research alludes it is equally important to let the mind wander, which can encourage healthy development and learning in the long-term.

Allowing the mind to wander is significant to our ability to understand the meaning of the world surrounding us. Inward attention is an essential contributing aspect of our moral thinking and reasoning related to our overall socioemotional well-being.

Immordino-Yang and her team concerns lie within the fast-paced urban digital environments, which ultimately undermine opportunity for young people to do inward reflection, especially in the ear for social media websites.

The most important information the study suggests is that inward reflection that many believes is idle time, is actually not idleness at all. While some may believe daydreaming may be wasted time or opportunity in productivity, Immordino-Yang and her team believes otherwise. Internal reflection is vital for learning from past experiences and understanding how to manage in the world. 

This study will be published in the July issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science.