A new study from The University of Sheffield in the UK found that people who daydream about someone they have a close relationship with feel increased love, happiness and connection.
The study surveyed 101 participants and obtained 371 reports of naturally occurring daydreams. About half of the daydreams were about other people. The researchers asked the participants about their feelings before and after the daydream. They found a significant increase in love, happiness and connection after daydreaming, but only among people who had scored low on happiness, love and connection before the dreaming began. In other words, if you’re feeling down, imagining your partner, or someone you’re close to, can make you feel better.
The study findings suggest that the influence other people have on our emotional well-being can come from the imagination as well as real interaction. As the researchers write in their conclusion “Our findings indicate that love can really be a triumph of the imagination”. So daydream away!
Study citation and link:
Giulia L. Poerio, Peter Totterdell, Lisa-Marie Emerson, Eleanor Miles, Love is the triumph of the imagination: Daydreams about significant others are associated with increased happiness, love and connection, Consciousness and Cognition, Volume 33, May 2015, Pages 135-144, ISSN 1053-8100,