How to Manage and Cope with Maladaptive Daydreaming

How to Manage and Cope with Maladaptive Daydreaming how to manage and cope with maladaptive daydreaming

What do you do when daydreaming begins to infiltrate your daily life, consuming a significant portion of your time and undermining your essential responsibilities and self-care routines? This is the usual problem caused by maladaptive daydreaming, which can deeply affect your everyday life. Maladaptive daydreaming isn’t a minor distraction; it can mess up your daily life so much that you might forget to take care of yourself and handle your responsibilities. It’s like going on an adventure in your imagination, and it can be so interesting and hard to say no to that you might forget about your real-life duties. In this article, I am going to share some practical steps or ways that can help you manage or cope with your daydreaming.

  1. Acknowledge the Issue:

The first step in managing maladaptive daydreaming is to recognize and accept its impact on your life, including how it affects your productivity and consumes your time. Acknowledging this issue is crucial because it brings awareness to the fact that daydreaming is a part of your behavior, and there’s no need to be overly critical of yourself for it. It’s about understanding that daydreaming is a response to certain triggers and not a character flaw. By acknowledging it, you can begin the process of addressing it without self-blame or harsh judgment, setting the stage for more effective management strategies.

2. Identify Triggers

Identifying the specific situations or moments that trigger excessive daydreaming is a crucial next step in effectively managing maladaptive daydreaming. These triggers can vary widely from person to person and might include periods of heightened stress, moments of anxiety, experiences of rejection, or even instances when you find yourself alone. Recognizing these triggers empowers you to proactively address them. Once identified, you can work on strategies to either minimize these triggers’ impact or catch yourself before you slip into prolonged daydreams. This level of self-awareness enables you to regain a degree of control over your daydreaming tendencies and actively intervene when you sense them escalating, ultimately helping you reduce their disruptive influence on your daily life.

3. Practice Mindfulness or Meditation:

Mindfulness, including practices like meditation, plays a pivotal role in managing maladaptive daydreaming by serving as an anchor to the present moment. Its importance lies in its ability to reduce the allure of daydreaming triggers. The beauty of mindfulness is that there’s no inherently ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to practice it, which makes it accessible to everyone. It’s not about achieving perfection or adhering to a strict set of rules.

Instead, it’s about fostering a state of presence and awareness, allowing you to immerse yourself fully in your real-life experiences. By honing this skill, you equip yourself with a powerful tool to counteract the unconscious pull of daydreams, redirecting your focus towards the concrete moments and situations that make up your everyday life.

4. Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries for your daydreaming time is like planning. Instead of daydreaming whenever it wants, you decide when it’s okay. For example, you might say, “I’ll daydream for 30 minutes every day.” This way, you’re not stopping it completely, but you’re doing it on purpose. It can make you feel like you’re still in control, and you won’t feel as swamped by daydreams. It’s like having a treat at a specific time rather than eating candy all day long. This can help you satisfy the urge without feeling overwhelmed.

5. Be Patient with Yourself

It’s important to be kind to yourself and not expect daydreaming to stop all at once. It’s like learning something new; it takes time. So, instead of trying to stop it completely, take little steps to do it less. For instance, if you’ve been daydreaming for a long time each day, start by doing it a bit less every day, like a few minutes less. This gradual approach is like easing into a new habit, and it makes the change feel more manageable and less overwhelming.

6. Reward Yourself

Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back when you do better. If you make good changes, like daydreaming less, treat yourself to something you like, but not something that makes you daydream more. It’s like giving yourself a prize for doing well. This can make you feel good about what you’ve achieved and make you want to keep going. It’s kind of like saying, “I did a good job, and I deserve something nice.”

7. Use Your Daydreaming Creatively

Another way to handle daydreaming is to write about it. Some folks use daydreams to be creative. Instead of thinking of it as a problem, you can turn it into something fun and useful. Try writing stories or books based on your daydreams. It’s like using your imagination to create something cool. This way, you’re making good use of your daydreams, and it can be a satisfying hobby.


Always keep in mind that managing maladaptive daydreaming is a journey that might take a while, and it’s okay if things don’t change overnight. It’s essential to be gentle with yourself and not get discouraged if some methods don’t show instant results. Instead, concentrate on the improvements you make along the way, as progress matters more than being flawless right away.

Furthermore, understand that you’re not the only one facing this issue. There are helpful online communities and forums where you can connect with others who are going through similar challenges. Sharing your experiences and learning from others can be quite beneficial. Remember, you have the capability to work towards taking your life back from excessive daydreaming, and there’s support available to assist you on this journey.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with overcoming and managing maladaptive daydreaming without spending years in therapy, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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