Fantasizing can take place on many varying levels of awareness, from a total immersion on one end of the scale to a simple overlay on the other. Total immersion is when you are so deep into the fantasy that the real world is blocked from your senses. A simple overlay is when you are still completely aware of the real world around you, it’s just that you perceive it differently.
With a total immersion you are actually in a dream state where the fantasy IS your reality while you are in it. This is the type that is the most helpful when I am writing a fantasy novel because it enables me to establish that fantasy world as a tangible place. It is also the same type that needs to be done when you are HOME and ALONE to be safe because you lose touch with reality while you are immersed so completely.
On the other hand, the overlay type of fantasy is safe to be anytime or anywhere because it leaves you completely aware of everything around you and more importantly, able to react to it. There are times that I find myself well into one of these before I even realize it. By now, fantasizing is so much a part of my life, I can’t imagine what it would be like without it, nor would I want to.