- Education and Science
Understanding your Dreams
“The best thing about dreams is that fleeting moment, when you are between asleep and awake, when you don't know the difference between reality and fantasy, when for just that one moment you feel with your entire soul that the dream is reality, and it really happened.”
First let's talk about why we dream. What does it do for us?
Dreams are something that I feel is not completely understood by researchers. It actually has not even been studied a whole lot until more recent times,and there are many different theories as to why exactly we dream at all. The most popular theory is that dreaming is a way of getting in touch with our thoughts,feelings and desires in a safe and controlled environment.
Whatever the reason truly is,we all know that our dreams can elicit a wide array of emotions. Sometimes you might not even remember the dream itself,but the way it made you feel is crystal clear. Some dreams are so strong that you continue to think about them for the remainder of your day. As powerful as dreams are,there must be some sort of purpose. I refuse to believe that dreams are just a useless activity of the brain. This is why dream therapy has the potential to help all of us learn about ourselves.
In studies,it has been proven safe to say that every person dreams. Even animals dream,although since we obviously can not communicate with them,we do not know how much their dreams resemble our own. So even if you don't always remember your dreams,it is almost certain that you did in fact dream.
Dream therapy is not something you need to go to a therapist in order to partake in. It is not only for people who exhibit signs of psychosis,although it is worth mentioning that psychosis and dreaming do seem to have some type of connection. That is far from saying that anybody who dreams is psychotic. It is only saying that some of the things going on during dreaming,and that of someone with psychosis are much alike.
What you need to do
Dream therapy is one thing that absolutely ANYBODY can do to try and understand what is going on in their dreams,and why it is happening. The clues are there every night,you just have to take the time to listen,and pay attention to what is going on. You get to be a Sherlock Holmes of sorts. It really is easy to do,and the benefits are phenomenal.
The process of dream therapy all occurs at home,and although it is said to be beneficial to talk with a therapist about your findings,I honestly do not find it necessary for the average dreamer. If your having horrible,recurring dreams that are effecting your waking life,then dream therapy along with a therapist may be a good idea for you.
Please do not refer to a dream dictionary or any other type of dream interpretations online. They can be fun to read about,but the bottom line is these do not work. The reason is that this method does not focus on you as a person,but rather a general idea of what a certain symbol may possibly represent. Everybody has different life experiences and different emotions,and a dream dictionary can't even come close to figuring out the meaning behind each and every persons dreams.
You will need to keep a pen and a notepad handy,preferably beside your bed. You need to make a journal of your dreams,and usually we remember the most soon after we wake up. It's amazing how fast the images and thoughts of our dreams can fade,so you want to make sure to get it written down as soon as possible,
Some people decide to actually record their own voice stating what exactly happened in the dream,and how it made them feel. This is used for the same reason as the pen and notepad method,and is only a different way of keeping a record of your dreams. Either one is completely acceptable,and the choice lies soley on your shoulders. Just remember to do this as soon as you wake up from a dream.
Once you start keeping a record of your dreams,you can then start the analyzation process. You absolutely must think outside of the box. Just because you dreamed of monkeys does not mean your brain is telling you to buy a monkey. Think of your feelings during the dream if you can remember them. Your feelings after waking up offer hints as well,and you must pay attention and document your feelings along with any actual happenings within the dream.
Always remember that objects,places and people in your dreams all offer critical clues. But it is often not the objects themselves that you need to look at,but rather what they represent to you. It could be something from your past that is again happening in the present.and causing the same sort of feelings. Dreams very often are trying to help bring our innermost feelings to the surface,where they can be dealt with accordingly.
Really coming to understand your dreams is a lot like a huge game of connect the dots. Dreams always hold truth,but you have to look beyond the very edge of the dream,and really dive in deep. Many times you will get confused,because it will seem that your dreams mean the complete opposite of what you initially would have expected. This is completely normal,and is what dreams are all about. Your dreams will speak to you if you only open up and listen.