- Mental Health
Your Body Speaks To You Through Your Dreams
Dreams have baffled us before our species stood upright. They were seen as messages from the spirits. In ancient Greece, sleeping temples to the God of Healing, Asclepius, promoted dream healing. The sick went in the temple and slept. When they awoke, they told the priests their dream. Sometimes, the dream alone would seem to spontaneously heal them. The priests would try and help heal the patient based on the dream. But perhaps it wasn't the Gods who sent the dreams - perhaps it was their own bodies.
I'm just a writer, not a scientist, so use your own judgment as to how seriously you want to take these suggestions. But dreams can be used as a tool to help monitor and maintain your health. They can alert you from a sleeping state to wake up and deal with an immediate problem. There are many anecdotal stories about heart attack victims dreaming that they have chest pains shortly before an actual heart attack or stroke. This connection has never been clinically studied, however. Sometimes, dreams may also give you warnings about physical problems you really shouldn't ignore.
Here are a few modern examples of my body trying to talk to me through my dreams:
- I dream about blood a couple of days before my period, even if my period comes early or late.
- I once dreamt that I was shot in the belly and died. When I suddenly awoke, I was experiencing my first severe gas attack. (Ouch!)
- I dream of getting into physical fights with other people before my body shows signs of a cold or a virus.
Your body will talk to you in ways meaningful for you. Dream interpretation books are usually not valid for you. You have a unique mind and way of looking at the world, so one symbol or images will bring up associations and meanings that would leave other people baffled.
Keeping A Dream Journal
You can find what your dreams mean to you a lot quicker by keeping a dream journal. There are many benefits to recording your dreams, including, but not limited to:
- tracking your mental health
- finding out what makes you tick
- helping you think of an idea
- helping you make a decision
Your dream journal can be as fancy or as plain as you want. Write in it when you want. Just jot a few notes when you wake up and write anything out in more detail later on. I kept one for years and then, when I saw patterns repeat and dream symbols stayed pretty consistent, I stopped. It helped my self-esteem, which in turn helped my physical health. And I always knew when my period was coming or when I should start taking extra Vitamin C.
I also knew when medications were working or when they weren't. It took years of convincing, but I finally went on Prozac for my endogenous recurring depression (once called clinical depression). I didn't get anything but sleepy for the first two weeks. After a month, I wondered if the pills were doing any good. But then my dreams started to be happier. That let me know that something was working out. And yes, I still keep taking the medication.
Your body may have different things to say to you in your dreams - even if it's just "Roll over, darn it!" If you learn to pay attention to them, you can learn to give your body what it needs to be really healthy. Never be put off to let the conversation between your consciousness and your body begin.