Dreams are fascinating, rich, and complex series of thoughts, images, and sensations that occur in a person’s mind during sleep. There are many psychoanalytic and psychic theories about why we dream.
Dreams can provide many insights and messages about issues and circumstances people experience daily. By paying attention to your dreams and their meaning, you can learn a lot about yourself, other people, and the world around you.
Sleep is important for our health, as it affects both our physical and mental well-being. During sleep, the human body rests and restores its energy levels. After a good night of sleep, people cope better with illness, stress, and more successful at problem-solving.
Vivid dreams tend to happen during the REM (rapid eye movement) phase. REM sleep occurs 90 minutes after falling asleep. The first period of REM typically lasts 10 minutes. After that, there is a gradual increase of each REM period and the final period lasts for about an hour. Intense dreaming that occurs during REM sleep is a result of increased cerebral activity. The amount of REM sleep declines in adults and decreases with aging.
Throughout history, the dreams of many people greatly contributed and influenced our world. Albert Einstein saw the inspiration for his theory of relativity in a dream; Stephen King’s dreams helped him write numerous bestselling storybooks; Dmitri Mendeleev, a famous chemist, and inventor envisioned a complete arrangement of the elements of his periodic tables in a dream.
A cancer surgeon and bestselling author of books about healing Bernie Siegel taught medical students the importance of listening to patients’ dreams for insights into their healing.
Communicating With Conscious and Unconscious
There are various theories about why we dream. According to psychotherapists, dreams allow processing the world as we experience it. Some believe that a person is a central character of a story that he or she created unconsciously.
Most of the time, people rely on their conscious mind dominated by logic, ego and overthinking to resolve their problems. The unconscious mind is not taken into consideration. In reality, the problem-solving process is more effective when the unconscious mind is more engaged.
Many psychotherapists believe that the unconscious mind has complete knowledge of the human system. It has more awareness than the person himself. Our unconscious mind has amazing processing capabilities compared to the conscious mind as it contains valuable past experiences and forgotten memories.
The unconscious mind fills in the gaps of our self-knowledge and provides information and insights. Our unconscious or subconscious mind is capable of expressing itself through habits, feelings, and sensations in our body like pain or muscle tension.
During sleep, the unconscious is able to communicate with our conscious mind. By establishing effective communication between conscious and unconscious mind, we can easily become more creative, solve problems, and have different experiences in life.
Many dreams simply come from a preoccupation with daily activities. Some psychotherapists believe that our dreams are there for a reason. They believe that dreams are portals or entryways to our psyches. Dream images are the valuable information we need to evaluate our life events. This information can be found by exploring the content of the dreams.
Psychotherapist Carl Jung wrote a lot of books about symbols in dreams and called them archetypes. According to his observations, archetypes are the universal energies of every person who is not in conflict with himself and society.
He called these universal energies a “collective unconscious,” a commonly misrepresented term in today’s culture that calls it a “collective psychic place of knowledge.”
Jung suggested that archetypal images in dreams derived from different organs and thought centers in the body represent evolutionary drives. Jung believed that dreams provide messages about “neglected” or “lost” parts of us that need to be reinstated.
The Power of Seeing The Whole Picture
Many conflicts that you have in life can be resolved by analyzing symbols in your dream. To do that, the psychotherapists listen to the person’s associations to the dream. They can rule out the motives for the dreams through the associations and connections in the form of current and past conflicted situations.
The person then allows his subconscious mind to work through the process of analyzing all the information that the conscious mind ignores or avoids to deal with while the person is awake.
For example, if you have argued with someone close to you in a dream, this scene can represent an unresolved conflict you have with that other person. So, next time you are going to meet him or her, figure out what went wrong between the two of you in the past.
You can set an intention to see a dream that will show you any unresolved relationship issues that need to be released or healed. If you see someone in a dream you have not spoken to for years, there is a high chance that this person had a thought about you or felt some type of emotion.
Anytime you see something in your dream that looks unfamiliar to you, think about the symbolism that is related to you and what role it plays in your life. To interpret the dream properly, you should not associate all the symbols or characters you see with your own psyche.
For example, there was a blog post from one lady who was about to start a new coaching program in intuition development with a dozen new students. She requested her unconsciousness to answer a question about her career through a dream. Then she used the psychotherapy theory to explain her dream:
“Psychotherapists believe that most of the time, figures within the dream represent an aspect of the dreamer. Figures and every element and aspect of the dream — represent an aspect of the dreamer, an aspect of your own psyche. The hook of the dream is the final scene of the dream. The dream hook is the last scene that plays out before we wake up and often it points to something our psyche wants us to pay attention to.”
Then she described her dream:
“The dream I had just before waking was definitely relating to career, but not exactly answering my question. In the dream, I was standing outside the Akashic Record with a girl I had never met before. This girl was my student and I was supposed to show her around the Akashic Record. It looked like an old museum in the Akashic Record and we kept going up to ledges that were high up. Whenever I got close to a ledge, I got dizzy but instead of me falling, when I got dizzy, my student would teeter on the edge of it and nearly fall. In the end, she did fall a long way onto the marble below and I was certain she was dead but when I got down there, she was actually alive and fine. I then went to have dinner with her and her family but I couldn’t look them in the eye because I let their daughter fall in the Akashic Record and I felt guilty.”
In her dream analysis, she associated all the figures from the dream with her own psyche. She said, “This dream was clearly not a relevant response to where am I going in my career long-term, but it addressed the question of what is holding me back in my career right now.”
Obviously, she missed the point of a dream. The answer she got from a dream was perfect and clear. Her unconscious clearly told her to pay attention to the well-being of her students and not her career goals: “In the end, she did fall a long way onto the marble below and I was certain she was dead but when I got down there, she was actually alive and fine”.
Dreams are fascinating and complex series of images, and sensations. They often contain rich and symbolic expressions that pass between the conscious and the unconscious. The symbols and messages can provide many insights on issues and circumstances from the daily life of the person. Dreams help to resolve any relationship issues with families, friends, and coworkers and they can provide guidance on what decision to make.