Dreams are stories and images that our minds create while we sleep occur in the rapid-eye movement (REM) stage of sleep—when brain activity is high and resembles that of being awake.
They can be entertaining, fun, romantic, disturbing, frightening, and sometimes bizarre.
Why do dreams occur? What causes them? Can we control them? What do they mean?
Dreams can sometimes help you clarify your thoughts and emotions and help you solve problems, and they can unlock your innermost thoughts and desires.
Many people are fascinated by dreams, and there are certainly many different schools of thought as to what dreams are made of. Science has studied them, spiritualists try to find meaning in them and visionaries encourage them…
Scientists describe dreams as a mix of physiology, neurobiology, cognition and information processing. Some describe dreams as no more than a spontaneous, self-activation of the brain during sleep.
- Dream interpretation allows you to analyze and understand the hidden messages that your dreams are sending you.
- Dream interpretation is all about taking the images and symbols you see in your dreams and finding meaning from them.
- Some view dreams as no more than a random collection of thoughts that accumulate during the day, while others see dreams as a sort of precognition.
- Lucid dreaming is a state in which the dreamer is actually aware and conscious of the fact that he or she is dreaming.
- Most people have at least one experience in their life where they feel as if they are lucid dreaming.
Carl Jung and Jungian Dreaming
- Carl Jung, a psychologist, initiated the concept of the collective unconscious.
- Jung saw dreams as more than just a personal message; he saw them as a universal message that might be communicated through archetypes or patterns of experience common to humanity.
Tibetan Dream Yoga
- Tibetan Buddhism and Taoism see the world as no more than an illusion or a dream itself.
- They view the dream state as no more than another transitional state of illusion.
Tips to Understanding Your Dreams
- Form a habit of recalling your dreams upon waking by keeping a dream journal.
- With practice, you will slowly train your brain to remember dreams easier.
- Date your dream entries, and look for recurring patterns and symbols for greater understanding.
- Tell yourself when you go to sleep that you will remember your dreams, and sooner or later, you will begin remembering them.
- Use your dreams to solve problems by posing a question to yourself before going to sleep and asking your dreams to provide you an answer.
- Use your dreams to heighten your creativity and imagination by using the symbols to help you create things. This might come in handy if you are an artist, a writer or even an engineer.
- Dreams are often a gateway to those secrets held within, so cultivating an understanding will go a long way.
The Top Five Most Common Dreams
- The most common dream by far is the dream of being chased, which means that there is some issue you want to confront, but lack the confidence to do so.
- The second most common dream is your teeth falling out, which might mean you are experiencing self-doubt.
- The third most common dream is not being able to find the bathroom, which could mean that you are continually looking for the dreams of others rather than yourself, ignoring your most basic needs.
- Being naked in public comes next. Being naked might indicate that you feel vulnerable.
- The fifth most popular dream is feeling unprepared for an exam, which could indicate you are judging yourself too much.
The Dreams of Flying and Falling
- Many people experience the dream of flying, which may mean you are freeing yourself from something that is holding you back.
- Flying can also be a sign that you feel in control or on top of a situation.
- If you are falling, you may need to just relax and learn how to let go, or you may be experiencing bouts of insecurity.
Dreams Can Give Valuable Clues to Your Life
- Dreams can even make you aware of health problems.
- If you dream of a beat-up old car, the car could signify your body, which may need repair.
- If you dream of a shiny new car, you are most likely giving your body proper attention.
Dreams happen during REM or rapid eye movement sleep. In a typical night, you may dream for about two hours, broken up by the various stages of the sleep cycle.
Dreams may, in fact, be the brain’s way of consolidating memories using the sleep cycle to reorganize and review the day’s events. You can develop your ability to recall dreams by telling yourself that you will recall your dreams as you sleep.
Recording your dreams upon waking can give you valuable clues to what your dreams are trying to tell you.
In the end, dreams are a succession of images, ideas, emotions and sensations that occur involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep. They can last anywhere from a few seconds to as long as 20 minutes.
Recording and seeking to understand your dreams can go a long way to helping you better understand your life.