Analysing Dreams & Nightmares
There are many theories about analysing dreams and nightmares but most agree that they are the link between your conscious mind and your unconscious. Without them we would probably emotionally overheat and never be able to cope with the complexities of life. Dreams give the brain the opportunity to explore its potential in ways that would never be possible in day to day life. Dreams and nightmares show us new ways of doing things and have helped us to scale the evolutionary ladder.
It is generally agreed that they are essential for health. Dreams are an emotional safety valve and are as important to our well being as eating and drinking, for without them our frustrations and anxieties would overwhelm us. Similarly conscious fantasy, which is in effect a superficial form of dreaming, may help to relieve the stress caused by the banality of everyday life.
When you start your dream interpretation you will need to look to the dream symbols to see if they represent the feeling you have in daily life. A good first step is to ascertain the overall emotional feel of the dream. How does the dream make you feel. What feelings did you have when you first woke up and how do you feel now when you think about the dream.
The emotions the dream creates in you are an important key to understanding the overall theme of the dream. With this in mind you can start your analysis by looking up the individual meanings in our on-line dream dictionary. You can find it here.
Once you get a feeling for the symbols that have appeared in your dream the next step is to ask yourself what they mean and to build a picture of what the dream is trying to say about your life situation. I have posted a series of questions you can ask yourself here. This will help you to dig deeper into the meaning of the dream and deepen your interpretation.
Analysing the Symbols
But before you begin this process it is important to understand why we have dreams in the first place. Dreams have an important psychological function and when you recognise this you will be less fearful of nightmares or what dreams say. They are basically helping you to come to terms with your emotions and create harmony and balance within you. Dreams are a psychological healing mechanism.
Dreams and nightmares also help us to assimilate knowledge and learn. A fantasy may reveal solutions to a problem more quickly than rational thought. As has been shown, dreams certainly have been responsible for many creative ideas and inventions. In particular dreams can show us solutions to our personal dilemmas and prepare us for the future. They expose our deepest fears and signpost ways to resolve these fears.
Dreams and nightmares express emotions, feelings and abstract ideas in the language of symbols. Symbols are a very flexible way of thinking and can mean many things to different people. For example to one person an apple may represent good health, to another it may be the brand name of their computer, another may be reminded of wholeness, another say sees it is a symbol of Eve’s temptation or as the forbidden knowledge of sexuality. The truth is that just about anything can be symbolic and the meaning may have many individual slants.
Understanding the Main Themes
Every dream and fantasy you have is unique to you but of course there are many themes that occur that other people have as well. For example the fantasy a child may have about being a Jedi Knight from Star Wars or a super hero from a comic book is in essence almost exactly the same as the nightmares children had in ancient times. Ancient Greek children may have imagined themselves as Perseus slaying the snake headed Gorgon, a Viking child would have played at being Beowulf and a Mesopotamian child may have fantasised about being Gilgamesh. If you read these stories you will see many similarities with the most popular films and stories of today. We may think that our nightmares and dreams are unique but at a primal level that correspond with nightmares that people have had for millennia.
Myths and legends have very similar characters and themes that would appear to be penned by the same author. These traditions arise because on a deep psychological level we share similar racial memories the foundations of which go back far into ancient history to the times when humanity was just beginning to attain consciousness. The archaic memories cross all cultural boundaries and show how humanity is connected by an inherent spirituality. Myths and legends are just like dreams and fantasy in that they express the human condition by weaving stories through an association of symbols. And they continue to fascinate us today. For example I know a number of sensible people who fantasise about Ancient Egypt and in some cases believe that they are incarnations of Egyptian priests, priestesses or Pharaohs. And who is to say it is a Fantasy? Perhaps many of our nightmares about ancient times and other cultures are real memories that express themselves in fantasy.
If we study our dreams and nightmares we will see may symbolic stories that express the motivating forces in our life. We can work with these unconscious forces to improve our life.
What Does A Dream Mean?
There are many dreams and nightmares that we have in common but also sometimes the symbolism of the dream fantasy will be unique to you. This website will give you some simple guidelines that will help you see what is working below the surface of your consciousness and help you to understand why you are having particular dream nightmares. I explain some of the well know psychological theories about the meanings of dreams and make many common sense observations about possible interpretations however there are no final answers to what the meaning is. In the final analysis the decision about what a dream means is up to you.