Article about Emotional Dreams by Craig Hamilton-Parker. Extract from the book The Hidden Meaning of Dreams. (Copyright)
Psychological Meaning of Emotional Dreams:
Some psychologists believe that we have emotional dreams in order to allow our emotions to settle down. Without emotional dreams, we would simply overheat. Dreams can sometimes express very powerful emotions that we would not dare express in everyday life. They can act as an emotional safety valve to help us release tension. Jung pointed out that emotions come from the ‘Shadow’ which is the undeveloped, ‘inferior’ functions of the psyche. Many people will refuse to recognize these emotions as their own and project them onto someone else.
Mystical Meaning of Emotional Dreams:
Some superstitions say to reverse the emotional meaning of the dream. For example, if you dream of being angry or crying it means that you will soon hear some good news.
Dreams and Emotions
Dreams are the strangest things. However sane you are during the day, at night you end up behaving very oddly indeed: flying, running around naked, chasing monsters, even meeting your soulmate – the so-called man ‘of your dreams’.
What are ‘Emotional Dreams’?
It all seems so real, it’s not surprising people assume that dreams must have some use. And, according to Hamilton-Parker, they do. He believes they’re a powerful way to improve your emotions and your relationships.
‘No-one knows exactly what dreams are, but one theory is that it’s your brain’s way of stopping your emotions overheating,’ he says. ‘Which means while your unconscious mind churns away turning out all your crazy imaginings, it’s also working out solutions to any problems or issues you’re facing.
Because dreams are intuitive, not logical, they’re especially useful when it comes to discovering your true, gut feelings. ‘That means once you learn to tap into your dreams, you can actually learn to use their lessons in waking life.
How to Interpret your Emotional Dreams…
‘Don’t take your dreams literally – they speak to you in symbols,’ says Hamilton-Parker. ‘Everything in each dream – the weather, how you feel, the theme, the scenery, the people and any sounds, numbers or colors all mean something. For example, an icy landscape may mean your feelings are literally frozen, you’re not expressing yourself, while hot and tropical might express your passion. “Even the people you see in your dreams could be symbols of yourself, not actual people. For example, if you see your mother, it could be an expression of your nurturing side.’
Q: I had a nightmare and woke up full of foreboding and a sense of danger. What does this mean?
A: ‘A bad dream isn’t necessarily bad as what you’ve dreamt isn’t likely to happen. Nightmares can be very revealing, though, especially of any hidden fears, guilt, worries, anger, insecurities and bad memories that you’ve pushed out of your waking mind into your unconscious. Once you know what your fears are, you can face them, so they’ll no longer have a hold on you. When you’re in a neutral frame of mind, try to do the opposite of what the dream says. So, if you’re running away from something, work out what that monster represents, and face it.’
Q: I dreamed I was back in a bad relationship. Do I secretly want to go out with him again?
A: Not really, it’s more revealing of your fears of what’s going to happen to you in current or future relationships.
Q: I dreamed about my soulmate – does this mean I’ll meet him?
A: ‘If it’s a real person, it may be expressing feelings you’ve repressed or even expressed about them. Or, that person could actually be your soulmate. But it’s more likely that the person you see isn’t. ‘As your soulmate is the person who fits you perfectly, and dream people are symbols of yourself, then the person you’re seeing as a soulmate is in fact simply another side of yourself. But it’s not all bad news. What you can use this dream for is to work out what’s missing in your emotional life. If you have a vision of your soulmate, it’s showing you the qualities you need to become a whole and
emotionally strong person.’
Q: I had a dream that I was pregnant – does that mean I will be soon?
A: ‘It certainly could mean you’re broody!. But it’s more likely there are new things happening in your life, relationship or personality. Or you could be in the early stages of a new relationship.’
Q: In my dream I was riding a horse along a beach. It felt so happy. What does it mean?
A: ‘Animals, like people, speak symbolically about the way you feel. Each animal represents certain qualities in yourself, especially the instinctive and sexual side of you. So, for example, a cat may represent intuition, a tiger may represent fear, a pig may symbolize gluttony and bad behavior, and a snake the slippery side. Horses in particular show sexuality – so it could be that you’re feeling very comfortable about expressing the sexual side of yourself.’
How to ask your dreams for answers
If you want to ask your dreams a question, write it down and put it under your pillow. Then, you’ve set your unconscious program in motion to answering your question. It could be, say, ‘Is he the one for me?’ When you wake up, write down everything about your dream immediately. Then, think about the way you feel about every element of your dream – the people, sights and sounds. First impressions count, as they’ll express your gut feelings. And they’re the key to finding an answer – although it might not be the one you want!