Psychology club with Lena: Dream interpretation

Автор: Alina

All dreams essentially tell us one important thing: “Wake up!” ;)

How much do you know about dreams? Those strange, absurd, funny ‘movies’ we watch while we are sleeping. Do they have influence on your life? They bare messages that might be not so easy to interpret, but still it is a good idea to try. Why? It might become a powerful tool for decision making and solving our waking life problems. Starting with quite real solutions to the task at work and finishing with prophetic dreams that predict the future. Our unconscious part generously provides all answers under the cover of metaphors and signs that we have to learn how to interpret.

We came across many questions such as perception of time in dreams or why pain is so real while we are dreaming, why one image, a part of the dream or even the whole dream is constantly repeated or why one dream is seen by several people.

The answer is in how our brain works and introduced by Carl Jung ‘collective unconscious’. We are what we think. It is philosophical questions that could be useful and interesting for you, my dear reader, to think once in a while.

What are sources of dreams? They include everyday life, physical response, archetypes, fears, problems to be solved, creativity and inventions, that is why some of them (for example dreams-reflection of the day's events) are not necessary to interpret while other can be real discovery.

You might say, ‘I don’t have dreams or I don’t remember them’. But the fact is everyone dreams but we not always pay attention to that. Not to forget you can write a dream journal. Keep it next to your bed and write down everything you remember of your dreams on waking. Make this a daily morning ritual before doing anything else. Write down everything, even if it doesn't make sense. The things that don't make sense or seem out of place may end up being the most valuable insights. A psychologist Christine Boyer gives some basic steps to help remember your dreams: 1. Intention 2. Preparation (take notes, keep a dream journal) 3. Appreciation (don’t judge) 4. Recognition (Play with the image as a metaphor. Tell your dream to a friend or a family member who’s trustworthy and who will be respectful. Listen to their comments and insights. Read books about dreams and dreaming. Experiment with some of the ideas they present).

Have you ever being chased in your dream or have you experienced flying? You are not alone. Some dreams are common for all people all over the world. These are some common ones and their interpretation:
1) Being chased. Candice Janco, author of the Bedside Dream Dictionary: 500 Dream Symbols and Their Meanings, describes this dream (the most common) as an indication of a felt threat in your waking life. This threat can take the form of a menacing person or a strong emotion with which you are having difficulty coping. Try to determine who or what is chasing you, where the dream takes place, and what your feelings are during the chase to understand what this dreams means to you.
2) Dreams of flying through the air can be both wonderful and freighting at the same time. The important part of the dream is how you are flying; since the flying itself represents your ambitions.  Are you failing or trying to fly as high as possible? If you are flying with ease and enjoying the scene and landscape below, then it suggests that you are on top of a situation. Having difficulties staying in flight indicates a lack of power in controlling your own circumstances.  If you are feeling fear when you are flying or that you feel that you are flying too high, then it suggests that you are afraid of challenges and of success.
3) Dreaming of being paralyzed (whether the dream was a nightmare or not) can mean that you have a feeling in your waking life that things are not under your control at all and you really don't know what to do. Paralysis can also indicate that you are afraid to do or say something in day to day life. This will usually revolve around something that is important to you rather than something inconsequential. It might be that you have a decision to make and it's a scary one and you don't know what to do for the best.

You can put your dream dictionary on the shelf. Here are the most popular scientific psychological techniques which we tried to use during our meeting:
1) Free Association (Freud) or speaking without thinking  
2) Symbol Amplification (Jung) or finding a range of possible meaning
3) Group Dream Work (Ullman) or group reflection on one dream

I can’t help mentioning that there no dream-book, or powerful interpreter that will provide all answers for you, fortunately or unfortunately.  

I would like to finish the article with one more questions: have you ever heard about lucid dreams, when while sleeping we know that we are dreaming and can control our dreams? Sounds unreal? Try this technique: during the day, repeatedly ask "Am I dreaming?" and perform some reality checks whenever you remember. With practice, if it happens enough, you will automatically remember it during your dreams and do it. And remember about a dream journal.

If the average night's sleep is eight hours (ie one third of a day), one sleeps for one third of one's life. If you live, say, 75 years, that's 25 years asleep, or 9,125 days.
Use this time with purpose and sweet dreams! ;)

Resources:
Books: S.Freud ‘The Interpretation of Dreams’
C.Jung ‘Man and his symbols’
Movies: ‘Waking life’
‘Inception’

Links connected with the topic:
Ten facts about dreaming http://psychology.about.com/od/statesofconsciousness/tp/facts-about-dreams.htm
Dream methods and techniques http://www.dreamtree.com/inside/dream-resources/dream-methods-techniques/
https://psychohawks.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/dreams-freud/
http://www.dreamsleep.net/meanings/

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