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The Importance of Dreams

Why is it important to dream?

Dreams seem to be a universal experience. We all dream; no matter our age, gender or race, even if perhaps we do not always recall our dreams. Dreams can include parts of our everyday lives, such as people we know or places we have visited. However, dreams often have a more illogical and odd feeling to them and can often leave the dreamer wondering what their dream may have meant.

In our dream world, people and places can become blended and can take on strange qualities.

Some dreams can offer feelings of safety and warmth, while other dreams or nightmares, can generate feelings of terror, restlessness, helplessness and fear. It is these nightmares that can lead to the dreamer to even becoming fearful of falling asleep, leading to insomnia and fatigue.

For psychologists we believe that dreams are a valuable part of our inner selves. Dreams and nightmares can let the dreamer know a little bit more about themselves; their wishes, conflicts, fears and those parts of themselves that are even hidden from conscious awareness.

Our dreams contain important meanings that we can try to uncover as a way to increase self-awareness and creativity.

Here are a few tips to letting your dreams become a more helpful and meaningful part of your everyday life:

1. Keep a dream diary:

Very often we begin to forget our dreams soon after we wake up. Try to keep a notebook and pen on your night stand so that you can easily jot down some of your dream.

2. Review and reflect upon your dream:

Try to do this as soon after having the dream as possible while it is still fresh with details and emotions. Think about your associations and memories to certain people, places or objects in the dream. For example, dreaming of a plane may make you think about themes such as travels, childhood vacations, escape or adventure.

3. Thinking about your own dreams:

Wondering more about yourself and your unconscious parts can allow for you to uncover parts of yourself and create better self-understanding. For example, dreaming of yourself achieving something may be letting you know about your more assertive and ambitious parts of your personality.

4. Remember that dreams are uniquely meaningful:

We each have a set of assumptions and understandings of certain symbols and images, based on our experiences, culture and religion. Some of these meanings may be similar depending on our history and collective experiences. For example, a tree or a church may have diverse understandings depending on each unique person’s perspective. There is no ‘recipe’ for understanding a dream.

If you would like to know more about your dreams or your dreams are affecting your sleeping, send us a mail to set up an appointment. 081 7594849 - Michelle Nortje : Meaningful Minds Psychologists

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