When you close your eyes and fall asleep, are you greeted by expansive vistas, detailed stories, and complex images? Are your dreams vivid and fully realized, complex and nuanced? Some people have brief, fleeting dreams while others have nighttime experiences that are nearly as immersive and detailed as waking life. If your dream life is precious and varied, you may wake up wondering what it all means.
Do We Understand Dreams?
For thousands of years, people have relied on their dreams to give them insights into the questions that plague them during waking life. After all, if you understand what is going on, this can help you deal with it. In ancient times people would pray to the gods to be given prophetic dreams that would contain clues about the underlying causes behind illnesses; dreams would also be consulted about what to do in times of confusion and crisis. Although we rarely look for answers to health questions from our dreams today, people who dream vividly can still use the ancient wisdom of dream analysis to discover what their subconscious is trying to tell them.
Scientists still don’t really understand why exactly we dream or even what exactly dreams are. Many people have theorized about these questions, and there are many possible explanations. Some people believe that dreams are our unconscious mind trying to communicate with our conscious mind. Things that we forget about or ignore are just beneath the surface of our conscious awareness, where they wait until we are asleep. Then, when our guard is down, those forgotten and ignored things come back to the surface of our awareness where they interact with our mind in a more direct manner. However, because there is no orderliness behind this interaction, dreams can feel confusing or even scary as all these thoughts come flowing back into our minds.
Another Way of Communication
Sometimes the unconscious mind chooses to communicate with our dreaming mind through symbols. Symbols are simple representations that can stand in for complicated ideas and relationships. For instance, a favorite toy from childhood can represent a childhood home, family life, an impending birth, or anxieties about family. It can also be your unconscious mind telling you that a memory from your childhood is trying to communicate something with your waking, conscious self.
Dream symbols are fascinating because they can mean so many different things. If you want to try interpreting your dreams, you can go to a library or bookstore and find a dream dictionary. These are books filled with common symbols and interpretations. This is a good way to get started analyzing your personal dreams and uncovering what your unconscious mind is trying to tell you. If you like, you can also start your own dream dictionary using the symbols that frequently occur in your dreams. This personal dictionary is likely to be very useful because it is entirely personal, and therefore reflective of your individual dreaming life.
If you dream vividly but struggle to retain clear memories of your dreams upon waking, you might like to start keeping a dream journal. This is a good way to train yourself to remember your dreams more clearly. Start by keeping a notebook by your bed. Get in the habit of writing down your dreams each morning when you wake up. Write down everything you remember about your dreams. Before long, you will find that you remember more and more each day. This way your dreams will start to become a rich source of wisdom and guidance.
Some people believe that dreams contain psychic intuition that provides insight into questions and concerns facing us in daily life. You may dream about an upcoming event that you will be participating in. If this happens, be sure to write that dream down in your journal with as much detail as possible. This kind of dream can provide valuable clues about what might happen. As you continue to work on your dream journal, you will learn to determine which dreams are psychic intuition and which dreams are simply your mind processing anxieties or general memories.
Your nightly dream life is a wondrous world that is entirely yours. It is there every time you close your eyes and fall asleep. By learning to decode the symbols that appear in your dreams and by practicing to improve dream recall, you can learn to make your vivid dreams work for you. Begin keeping a dream journal to start building your psychic intuition. Before long, you will be able to master your dreaming mind, and in ways, could even lead to better creativity (you are sleeping after all).