Some people have dreams every night, others — occasionally. Some stories you can remember to the smallest detail, while others remain only vague images. Dreams have been interesting to people since ancient times; they tried to understand their meaning, unravel the secret messages, and find answers to questions from real life in them. The experts from insidemydream.com told us how to use dreams to look into your subconscious and see what you are looking for in them.
What Do We Dream About
It has been scientifically proven that our real-life directly affects the content of our dreams. To this are added inner emotions and feelings about real things. Such a combination can give rise to completely linear dreams with a clear plot, abstract images, or nightmares. It is known that the more involved you are in something during the day, the more likely you are to dream about it at night.
Recent studies show that dreams usually have sources in reality, so we dream:
- stories that are directly related to the experience;
- dreams that have an indirect connection with real events;
- the places you have visited and the people you have interacted with;
- other aspects of reality: actions, emotions, objects, etc.
Of course, our brain processes the experience, adds some additional details, and seasons them with subjective emotions. The latter allows you, after waking up, to understand whether it was a good dream or a bad one and what the symbols you saw could mean.
Dream Analysis: Step-by-Step Guide
Although dreams connect with the real world, they rarely have plots and images that are understandable at first glance. While the ancestors considered them sacred signs “from above,” modern science sees them as a way to look into your own subconscious. Some preliminary work should be done to make your dream analysis effective.
Step 0: Achieve mindfulness
The term “mindfulness” refers to a unique state of your consciousness when you seem to be watching everything that happens from the side, noticing all the details, and fixing your thoughts and feelings. So the ability to enter such a state, in reality, will help you remember dreams better. Meditation on awareness and mindfulness can help you with it. If meditation is not for you, you can simply give yourself a mental set that you need to remember what you will dream about. It will allow you to tune in to the desired state. Experts also recommend recalling everything that happened to you during the day, especially emotional moments and complex problems. So when analyzing dreams, you can better understand how much they are connected with your reality.
Step 1: Do some preparations
Now that you are mentally prepared for the perception of dreams, you need to get ready physically. If you decide to take deciphering seriously, get yourself a dream diary. Put it with a pen next to your bed to record your dream as soon as you wake up. It is better if you do not use any gadgets. The fact is that the glow of smartphone screens has a special effect on the brain and prevents you from falling asleep after using them.
Now remove all irritants that make your sleep less deep. Curtain off your windows, put your phone on silent, plug in earplugs, and make your bed as comfortable as possible. All this will allow you to fall deeper into sleep and be more receptive. Besides, you will simply sleep better and feel great in the morning.
Step 2: Write down the dream
After the night, try to recall everything that you dreamed about. If you find it difficult to identify a clear plot, you do not need to think it out. Just fix on paper all the images you saw. Now put the diary aside, go about your usual morning routine, and return to the notes after a while. Over time, the information in your head will settle down a bit (more precisely, your brain will filter out the details and leave the essence), and you will be able to evaluate the dream from the other side. Write down the dream again. This way, you can determine the difference between the first and second versions and understand how your mind transforms memories.
Step 3: Gather line associations
You need to determine the images that lie on the surface. Linear associations imply what this or that object is associated with in the first place. For example, a dog is a friend, a helper; a snake is a danger; a web is a conspiracy, and so on. For these purposes, it is better not to use dream books but to focus on your own perception.
Step 4: Gather circular associations
Unlike linear associations, circular associations mean numerous auxiliary meanings you can attribute to certain objects. By building multi-level chains of associations, you can get to the bottom of the purpose. Take something or an event from your dream and write in front of it a few nouns or verbs related to them (as you feel). It’s good if this list includes both your personal and generally accepted associations; it will give you a broader understanding.
Step 5: Start interpreting the dream
Approaches to the interpretation of dreams can be very different. Jungians can argue endlessly with Freudians. You can choose your own path, passing all the received images and stories through your own perception. Try to identify the following points:
- why exactly this or that symbol appeared in your dream;
- how it looked like and where you saw it;
- what emotions this object evoked in you;
- how you feel now when you think about the subject, and so on.
The answers to these questions will help you unravel the true purpose of the images you saw in a dream and understand how they are related to real life.
Know Yourself Through Dreams
Dreams give you messages from the unconscious and help you enter into a dialogue with it. Close attention to detail and regular work on deciphering dreams will help you better understand these secret notes and, therefore, better understand yourself. When decoding, personal experience, and life circumstances are crucial, so you should not completely rely on dream books. If you regularly keep a dream diary, you can create your own language for communicating with your subconscious mind.