A good dream can make you want to sleep forever. A bad dream can make you never want to sleep again. It seems that the psychological power our dreams have over us is strong. The reality is, however, the psychological power we have over our dreams is what's strong. While there are no studies that prove dreams have any psychological relevance, many believe that a recurring dream is an indication of something psychologically significant. There are arguments that dreams are the mindless doodling of the brain while it sleeps; unintentional, illogical, and without meaning. The truth of the matter is that we just don't have enough information to draw any solid conclusions.
But if you're looking at your dreams for some clarification on your waking life or vice versa, there are plenty of scientifically unproven ways that might help you illuminate yourself just fine. The most common way people look at their dreams for answers is by pulling themes. Typically in a dream there will be a central theme, whether it's fear, power, hunger, love or... Shia Labeouf. While dreams are so personal, they're all similar levels of differentness; a mix of daily residue, future hopes, worries, fears, and things we just don't understand, yet. So, if you're plagued by confusing recurring dreams, here are seven common themes and how they might suggest you make a change in your life:
Being run down or chased is a very common dream. First, take a look at who is chasing you. Do you recognize them? What do they mean to you? Then take a look at where you are and what safety might look like. It's possible you have no idea where you're running or who you're running from in the dream and in your waking life. In this case, take a look at your life and really think about everyone and everything it it. You might find that you're avoiding someone or hiding from them or yourself.
Major School Fail
I've been out of school for years and yet every so often I have a dream that I'm unprepared for a test or forgot my homework or don't know the answer to the question. Those types of dreams indicate an insecurity and fear of being unprepared. Have you been winging it lately with work? Doing the bare minimum? Skimming emails? Speed proofing? Zoning out? Put together a checklist of your responsibilities and duties and see what you're working with. Chances are there's an area of your work that you're neglecting. You'll feel a lot better once you get back on top of it.
I dream that I'm falling almost every night. Falling is an easy theme target for loss of control. Sleeping in itself is a loss of control, which is why feelings of falling are often felt in the first sleep cycle. Take a look at your life. Are you in control? Are you wound too tightly? Could you give up some control? Can you give up some control?
Dreams about being naked are super common. Some people believe that they hold themes of sexuality, but if you're having a recurring dream about showing up places naked, chances are you're subconsciously struggling with insecurities about how other people see you. Maybe you feel invisible, maybe you'd like more attention, maybe less. If you think about the people in your life and who sees you and who doesn't you might realize that you're not content with the ratio.
There isn't a week that goes by without my dreaming that my teeth have shattered and I'm spitting out chunks of enamel. Cracking teeth and loose teeth are huge superstars in the dream realm. Dream scientists see teeth as stress and anxiety indicators. A more logical reason for cracking teeth dreams might be that you're simply grinding your teeth in your sleep. Consider both options.
Often, it seems our minds can be very literal in dreams. If you're having a recurring dream that you're trapped, it might be stress residue from your waking life. Are you immobilized by a decision? Do you feel stuck physically? Is someone in your way? Then look back to your dream. What do you need to get out? Is there someone who can help? Do you know the way to freedom? Pay close attention and write down everything you remember in the morning.
While water can be a soothing, calming theme in dreams, it can also stand for unexpected catastrophe. Flooding and rain can symbolize your anxiety and fear about potential unexpected dangers. What are you protecting? What are you worried might go wrong? How can you protect yourself?
Try to write down your dreams every morning when you wake up. If you're having a recurring dream, write that down every morning too. There might be some slight changes that are key to understand what's going on inside of your waking mind.