Why We Dream

  Dreams play a huge role in our lives, even if it doesn’t always appear to be that way.  Whether we’re suffering from insomnia, we sink into a dead sleep, or we don’t have memorable dreams, a lot of people are quick to push them to the side. 

However, it’s common to believe that, within a 24-hour cycle, all of us dream for approximately 90-120 minutes.  When we pay close attention to our night, we can often remember snippets (even if they’re only there when we initially wake up).

Dreams, while often thought to be these large, symbolic times, are often related to the emotions that we’re feeling in our waking hours.  If we’re scared, we’re more than likely to have nightmares.  If we’re peaceful and relaxed, we can enjoy a calmer, nicer dream that feels much the same.  There are some kinds of dreams that tend to be present in everyone’s lives at one point or time, however, that relate to our lives as individuals.

Running away from what is chasing us: Whether it’s a dog, a car, an unnamed “bag guy” or something else, running dreams means that we are fearful of something that is chasing us.  Deeper, they mean that we are fearful of what may be around us in our lives that we are trying (unsuccessfully) to run from.  It could mean to take a look at what’s going on and what you are trying to out-run.

Looking for a path to take to get to our goal: Whether it’s driving on the highway flying on a plane or something else, traveling has its own symbolism.  It means that we are trying to transition from one thing to another in our lives.  It means that your mind is searching for a way to achieve the transition that you are (knowingly or unknowingly) after.

Most people go straight to the symbolism of certain people or colour when looking at dream interpretation.  To get an accurate understanding of your dream, it’s best to take a look at the emotion behind the dream (ie: what were you feeling that day?) And then go to the symbolism to help you understand why you dreamt what you did.

Also, don’t stress too much about understanding your dream. It’s partly symbolism and partly your mind trying to sort through memories — recent and old — as you sleep. 

            Dreams are a universal language in which our brain communicates directly with us.  They can be pleasant, confusing, fearful and just plain boring.  While understanding your dreams offers you a window into your own mind, and the emotions living there, it shouldn’t be a burden.  It’s just an additive to your life that can give you the power of introspection when you’re looking for it.  The key is to make it work for you and your goals in your daily (and nightly) routine.

4 Comments

  1. Christian Brooks

    While I have never been one to think much about what my dreams mean, I have to admit, I have a lot of them! Most days I remember my dreams and sometimes, they can be quite silly or just really fascinating. Problem is, I forgot what I dreamt about by the time I make it the bathroom in the morning! I think I am going to start keeping a dream journal. This post has inspired me to pay closer attention.

  2. Felicia M.

    I’m always dreaming I’m being chased by something :)). Whether it’s a dog, a wolf, a lion, a burglar or who knows what else, I’m always running away from something. I guess I need to start facing my fears in real life so these dreams stop, no?

  3. Riley

    My dreams seem to shift dramatically between hyper-realistic and mundane to fanciful and otherworldly. There is no in-between!

    I try not to dwell on them but can’t help but wonder what my body is trying to tell me.

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