Do dreams wake you up, do they have recurring themes, are some pleasant while others present as nightmares? Do your thoughts turn over and over when you are trying to sleep, maybe they clash and collide with each other? Do you want to understand the messages you send yourself. Your unconscious does not only affect you during the day, but also manifests in your dreams. Dreams are distorted and disguised representations of our forbidden and repressed desires.
Paintings, poetry, keeping a dream journal; any of your creative talents can help you get in touch with the unconscious content. A dream journal may be the most important first step, keep it close to your bed, and write immediately after you wake. Use your dreams to develop your creative life and your creative life to recall your dreams.
Dreams, give us a way to address problems we face during the day and relieve tension by gratifying suppressed desires symbolically. Some of these dreams are very pleasant, as when you dream of long lost loved ones or friends left at home. Dreams have two types of content, manifest and latent. The manifest content has a unique meaning and symbols, and is made up of what we actually remember. The latent content is made up of forbidden wishes and repressed desires that are disguised and show up as distortions. Each of us has our own dream “language”. The meaning of people, places, and objects is unique to each of us and differs according to what is going on in our lives.
There are three main types of dreams, lucid, nightmares, and recurring. Lucid dreams usually happen when we are in the middle of a dream and become aware of the fact we are dreaming. Often we rouse ourselves at this point, but we can choose not to awaken and then influence the course of the dream. Guiding the course of our dreams (wish fulfillment) and using them to make decisions is the most vital aspect of lucid dreams.
Nightmares are unpleasant or disturbing dreams that cause us to wake up feeling helpless, anxious and frightened. Nightmares may be a response to real life situations or past traumatic circumstances. Freud said dreams are “the royal road to the unconscious”, and regular nightmares can be a gateway to explore an otherwise inaccessible world. Dreams can give you insight into your life, and once you deal with the latent or conflicted content, your dreams will subside.
Recurring dreams are experienced repeatedly with little change in the story or theme. They can be pleasant but usually are nightmarish in tone. Dreams often represent unresolved conflicts. The subjects may include being held down and unable to move, nakedness in public, losing the ability to speak, downing, being in the dark, or being with a significant other.