Why you dream what you dream | Sunday Observer

Why you dream what you dream

8 January, 2023

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon - instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.

Dale Carnegie

Most of us dream. However, only a few of us try to grasp the meaning of our dreams. The celebrated psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud believed that dreams were symbolic pictures of unconscious wishes. Sometimes people define dreams as wish fulfilments. Freud also believed that dreams were random nonsense images caused by brain signals. However, modern psychologists take a different view.

Psychologists have defined dreams as a train of hallucinatory experiences with a certain degree of coherence but often confused and bizarre, taking place in the condition of sleep and similar conditions.

According to them, dreams are distorted reflections of our daily lives, not symbolic pictures of unconscious wishes. In fact, experts believe that our dreams are closely related to our work. Most of us know Stephen King as an author of nightmare -inducing horror novels.

In one of his dreams, he saw a mad woman hiding behind the attic door brandishing a scalpel. If he did not finish his novel on time, the woman would burst through the door. Luckily King woke up before she slashed him with her scalpel. The author has confessed that he used to see that dream when he was scrambling to catch up on his work. Later, he told a journalist, “Whatever is going on in our daily lives trickles down and has some sort of influence down there.”

Some of us may have had similar experiences. A man who was tortured by a recurring nightmare consulted a psychotherapist. He told the expert that a woman carrying a gun was following him in his dreams. When he was hypnotised, the man said he had a serious problem with a woman. It was clear that his dream was directly related to the incident. Dreams and nightmares give us invaluable insights.

According to psychologists, your dreams can have a healing effect on certain physical pains. It is believed that certain dreams can foretell future events. Although this is a debatable point, some experts agree that it happens and cite Abraham Lincoln’s nightmare.

While he was the President of the United States, he heard in a dream people stabbing someone and going downstairs he found a coffin and a corpse in the East Room of the White House. He could not identify the victim as his face had been covered. He asked a soldier, “Who is dead in the White House?” The soldier said, “The President. He was killed by an assassin.” What happened later is a part of history.

Different dreams

It is interesting to find whether men and women see different dreams. Milton Kramer, the director of a sleep centre in Ohio in the United States, said the difference is due to biological and social conditioning. This appears to be true because men and women have different ways of thinking.

In a major study involving a large number of men and women, Van de Castle found that men often see action-oriented dreams involving strangers. On the other hand, he found that women saw dreams connected with their emotions. According to the study, both men and women dream of sex.

Gayle Delaney, author of ‘Sexual Dreams’ said, “Men have more non-conflicting views in their dreams.” Young and old men typically dream of beautiful women unknown to them. Women, however, dream of men known to them. While men seem to enjoy their romantic dreams, women are often disturbed by such dreams. According to Veronica Tonay, a psychologist at California University, women’s sexual dreams are followed by nervousness, anxiety and sadness.

Today, we have more career women than in the past. As a result, men and women might be seeing similar dreams. A study at the University of Ottawa stated housewives dream about their children while working women dream about their bosses and colleagues.

Another factor that came to light was that pregnant women dream more than others. Patricia Garfield, a psychologist in California dreamed of a litter of starving kittens when she was pregnant. She knew that the kittens were a symbol of her baby. This is not something unusual because many pregnant women dream of their babies.

Preferential treatment

When wives are expecting babies, husbands see different dreams. Their dreams are about being left out by their pregnant wives. It is quite natural for a husband to feel alienated when his wife is pregnant or when a baby is born. When wives give preferential treatment to their babies, husbands dream of alienation.

We pass different stages in life. As children we dream of fairies, butterflies and witches. Some of the dreams are joyful but others can be frightening. As children are vulnerable, they get scared easily. Sometimes they dream of ferocious animals trying to attack them or monsters chasing them.

However, when children become teenagers, they dream of romance and sex. Young adults’ dreams are concerned with their career, marriage and future prospects. In fact, this is a time of anxiety. When once they resolve the issues, they dream of achieving higher goals. When they reach their old age, their dreams will reflect loss of income, resources and health issues.

What you do in life and your attitudes may affect your dreams. Aggressive people dream they are victims of rejection, humiliation or abandonment. If you are not mentally strong, you are likely to dream nightmares. Artistes and other creative people allow their subconscious to dream freely. This is because your unconscious knows exactly things your conscious does not know.

Some people keep a dream diary to jot down the main storyline of their dreams when they wake up. It might make fascinating reading later. Recording a dream is important because dreams are like butter, they melt away. Usually dreams are made up of thoughts that your brain wishes to look at closely. So look at every part of your dream carefully.

Most dreams will show your current feelings. On the other hand, dreams serve an important purpose. Material for dreams will come from various sources such as what you have been doing during the day or some past event. There is often an element of sexual desire which is a strong emotion that creeps into most of your dreams.

Whether you like it or not, you will continue to see dreams both pleasant and unpleasant. However, there is no need to worry about them as dreams are a natural phenomenon.

[email protected]