A large majority of people believe that dreams have significance and can be deciphered to reveal meaningful and previously unknown truths, beliefs, desires, and ideas, which make them useful tools for better understanding yourself and enhancing your waking hours. Some people even believe that they have potential predictive value for the future.
While dreams can sometimes seem to be nothing more than random flashes and sound, modern psychology considers dreaming to be significant and that the content of the dream can be interpreted and analyzed to derive subtle meaning from the unconscious mind that relates to the person’s life.
Modern psychology considers dreaming to be significant and that the content of the dream can be interpreted and analyzed to derive subtle meaning from the unconscious mind that relates to the person’s life.
*Tools/A software to analyze your dream for you based on what you input is at the end!
Of course you know I’m not going to talk about a scientific matter without adding a dash of science… ✨✨ So dreaming results from the cortical synthesis and interpretation of neural signals triggered by activity in the lower part of the brain. At the same time, brain regions that handle the logical thought and sensation of the external world shuts down. Dreaming is also surprisingly similar to the activity we engage in when we are awake. The difference is that the cerebral cortex is cut off from external stimulation. The cool part? It is predicted that if we were awake, but cut off from external stimulation, our thoughts would have the same hallucinatory quality that we experience in our dreams! 😐😐
Dreams could also be our body making unconscious wishes. Reputed psychoanalyst and neurologist, Sigmund Freud concluded that dreams might provide insight into desires, motives, and conflicts that we are unaware of. Manifest content includes aspects of the dream we consciously experience. Latent content includes unconscious wishes and thoughts symbolized by the dream. Although, you do need to remember that not everything in dreams is symbolic.
A more common form of dreaming is reflections of current concerns. Dreams may reflect ongoing conscious issues such as concerns over relationships, work, school, or health. Sometimes we go to bed thinking way too much about everything that’s been going on and the dreams are more likely to contain material related to our current concerns than chance would predict. For example, if you’re a college student, you may dream of failing a test or missing a test even though the test is yet to take place. Interestingly enough, these dreams may provide an opportunity for us to attempt to “solve” problems we face within our lives.
To analyze every dream a person has is duly impossible. Firstly, because I cannot remember half of them and secondly because some of them are really strange. Everyone dreams differently. However, some dreams are common amongst us. Ever had the dream where you’re falling down a flight of stairs or down a black hole? An interpretation is that you have lost control over a certain aspect of your life. However, there is a more scientific explanation. Generally, we wake up right after this dream. This is because the dreamer is in a transitional period between wakefulness and sleep. This is a normal occurring dream amongst all and is called the hypnagogic jerk. Also known as the hypnic jerk, it is an involuntary muscle spasm that occurs as a person is ready to drift off to sleep.
Why is it that we’re able to remember a nightmare better? That’s the sort of thing I don’t want to remember 🙄🙄 This is because we wake up right after a nightmare and hence have better recall of it. If you feel like someone heard you scream because of your nightmare, that’s not possible. Should it happen, you’re already awake but you’re probably still hazy from the nightmare. Scientifically, this is because while we have dreams, we are in such deep sleep that all our muscles are paralyzed except for our eye muscles and breathing system.
This wouldn’t come as a surprise, but most nightmares are caused by stress and anxiety and are rarely literal. Take for example those nightmares you get after watching a horror movie. It’s mostly not going to happen to you (let’s hope for the best here) 😂😂, but while watching the movie, subconsciously a scary scenario got registered into your head and you’re left with nightmares for a while because that scene was just all kinds of scary you normally would never have to face.
This was surprising, but women are registered to have more nightmares as opposed to men because women experience a lot more emotions that revolve around fear, loss and confusion that could be programmed to trigger nightmares 🤔. Nightmares could also be practice for the real issue. If you move into a new home and have a nightmare of someone breaking in, it may not happen but it’s just your brain saying that it could be a possibility and it keeps you alert and prepared.
A few common, yet weird dream symbols and their meanings are given below,
- Animals often represent the part of your psyche that feels connected to nature and survival. Being chased by a predator suggests you’re holding back repressed emotions like fear or aggression.
- Death of a friend or loved one represents change (endings and new beginnings) and is not a psychic prediction of any kind. If you are recently bereaved, it may be an attempt to come to terms with the event.
- Faulty machinery in dreams is caused by the language center being shut down while asleep, making it difficult to dial a phone, read the time, or search the internet. It can also represent performance anxiety.
- Demons are sneaky evil entities which signify repressed emotions. You may secretly feel the need to change your behaviors for the better.
- Hair has significant ties with sexuality, according to Freud. Abundant hair may symbolize virility, while cutting hair off in a dream shows a loss of libido. Hair loss may also express a literal fear of going bald.
- Killing in your dreams does not make you a closet murderer; it represents your desire to “kill” part of your own personality. It can also symbolize hostility towards a particular person.
- Missing a flight or any other kind of transport is another common dream, revealing frustration over missing important opportunities in life. It’s most common when you’re struggling to make a big decision.
- Sex dreams can symbolize intimacy and a literal desire for sex. Or they may demonstrate the unification of unconscious emotions with conscious recognition, showing a new awareness and personal growth.
- Being trapped (physically) is a common nightmare theme, reflecting your real-life inability to escape or make the right choice.
- Vehicles may reflect how much control you feel you have over your life – for instance, is the car out of control, or is someone else driving you?
Out of 100’s of dreams, below are the Top 10 dreams and the meaning behind it.
Since we’re speaking about dreams.. have you ever experienced Lucid Dreaming? I have! 😱 It’s honestly scary and creepy only because your brain has the ability to control your dream… and that dream is something you will actually remember! People have attempted to eat fire (apparently it’s salty), fly between the clouds and even got the man of their dreams 😄
- Dream Interpreter: Use the free dream interpreter tool to analyze your dream and find out what your dream may mean. Dreams have a tremendous power over our psyche and mental functioning. Particular dreams can spill over into our waking hours and affect our mental health. Since strong mental health is crucially important for your physical health, understanding your dreams and properly dealing with them may be beneficial to your overall health.
- Dream Dictionary: Symbols are the language of dreams. A symbol can invoke a feeling or an idea and often has a much more profound and deeper meaning than any one word can convey. At the same time, these symbols can leave you confused and wonder what that dream was all about. To guide you with your dreams interpretations, this dream dictionary has interpreted over 5900 keywords and symbols with over 20,000 different meanings. These meanings are in no way, the final say in what YOUR dream means, but hopefully, it will inspire you to explore and offer a suggestive starting point for understanding your own dreams. There is no “one dream interpretation fits all.”
Never underestimate your dreams. As cheesy or cliché this may sound… There’s a reason people say “Believe in your dreams” 😊 Here are 10 Dreams That Changed Human History!
Written and Researched by Serena Sibi (a psychology student) and Naomi D’Souza