Have you heard about dream interpretation and analysis? What is it and why is it important? Read on to find out! What’s the strangest dream you’ve ever had? When I asked my friends this question, their replies ranged from the bizarre to the truly terrifying. From eating tapas with Jude Law to being chased by a giant frog, our dreams rarely seem to make sense.
Whilst it might sound far fetched there’s often a deeper meaning and hidden significance to our dreams. It doesn’t mean Jude Law is about to whisk you off on a romantic Spanish getaway (we can live in hope) but instead reveals our subconscious fears and desires.
Dreams can illuminate what might be lurking in the back of your mind, those hidden thoughts or feelings you’re scared to examine, gently guiding us to those areas that need our attention. Dreaming of dinner with Jude Law, for example, might indicate you’re craving feelings of intimacy, whilst being chased could suggest you’re avoiding an issue.
FREUD & Dream interpretation and analysis
Dream interpretation and analysis became popular in the 19th century with the publication of Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams. Freud believed that dreams were our subconscious minds at play and were the manifestation of desires that had been repressed. But dream interpretation and analysis has been around for centuries, existing in different cultures in a variety of ways.
In Native American culture it was believed that our souls communicated with us through our dreams. In India the ancient Sanskrit texts, the Upanishads, state that the dream world is as equal as the waking world and should be treated as such.
When we think about our dreams as our subconscious minds it helps us understand what is holding us back in our waking life. Dreams distill the very essence of our desires; they are free from any of the barriers and baggage that cloud our consciousness in waking life.
How do you analyse dreams?
Whenever I had a strange dream I used to go and type its meaning into Google. My search history would be littered with searches like ‘dream of horses meaning’ or ‘what does it mean to dream of snakes?’ While the replies could be interesting or funny to share with friends it didn’t shed much light on their meaning in relation to my life.
Symbols to interpret and analyse dreams
Symbols feature often in our dreams; they represent and embody certain thoughts or feelings, but their exact meaning will differ according to each individual. When we think about analysing and interpreting our dreams we have to think about our life, both past and present, and apply each symbol’s meaning in relation to this.
For example to dream of spiders symbolises female energy but how can that be applied to your life? What is happening in the dream? Are the presence of spiders a positive or a negative one? It could be that you’re having trouble with a strong female presence in your life or else it could mean you’re subconsciously searching for a strong female energy. Or dreaming of trying to cross a raging river might indicate inner turmoil or it might point to an unresolved issue you’re trying to overcome; as you can see there isn’t a one size fits all approach.
In order to really understand your dreams create a dream journal and keep this next to your bed. As soon as you wake up, write down your dream in the journal, paying particular attention to how it made you feel and what emotions it unearthed.
Does the presence of an animal, person or object have importance in the dream? Does this elicit a response from you? Remember our dreams are reflections of ourselves; how we feel towards something in a dream indicates how we feel about ourselves and these feelings about ourselves are areas we need to address.
Once you have your dream written down, start examining the themes and symbols that appear in the dream; how can these be applied to your waking life? Look for parallels between the two and be open to thinking about your life objectively.
Why do my dreams always seem to be so bizarre?
It’s worth noting that some dreams won’t have a hidden meaning; dreams are also the product of unprocessed stimuli that we have experienced during the day. When a dream’s message resonates with us that’s when it’s time to take a deeper look at its meaning.
Our dreams are our subconscious minds trying to reveal to us what we cannot grasp in our waking life. Sometimes dreams can seem so strange we might wonder how on earth this can have any bearing on our life, but remember humans are complex creatures and we often bury and repress thoughts, feelings or memories that make us sad, scared or anxious.
Dreams are one of the ways in which these feelings can surface. It is important to open your mind when exploring your dreams; slowly you’ll begin to make connections which can lead to greater understanding of your life. Being open and honest to exploring our subconscious feelings and desires is the first step to living a happier, peaceful life.
Although you can do a great deal of dream interpretation yourself if you’re struggling to understand or process any feelings that arise from your dreams please seek advice from a therapist.
When we experience any changes in our lives it can be scary and unsettling. We often find when we’re stressed or anxious our dreams become strange or we experience nightmares. Whilst it is important to remember that a nightmare is just another way in which your unconscious mind is trying to reach out to you it can make going to bed an unhappy experience.
Crystals to cure nightmares?
Some believe that crystals can help balance any negative energy. If you’re suffering from nightmares try placing crystals such as prehnite, amethyst, and hematite underneath your pillow. Crystals can work in our waking life too; we are often drawn to crystals whose properties we are lacking, helping us identify what areas of our life we might be feeling stuck in. Feeling drawn to rose quartz, for example, indicates a desire for love, friendship and connection. While feeling drawn to Jade could mean we need stability and release from negative thoughts.
Final thoughts on dream interpretation and analysis
At first dream analysis might seem far fetched but we’re all guilty of repressing our emotions and desires and it’s no wonder these need to find another outlet in which to manifest themselves. Examining things that might be painful or upsetting can be difficult at first but it’s only by being honest with ourselves that we can ever hope to heal and live peaceful lives. Start paying attention to your dreams and explore what these could mean to your future happiness; you won’t regret it.