I tend to have bizarre dreams. Perhaps they feature sporadic compilations of the day, current happenings, abstract symbols or completely random montages. But sometimes, my dreams assist me; my land of nod attempts to tie up a few loose ends from waking life.
If you look closely enough, dreams could serve as a portal to resolution.
Here are four ways dreams can help:
- Dreams can solve conflict. Dreams may reflect the stress that underlies daily life, and the potential to resolve conflict is present. Resolution can appear in dreams and answers could be sought.There’s been a couple of instances where my dreams have inspired ideas for resolution (particularly in regard to tension within my relationships). Whether I awoke the following morning with the determination to write that former friend a letter or make a difficult phone call with the hopes of reconciliation, I’ve followed the paths that my dream-self has taken.
- Dreams can encourage confrontation. According to www.dreammoods.com, a site devoted to interpreting the meaning of various dreams, nightmares could be a response to personal trauma. They may also manifest if you’re refusing to accept a certain circumstance. (My nightmares have brought fears to the surface.)“Nightmares are an indication of a fear that needs to be acknowledged and confronted,” the site states. “It’s a way for the subconscious to wake up and take notice. ‘Pay attention!’”
- Dreams can provide closure. Have you ever had a dream narrative that brought a sense of closure to a specific situation? I’ve had vivid, real-like dreams that mirror what I’ve been seeking and what hasn’t happened in my reality. And though I’d wake up and realize that the night’s sequence of events didn’t actually occur, I’d find a sliver of comfort, instinctively knowing that I was somehow meant to have that dream.
- Dreams can uncover hidden messages. Psychology Today’s 2010 article discusses the importance of “hidden messages” that may exist within dreams. “By digging into the unconscious you uncover your hidden fantasies, fears, anxieties, wishes and desires,” Frances Cohen Praver, Ph.D., said. “Once you find the significance of these internal feelings, you are able to act on them. In doing so, you can remove the stumbling blocks to arrive at better living and loving. For another thing, gaining insight into your internal world can do wonders to expand and enrich yourself.”Praver cites an example from her therapy practice. Newly divorced Sharon started to date and met a man who was very hard to please; despite her efforts, he was never content.
Sharon dreamed that she was in a car accident and her entire middle was shattered. While injured, she still attempted to walk to the hospital.
In therapy, they deconstructed the symbolism within her dream. Sharon literally broke in half since she bends over backward to please others (which stems from low self-esteem and a rocky relationship with her parents). As for walking to the hospital while wounded, Sharon’s dream-self yearns to repair the damage. In life, she embraced the road to recovery by working through her issues in therapy.
My dreams encompass a wide range of subject matters (though some of them are just plain weird), but I’ve found that through interpretation, I’m (sometimes) able to resolve conflict, confront fear, obtain closure and discover messages coated in symbolism. Dreams have the power to help us, if we just let them communicate.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 3 Jul 2014
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Suval, L. (2014). 4 Ways Dreams Can Help You. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 30, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/07/04/4-ways-dreams-can-help-you/