Nightmares have a different meaning according to different cultures. According to Freud it has something to do with suppressed sexuality. That is no news actually, because Freud links almost everything to sexuality. According to Jung, a nightmare shows the primitive dark unconscious side of the psychological impulses that cause a nightmare.
In middle ages people thought that nightmares could be a prove of deviant and irreligious behavior. Nowadays we look for more psychological meanings of a nightmare and how to handle them. Nightmares can connect to a fear or anxiety that you have during your day. A fear that seems small during the day might be emphasized when you are in a nightmare. Also a personal blockage can lead to a nightmare, things you don’t want to think about or that you hide from yourself in your day to day life, or things you even flee from normally.
Also a traumatic experience can lead to nightmares or recurring post traumatic nightmares. These traumatic events might have taken place in the past and the nightmares remember you of certain facets or feelings from that trauma. It can mean that this big fear only gets outlet in your sleep stage in the form of a nightmare, or it can even be that your mind can process a traumatic event by dreaming and creating nightmares.
In Chinese Medicine nightmares show that some organs can be out of balance. Nightmares can also happen when you are under great stress or pressure in your daily life. Also physical changes can cause nightmares, like adolescence, pregnancy and menopause. The use of some pharmaceutical medicines can also cause nightmares. Normally it is written on the receipt.
How to overcome nightmares?
A good solution might be as simple as doing meditation or relaxation exercises before sleep. Doing a simple breath exercise, breathing deep in and out, putting your hands on your belly can already help you relax.
Another relaxation exercise is to flex your muscles, make them tense for 10 seconds and then relax them after that. Or flex certain muscles starting from the toes to the head, bit by bit flex and tense your body parts.
What can also help is not eat and drink a few hours before going to bed. This way your body has the capacity to relax also during sleep and your organs don’t make trouble during your sleep.
A good ventilated room is also important to prevent nightmares, as heat and sweating during sleep can cause nightmares.
If you have to go to toilet this can also cause dreaming about going to toilet in your sleep. So better go to toilet before you go to bed.
If stress and tension is your main cause or problem, you might do good to just write all your thoughts in a journal before going to bed. This cleanses your brain, and you can relax better. Don’t however go into analysis and overthink it, just write it and let it go. You can think about it the next day or any other day. It’s just meant to clear your head.
If stress is your problem then it might also help to shower or wet your head, neck and ears before going to bed. Especially when you wet your head it helps relief the stress and anxiety. You can also wash and massage your feet before going to bed. This also reliefs stress.
Listening to soothing music or special sleep music can also help you calm down before going to sleep.
You can also think of positive thoughts, and think about the day what you are grateful for. You can think about the fun things you are going to do the next day, and feel hopeful. Some people say a small prayer before going to bed. Or you can set out your positive intention and gratefulness and relax to fall in sleep.
If you do have a nightmare, you can try to rationalize it, don’t connect it to reality. Everyone sometimes has nightmares, it can mean that your body is a bit out of balance, or that you’re stressing about a certain situation. Nightmares are also ways that your mind deals with certain unconscious issues that you might hide from yourself during day to day life. Important is to stay connected to your good and hopeful side inside yourself. There is always that voice that soothes you and tells you everything is going to be okay. Just breath and relax. You can also rely on some religious or faithful Source that helps you overcome your fears. This might also help during your nightmare, if you find support in religion or spirituality.
It is worthwhile to investigate in the meaning of a recurring nightmare, so you can understand the reason behind it. It might mean you need to pay attention to a certain part of yourself that you are neglecting, or a certain issue you didn’t quite resolve yet. Pay attention to the exact thing that bothered you during your dream, what was the feeling? What was the reason why it happened?
Another way of dealing with nightmares is to learn how to do lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is to dream conscious knowing that you are dreaming, and having the ability to control your dream and control what happens in your dream. If you know how to lucid dream, you can also ask/create help or slay your fear by changing the story line.
The power of dreams has always been fascinated by people over time. In the early ages people used to believe that dreams have a predicting quality in them, or that dreams are messages from the God(s). However, nowadays we use dreams to analyze our waking state better. Research has shown that the analysis of dreams can help tremendously in recovering from psychological problems, situations or even trauma’s, by understanding the hidden subconscious meaning behind it. Especially dreams after trauma can show that trauma is still not processed and integrated in a persons life. Some reoccurring dreams might also have a significant meaning. Some people remember dreams, others don’t.
If you are interested in your dreamworld, certain dreams/nightmares you have, or the meaning behind reoccurring dreams, you can contact me, and we can make a consult about the possible meaning(s) of your dream. You can also send your dream in writing and I can analyze the possible meaning for you, using researched methods of dream symbolism. However, a life consult might be better, as through talking we can find out the meaning together, by delving into the subconscious and relevant psychological patterns that might connect to that dream.
Written Dream through email – $60
If you have some reoccurring dreams or you want to understand the meaning of your dream, you can ask for a dream analysis or consult to talk about your dream so we can find out the hidden psychological meaning for you.
If you feel that your dream is connected to some past trauma or pain, and you want to talk about it, you can also contact me for a counselling session.