The Messages of Dreams

· November 2, 2015

The world of dreams opens before us while we sleep.

We go through different states and stages of sleep. First is sleep without rapid eye movement (non-REM sleep), which has 4 phases that are progressively deeper than the last. Phases III and IV, called slow wave sleep (SWS), is a deep sleep.

In Phase V of sleep comes the stage of rapid eye movement sleep (REM). It is in this phase that we dream. We typically have 4 to 6 periods of REM sleep during the night.

What is dreaming?

Dreaming is, of course, the process of having a dream. Dreams are mental manifestations of images, sounds, thoughts, and emotions. They are usually symbolically related to the dreamer’s reality.

Dreaming is an involuntary mental process, in which your emotions concerning your actual life appear, uncensored. It is also where we reproduce information stored in our memory.

Memories of dreams that remain upon waking may be minimal or very elaborate.

It has been found that you can dream in any phase of sleep, but you are more likely to remember dreams that you had during REM sleep.


Child with toy plane

What do dreams tell us?

It is very important in psychoanalysis to analyze the manifested content of dreams. That is, the timeline of events in the dream, the symbols that appear in the dream, as well as the latent content (i.e. the interpretation of the manifested content and its meaning).

All dreams mean something, because they are always related to emotions and symbols that relate to our present or past experiences.

Types of dreams

One common type of dream that may occur is nightmares, which are rife with frightening emotions and inspire a similar feeling in us throughout the next day. They are related to our traumas, childhood abandonment, stress, fears, insecurities, dissatisfaction, and problems with our health or relationships.

Another common dream type are curative dreams. This is a dream therapy known as “lucid” dreaming where you know you are dreaming and you control it to try and change your negative emotions.

What do our dreams mean?

There are many hypotheses and explanations as to what symbols that appear in dreams mean. However, they may not necessarily fit into the reality of the person dreaming, so you really need to know the emotions that have produced any given dream as well as the person’s current situation in order to be able to understand the precise meaning of any given dream.

So, if you want to know a dream’s meaning, pay close attention to the emotions you felt during that dream, and then see if it is repetitive or frequent, which may indicate that there is something in your mind or life that needs to be worked on or overcome, psychologically speaking.

If the emotions are nice and positive, your dream is indicating to you a way forward, the satisfaction that comes from living how you want to, and may also show longings, desires, dreams, and goals you would like to achieve.

If, on the contrary, the emotions brought out by a dream are unpleasant, uncomfortable, or painful, the meaning of that dream is very important and revealing because it shows you a part of your subconscious that needs to be resolved or overcome, such as traumas, fears, worries, etc.

Girl with seashell

Where do our dreams come from?

Dreams trigger the subconscious, which stores and saves a variety of content from your earliest childhood. You may or may not actively remember things in your subconscious, but they play an important role in your psychology.

Hence it’s important to know how to interpret your dreams, as they can provide very useful information about how we feel in the deepest, most intimate corners of our minds.

After figuring out the meaning of a dream, the next step is to make yourself aware of the emotional blockage and treat it, possibly through psychological therapy, in order to resolve our negative emotions. In this way they will eventually manifest in dreams in a different light, either with more pleasant or positive feelings that come from overcoming something, or by disappearing completely from our dream experiences.