What Do Our Dreams Really Mean? Psychologists Share All

A missing tooth, falling, seeing an ex? The interpretations could show us what's going on in our brains.

Image: Alexandra Gorn

If our dreams could share any insights on what direction we should take our lives, believe us; we’d listen to them, 100%. While we’re not experts in foreseeing the future, we know that what goes on in your mind may be a result of your brain’s function. How could it not be? You dream of exes, the tasks you have to do the next day, and other daunting memories. What about the dreams that are a combination of the strangest circumstances? But what do dreams mean? Why are we falling asleep to worlds we can only imagine in fantasies? We reviewed a few psychologist’s opinions on dreaming and their meaning that we’re sharing with you today. Keep reading for more on what dreams could really mean.

what do our dreams mean
Image: Fa Barboza via Unsplash

What Do Dreams Mean

There are many, many different reasons you could be dreaming of something in particular. There’s no one interpretation that can give you a solid truth about anything. According to Jungian-trained psychologist and HuffPost, “dreams use the language of symbols and archetypes to communicate from our inner selves what we’re not able to grasp in everyday life — because of our beliefs, fears, social norms and other barriers to self-knowledge. Through dream interpretation, psychologists can help clients to see themselves and their desires in a way that’s free from all that baggage.” She says that you are kind of experiencing dreaming through a third eye, with a clear mind. You have a balanced view of what is going on in your life.

Pagano can also break her dream analysis (what she does on a number of patients) into symbols. Some include: “Children represent new ideas and desires for creative expression. Symbols that come in threes represent something that’s about to manifest (versus the number four, which represents full manifestation). The ages of the children”. Water can even represent happiness.

Why Context Is Super Important

Dream interpretation is a very individualized practice that needs to be catered to each patient. While a symbol may have the same meaning, the way that symbol is presented to you may be completely different to another person. Pagano recommends that you get a dream journal, so you are instantly able to record your dreams first thing when you wake up. Take a look at all of the elements of the dream and record your surroundings, what’s happening, who’s in it, and any recurring symbols. Also, if you have the same dream more than once, you may want to try and dissect what’s going on. Your brain may be trying to tell you to address something.

what do our dreams mean
Image: Alex Blăjan via Unsplash

Why Do We Dream?

Dreaming is one of the most mysterious human abilities on the planet. While you expect a human to shut off, get the rest they need, and find themselves fully alert in the morning, we second guess strange occurrences in the night. Why do we dream? According to Scientific American, there’s more to it than meets the eye. They say the following, “Dreams seem to help us process emotions by encoding and constructing memories of them. What we see and experience in our dreams might not necessarily be real, but the emotions attached to these experiences certainly are. Our dream stories essentially try to strip the emotion out of a certain experience by creating a memory of it. This way, the emotion itself is no longer active.”
The dream machine is most likely a feature of the brain that backs up the way we process emotion, anxiety, and stress. In fact, research shows that REM sleep deprivation can lead to the development of mental disorders. Sleep really can solve a number of issues it seems: from recharging to helping us feel sane. Do we wonder if the more you process emotion, the less you dream? There’s so much more to learn about the phenomenon.

While you’re here, check out this article on sound healing and why it may help you get to sleep faster than usual. 

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