“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will control your life and you will call it fate.” – Carl Jung
The unconscious is the part of your mind that you aren’t aware of. It’s the part that collects everything you:
- Suppress – Suppression is the act of stopping yourself from thinking or feeling something.
- Repress – Repression, the exclusion of distressing memories, thoughts or feelings from the conscious mind. Often involving sexual or aggressive urges or painful childhood memories, these unwanted mental contents are pushed into the unconscious mind.
- These forgotten things can include guilt, denial and many other negative feelings and experiences.
It’s from these memories and experiences that our beliefs, habits, and behaviors are formed. Most of the time we might not even know why we behaved the way we did or why we have certain habits.
‘The heart wants what it wants’… Umm, I am pretty sure this implies, the unconscious wants what it wants.
Everyone dreams. Sometime we might not remember dreaming but that doesn’t mean we didn’t dream. A single sleep cycle involved a sequence of brain waves in stages. All the stages of sleep can be skipped but not the REM (Rapid-Eye-Movement) sleep. It’s the deepest grade of sleep, where your body is internally calm and you feel safe enough that your unconscious mind opens up. The more tired you are, physically, the more frequently you will dream.
In dreams, we can be infinite. We can travel through time. We can be in space. Hell, we can even morph into a dragon.
Dreams are a way for your unconscious mind to speak to you. The disremembered mind of ours is like an artist. It uses metaphors, symbols and other creative tools. Its abstractness can sometimes feel absurd. But the crazier the dream is, the deeper its meaning will be. For example, flying in your dream could have a number of different meanings depending on the nature of the dream and what the action/symbol/person means to the individual. For flying flawlessly, it could mean:
- feeling excited or happy,
- it could also mean ambition,
- it could depict over-confidence,
- it could be about freedom,
- it could mean you feel as though you have a sense of control over life,
- or maybe none of the above and something else entirely.
Dream interpretation can be best done by a psychologist, especially a psychoanalyst. He/she may guide you to understand and interpret the dream on your own.
Mental health and Dreaming:
- There is also much evidence to link mental illnesses and dreaming.
- Nightmare is common when people are stressed or feeling anxious.
- People who experience suicidal ideation in their waking lives also tend to have ‘death’ as a recurrent theme in their dreams.
- People suffering from bipolar disorder experience vivid dreams as well as nightmares. Some even encounter night terrors (episodes of screaming, intense fear and flailing while still asleep). Even since childhood. The dreams might become so intense that waking up and brushing the dream off would be impossible. When dreams become too much to handle, they can be suppressed using medicine.
- Frequent nightmare with negative and anxious themes are highly associated with schizophrenia.
People suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) are reported to having nightmares on at least 5 days of the week on a daily basis. Their nightmares are kind of like flashbacks, as in reliving their haunting memories instead of normal nightmares.
Nightmares are trying to help you get over traumatic experiences. I know it doesn’t feel that way. Sometimes your mind is asking for help through them. If it all becomes a bit too much, talk to a specialist. They will help. They may even prescribe you meds for peaceful sleep.