Fact: everyone dreams. Even if you don't recall them, you still dream, sometimes up to seven times per night.
I learned about the importance of paying attention to my dreams in childhood. My mom would provide insight into the symbols and clues from our dreams to help us understand them better. She didn’t dismiss our dreams as “just a dream”, which, sadly, so many people do. My interest in dreams continued throughout the years, and as a result, I have been able to use messages from my dreams as a way to navigate through all kinds of situations and relationships. The key is to keep a dream journal. I keep a journal that’s dedicated solely to dreams, in order to explore the symbols and clues that show up while I sleep.
Here are 5 ways that your dreams can help you live a healthier, happier, more creative life.
Robert Moss, a pioneer of dream work, says that each of us has an inner physician that will give us warnings or insights about what is happening inside our bodies. Because dreams often speak to us using symbols, it’s up to us to decipher what our dreams are telling us. For me, bugs, especially spiders, let me know when a “bug” has invaded my body. However, messages can be more plain and explicit, and convey in no uncertain terms that you should get a checkup, eliminate a certain food, or make some other change.
Sometimes, when you dream about someone, it might not be about that person at all, and actually be about you instead. Other times, the dream really is about someone in your life. If you dream about someone acting completely out of character, your subconscious mind might have picked out something that you need to pay attention to. Dreams can also reveal changes in the “temperature” of your relationships; a dream of storms up ahead or clear skies might mean more than just the weather.
Clues about future situations
Our dreaming selves often act as “scouts”, running ahead of us to hunt for opportunities, possibilities, or dangers. Plenty of people report warning dreams to not get on a plane, but we also dream about taking a vacation, trying out a new class, or getting a different haircut. By paying attention to these nudges from our dream selves, we can discover ways to improve our lives in ways that might not have otherwise occurred to us.
One of the most remarkable things about dreams is that they often reveal ideas, concepts, and information to us that often miss, dismiss, or don’t allow to come to the conscious surface while we’re awake. Whether it’s solving the equation of mass and energy, or coming up with a solution to a nagging problem, the answers to both large and small questions can be found hidden within the symbols of our dreams. Pose a problem or question to your dreaming self before you go to bed, and be sure to write your dreams in your dream journal when you awaken. Even if you don’t remember your dreams, you can write down whatever you were thinking and feeling when you woke up. If no solution is apparent right away, give your dreaming mind a little time to present you with solutions.
Did you know that many of the world’s most famous songs, paintings, and literature were inspired by dreams? The Beatles attribute two of their biggest hits, “Yesterday” and “Let It Be” to dreams. Other dream-induced hits include “Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones, “Every Breath You Take” by The Police, and “1999” by Prince. Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, and Carl Jung have writings based on their dreams. That same font of inspiration is available to you too! All you have to do is go to sleep….