What are your clear dream experiences
You dreamer, you! Confused dreams - do we have to worry?
One of the most fascinating qualities of humans is the ability to dream. It is not uncommon for us to want to assign a meaning to a dream right away. But what if you suddenly assume the opposite sex in a dream? A dream expert explains to us why personal self-reflection is more important than the feverish search for answers.
"That was a really confused dream ..." With this sentence alone, every person probably associates a very individual, but curious dream experience. I can think of at least a dozen strange dreams that I still can't figure out to this day.
I'll be honest: Sometimes it takes less than ten seconds until I, completely sleepy, hold the cell phone over my face and search for answers on Google. What does it mean if one loses teeth in a dream? Being pursued by a dog? A person dies? The search for the answer is often unsuccessful. Somehow these supposedly very clear dream signs and their concrete meaning, which are circulating en masse on the Internet, only confuse more.
When you are not dreaming yourself
In addition to the Google search, such nocturnal head stories are also often discussed with friends or family. This is what happened to me recently when I was discussing our last dream experiences with my good friend Lorena.
Lorena is probably one of the most creative people I know. So it didn't surprise me when she began to talk about her motley dreams. Her statement: "Mega funny, sometimes I just experience my dreams as a man", but then made me a bit puzzled. In front of me is a beautiful young woman who has little in common with a man. Awesome, I think, because I am not unfamiliar with what is being told.
I have also occasionally perceived my dreams as a woman, i.e. the opposite sex, but have never met anyone who has also experienced this phenomenon. While this has only happened to me a few times, Lorena tells me that it is not uncommon for her. Sometimes she realizes that "being a man" is already in her dream, other times only after she wakes up the next morning.
But we cannot quickly find a clear answer to the origin of these dreams. We both feel good in our bodies and don't feel the need to change our gender.
It wasn't long, however, before I started looking for answers on the internet again. Could these be the first signs of an unconscious identity crisis? What meaning can you assign to it? As you can imagine, I didn't find a clear answer to that either.
The search for experts in this field was also more difficult, as initially assumed. Quite often I was misunderstood in my search: We don't deal with erotic dreams. At least not in this article.
The peak of the experience
At some point, however, my search led me to Dr. Brigitte Holzinger from Austria. She heads the Institute for Consciousness and Dream Frogation in Vienna and explained to me that there is never a clear and general explanation for dreams or events in dreams per se.
There is probably nothing that is as individual as a dream. Holzinger explains to me that actually everything that occurs in the dream represents aspects of the dreamer's personality. Whether it is a dog, a mountain wall or the landscape in a dream: In the dream state, one's own identity disintegrates and is presented in individual parts.
So it can very well be that I have feminine aspects in me and that these bloom in the dream world. I was very impressed by this insight. Brigitte Holzinger describes dreaming as the peak of experience and creativity. It would be an incredible amount to try to understand this inner freedom and accept it as it is. Questioning and analyzing one's own dreams can certainly expand the horizon of experience and action, she adds.
The strict interpretations on Google or in dream books, on the other hand, should be given less importance. This even resembles an encroachment on the psyche, adds Brigitte Holzinger. Because while one's own examination of what has been experienced in the dream offers space for development, the above-mentioned methods tend to restrict.
Of course, clues and interpretations can have an inspiring effect and thus generate new views, but one should not focus too much on given symbol interpretations.
The policy of small steps
I myself rarely experience nightmares, and the gender swap in dreams was never a traumatizing experience for me. But what if you are scared of your own dreams? What if you can't just shake off the oppressive feeling after waking up and your thoughts constantly revolve around the nightly horror scenarios even when you're awake?
"Care makes fear less," explains Brigitte Holzinger. A nightmare should be addressed as directly as possible in the dream event - that is, face fear. The repression and the lack of confrontation with it can actually increase the fear.
A dream diary can also help to process what has been experienced in the dream. This should be as detailed and realistic as possible. In general, I can only recommend keeping dream diaries! It is not uncommon that after the morning routine you have no idea what you dreamed before.
If you want to live out artistically, you can also capture what happened in your dream, suggests the dream expert. The exchange with familiar people can also have a liberating effect. The simple confrontation with the dream helps immensely with the processing.
But be careful: «Our psyche is not a computer game! You can't just tinker with it ruthlessly, ”she adds. The key to a healthy relationship with one's own dreams is the politics of small steps. One should explore one's own dream world and the associated psyche slowly, step by step. This is the only way to achieve long-term success.
If, of course, nothing helps at all and your own dream world regularly disturbs restful sleep, then it is not wrong to seek help from an expert like Brigitte Holzinger. In general, I once again found out during this research: Dreams are crazy! My initial search for specific meaning and the urge for clear answers were the wrong approach to such a complex subject. You will never get this.
Of course, you would like to draw concrete conclusions from your own dream world - but these work primarily on the sensual level, not on a rational one, as we are used to from everyday life. When you start to see your dreams as an opportunity, it's not a bad start.
Cover picture: Unsplash
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