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What Do Dreams Mean

Some famous interpretations and theories

Tina S
Tina S
Feb 19, 2010
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Psychology



Dreams can be mysterious and a weird. They can be scary, funny, exciting, or boring. Sometimes the dream is so good that we wish we never woke up. But understanding the meaning of our dreams can be downright baffling. The content of our dreams can shift suddenly, feature bizarre elements or frighten us with terrifying imagery.

Everyone dreams something, every time they are sleeping, due to our brain still works, even if you are out of order, usually you can't remember what you dreamed, that means that you slept very well, but if you do remember something, it is usually the last moments before waking up, couple of seconds.

It is believed that when you dream all movement and views are happening 7 times faster than in our real life, hey maybe real life is a dream too? But that is another topic.. it is faster, because the brain is so powerful and fast and can handle information so fast, that you can't believe it yourself.. to sum up, if you sleep 7 hours, you dream something for 7 hours and if the theory is right 7*7=49 hours.

The brain is so powerful, that it can remake everything it wrote, so if you saw something you will never forget it, just that it will be somewhere destep inside you. If you're dreaming a place you know and you walk to a place you still weren't, it will be created from different parts.

The question is, what do dreams mean? Do they mean anything at all?

Obviously, sometimes dreams mean a great deal and can give a little clue to what's going on in our life, like when we're stressed out. But there are times when our dream is simply based on the movie that we watched the night before. Sometimes present-day activities will take place in our childhood home of long ago. We dream of people and places that are both strange and very familiar.

Given the number of books on dream analysis that are available and the popularity of specialized dream analysis columns in the media, it seems there's a lot of people who are fascinated by what goes on in their brains at night.

Even Sigmund Freud, the famous psychoanalyst, had a fascination with dreams which lead him to write "The Interpretation of Dreams." Although many of Freud's theories have fallen into disfavor, it seems that everyone from Freud down to the man in the street has a theory on the importance or otherwise of dreams.

However, researchers at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia have discovered that dreams can be significant but do not hold the answers to life's problems. The team of psychologists studied the dreams of 270 recent divorcees to determine whether dreams were a useful aid in assisting with the trauma of the relationship breakdown.

Dreams act as an outlet valve for problems that we experience during waking hours. If we do not, or cannot, effectively deal with pressing problems in our lives we often dream about them during the night. This is what was found in the present study. However, what the study implies is that, by effectively dealing with issues that are causing us distress, we have less need to dream about them at night.

But, some prominent researchers such as G. William Domhoff suggest that dreams most likely serve no real purpose.

According to Domhoff:

"'Meaning' has to do with coherence and with systematic relations to other variables, and in that regard dreams do have meaning. Furthermore, they are very "revealing" of what is on our minds. We have shown that 75 to 100 dreams from a person give us a very good psychological portrait of that individual. Give us 1000 dreams over a couple of decades and we can give you a profile of the person's mind that is almost as individualized and accurate as her or his fingerprints."

Popularizing Dream Interpretation

Since the 1970s, dream interpretation has grown increasingly popular thanks to work by authors such as Ann Faraday. In books such as The Dream Game, Faraday outlined techniques and ideas than anyone can use to interpret their own dreams. Today, consumers can purchase a wide variety of books that offer dream dictionaries, symbol guides and tips for interpreting and understanding dreams.
Dream research will undoubtedly continue to grow and generate interest from people interested in understanding the meaning of their dreams.

However, dream expert G. William Domhoff recommends that “…unless you find your dreams fun, intellectually interesting, or artistically inspiring, then feel free to forget your dreams.”
Others such as Cartwright and Kaszniak propose that dream interpretation may actually reveal more about the interpreter than it does about the meaning of the dream itself.

“A dream is a work of art which requires of the dreamer no particular talent, special training, or technical competence. Dreaming is a creative enterprise in which all may and most do participate.” – Clark S. Hall

Dreams serve as a useful outlet for our day-to-day problems but recurrent distressing dreams with obvious themes are an indication that we are not dealing with our life problems and that we are "stuck." What our dreams are telling us is that it is definitely time to talk by day so that we can sleep better at night!


 
Author's note: Ref:1. Domhoff, G.W. (n.d.). The “purpose” of dreaming. http://www.dreamresearch.net,2.Cartwright R.D. & Kaszniak, A. (1991). The social psychology of dream reporting. In S.J. Ellman & J.S. Antrobus (Eds.), The mind in sleep: Psychology and psychophysiology, (2nd ed.). New York: Wiley.
Keywords: What Do Dreams Mean, Domhoff,analysis,brain,waking,scary,terrifying,imagery,mind,experience,night,stress,fascination,Queensland University of Technology,psychologists,relationship,expert.



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