Each of us has dreams — bright and happy, sometimes disturbing, with exciting plots or incoherent, abstract images. Anyone at least once in his life, wanting to unravel the mystery of sleep, opened numerous dream books in search of interpretation.
Often explanations in dream books cause relief, but sometimes they can cause anxiety, as they predict something negative. A person believes in a prediction and unconsciously adjusts his behavior, thereby only helping him to come true. So what is a dream and, most importantly, how to understand it?
In psychology, there are several main theories that explain our dreams.
The well-known Sigmund Freud claimed that every dream contains information about our hidden desires.
After him, Carl Jung put forward the theory that dreams through symbolic images of the unconscious show the state of our psyche at the moment.
Fritz Perls, the founder of gestalt therapy, considered dreams as messages about unfinished situations, about the relationship we are in with ourselves and the world around us, as hints about what we do not notice or avoid in life. And they also show exactly how we ignore and deny some aspects of our personality.
Later, summarizing his idea, Perls called dreams brief messages about the current or general state of a person's life.
Based on the latter theory, we can say that our emotions, states, as if with the help of a projector, are shown through all objects, phenomena, characters, fragments of the landscape, fantastic images that we see in a dream. In some cases, the projection may even be our physical condition, i.e. the work of our internal organs.
Very often, "nightmares" become the reason for the experience. However, "scary" plots are also just projections, only filled with more energy.
Each person "creates" their own unique images in a dream. With this understanding of dreams, the absurdity of being carried away by various dream books becomes obvious. How then to sort out your dreams?
There are various techniques for working with dreams, depending on the direction of psychology in which the psychologist works.
Within the framework of gestalt therapy, one of the main techniques is "identification with the image of sleep", which is aimed at making sleep more understandable for a person. This technique has a large number of varieties, including exercises that can be performed independently.
First, write down your dream and make a list of all its details. Remember every person, every object, every element, and then imagine yourself as each of them. Try to transform into each of these elements and play them. Truly become one.
Then take each of these elements, characters and parts and give them the opportunity to communicate with each other. Write a script. Come up with a dialogue between two opposing figures — and you will find (especially if you have correctly identified the opposing sides) that they will definitely start feuding with each other.
Any part of the dream is yourself, it is your own projection, and if there are some irreconcilable sides, and you force them to fight with each other, then you are playing an eternal conflict game.
As the process of communication continues, mutual recognition takes place until you finally come to the unity and reunion of these two opposing forces.
Reincarnated as an element of a dream, utter or record an emotional monologue addressed to any other character of the dream.
After that, it is necessary to list the feelings experienced at the same time, and transfer them to relationships in real life. Ask yourself the question: To whom in my life could I address these feelings?
If a dream is a variety of landscapes, cosmic landscapes, fabulous complex plots that are difficult to divide into elements, then art techniques become very effective.
Create drawings, illustrations, collages of your dream in order to clarify the elements on which your state is designed. And then, as in the first two versions, tell the dream in the first person or, if there are other elements, enter into a dialogue with them.
Draw the fragment of the dream that interests you the most, select two elements and draw yourself in the same drawing. It is useful to choose not only animals or people for exercise, but also objects or parts of space.
Next, make a first-person representation of these two elements (Who am I? What am I like? What qualities do I have? What am I aiming for? What am I doing in this dream?).
After that, conduct a dialogue in which each element expresses its attitude to the other (including you, shown in the figure). Then you address each of the elements yourself, and after that you answer on their behalf. It is necessary to address directly, "on you".
After that, go back to the emotions you experienced and transfer them to a real-life relationship. Who do you have a similar dialogue with in real life? Who are you developing this type of relationship with? What do you want to get from him?
It is often difficult to remember the whole dream, some elusive images appear, traces of sensations remain, but the dream is not remembered. To do this, there are easy recommendations, following which you can learn to remember dreams in the smallest detail:
— do not get up immediately after you wake up, lie down for a while with your eyes closed;
— listen carefully to yourself, your feelings and images that come to you, do not try to remember the dream specifically;
— start a "diary" of dreams, in which you will need to record the emerging images, sensations;
— it is better to leave the notebook next to the bed so that it is easy to take it by stretching out your hand.
What is it for? Understanding dreams can help to have a clear idea of events in life, to better understand yourself. In addition, you will be able to reduce negative feelings and emotions, reduce stress, and maximize the pleasure, enjoyment and joy of life!