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On the web there are thousands of Dream Dictionaries so I did not really find it useful to do what everyone else has already done. On this page you will find many helpful things to aid in your search for "answers". I have been learning about dreams and teaching about them as well for years now and I find it more helpful to lead people on the right path than do it for them. No one will be able to properly define your dreams the way you will. Many places offer pay services to depict your dreams and I hear many of them are good. I will do it for free if you need help or answer any questions you might have on the matter.Here are a bunch of tips and tricks to learning about your dreams. Feel free to drop me a line ...
 
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THE MOST HELPFUL HINT
REMEMBER: The best tip I can give is this. In Most dreams 
 YOU ARE THE MAIN CHARACTER
 even if you are a participant with the main character your most active/non-static character in your dream is ALMOST always you. This helped me a lot when looking up dreams and it made more sence to the mood of the dream in most cases. Remember this and you will have a much better understanding of yourself. If the main character is hurting "you" in your dream you can be almost certain it is a symbol of self destruction...
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Tips for Recording your Dreams

1.Record the dream in your dream journal in as much detail as possible.
2.Write down briefly anything significant. 

  • What aspect of this dream is most interesting? fascinating? scary?
  • In this dream, what are you doing? what feelings are associated with each action? Be specific.
  • What actions are complete or incomplete? What feelings are resolved or unresolved?
  • What are the major patterns in the dream? Note especially similarities, contrasts, repetitions, transformations, and hybrid images.
  • How are these patterns related to your waking life?
  • What are the major symbols in this dream?
  • Who are the major characters in this dream?
  • What would you most like to change in this dream?
  • What would you most like to avoid n this dream?
  • Where in this dream is information still missing? Feelings still unresolved or unexpressed? Choices narrowly limited?

3. Give the dream a title.
4. Draw a sketch, cartoon or map of the central issue of the dream.
5. Write down any immediate, intuitive, from the gut, reactions you had to the dream when you woke up. For example, you feel that the dream is about your mother or that you should take a job you are considering.
6. Write down how you felt on waking and how you felt for the rest of the day.
7. Try to interpret the dream.

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Index of Dream Related Sites

 

 


The Basics About Dreaming



What is a Dream?


Dreams are a communication of body, mind and spirit in a symbolic communicative environmental state of being. That's it! Now that you are thoroughly confused let me explain in a more down to earth language. Our brains are in constant activity. Different states of consciousness (like awake, asleep, alert, drowsy, excited, bored, concentrating or daydreaming) cause different brain wave activity. Our conscious mind, or the part we think with, our "window" into life, only takes up a very small portion of our brain activity. (some say this is only 10%) Other areas control things like breathing, heartbeat, converting light to vision, sound to hearing, balance when we walk, etc. etc. This too has it's own percentage (small). Another area controls imagination. This area is widely an undiscovered frontier. Imagination is more then dreaming of a new car or picturing someone with their cloths off! When you look at clouds and see shapes, or wood grain and see images, this is the "order from chaos" part of your imagination. The mind cannot deal with chaos very well, in fact it will resist it and sometimes manufacture order. (very important to the dreaming process.)This too occupies a small percentage of brian activity. Then there is memory. Memory is vast! And I believe it occupies more of the brains resources then most people believe.

Chaos

And then there is the activity called dreaming. I think that to a certain extent, we dream all the time. Even while awake! But the process is functioning in our subconscious mind, out of view from our "window". If defined precisely, they may not be referred to as dreams technically, but the activity is very closely related. During certain cycles of brain activity while asleep, we can "view" these dreams with our conscious mind and record them in our memory. (this is why we sometimes remember them).

Fine Mike, but what are dreams? Well, with the above kept in mind (especially the order from chaos part) try to imagine this.; Your brain mind and spirit, while at rest "review" and analysis in it's own way long term, short term and spirit memory. It kicks around emotions, thoughts, ideas, actions and interactions of the short term memory. It has in it's background the trends of your life and philosophy to influence it. Your mind is also processing spiritual data, your beliefs, whether or not you violated them, your information gained through psychic intuition (we ALL have this to a certain degree) and of course, any communication from God. ALL THIS data, as well as your subconscious "reading between the lines" of what people do and tell you, is then processed unsupervised by you! All this data is a form of chaos, and your mind (like seeing images in wood grain or clouds) puts it all together in a form of visual "screenplay", a medley of sight, sound,emotion and imagined interactivity. The end result is.... You guessed it, a dream!

Ahh but would it not be nice if it were that simple! Dreams are easily influenced by factors in your life and spirit, and these influences create "categories" that are almost infinite. We do broadly categorize them in terms like "prophetic, standard, physical and nightmare" (to name just a few) And these we study each their own, in order to gain benefit from them. I look at it this way: Our mind and spirit together with our brain, is actually the greatest computer ever devised! To understand it's "back of the house" processing is to learn more about ourselves, God, our future and each other. Many things can be gained from dreams, better health (mental and physical), entertainment and even financial gain! (dreaming of a invention or idea) Now that you know some of the basics about dreaming and what (theoretically) dreams are you should have a better grasp on how to understand and use your dreams

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The 12 universal dreams

Sunday, December 07, 2003

By Virginia Linn, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Anthropologists, psychologists and dream workers have found similar themes in dreams. These so-called universal dreams transcend all generations and cultures. While not all experts agree on the same list and frequency, here's a compilation from the book, "The Universal Dream Key: The 12 most common dream themes around the world" (HarperCollins, 2001), by Patricia Garfield, based on her international survey, worldwide travel and research.

While people have many more negative dreams than positive ones, each theme has negative and positive sides.

1) Being chased or attacked

More than 80 percent of people dream they're being pursued or attacked, although who or what is attacking or doing the pursing varies from place to place. These dreams are a natural response to life stress, Garfield says.

The origin of this dream dates back to an era when humans fought off beasts or other tribal members to survive. The "monsters" of today more often are emotional beasts, she says -- fear, anxiety, anger, hatred and envy.

Flip side: Being embraced or loved.

These dreams also have early biological roots. They're driven by our genes to mate and produce children and include the sex dreams. Both men and women, it's been documented in research, experience sexual arousal during REM sleep. These dreams can supply the desired missing elements in an unsatisfying marriage, or heighten during an intense love affair.

2) Being injured, ill or dying

One myth about dreaming is that if you die in your dream, you die in life.

That's not true, of course, but dream deaths do occur. They involve deaths of famous people, your parents or children, a lover and even yourself. Garfield believes that when you dream about an accidental death of any person, that person's death symbolizes something in you that is no longer functioning.

One of the more common scenarios under this theme is of teeth falling out or crumbling.

This might have a physical origin in people gritting or grinding teeth during sleep. Freud suggested that dreams of teeth falling out are related to fears of castration, but women have this dream as often as men, Garfield says. She believes the tooth troubles in dreams are related to anger, with a dreamer acting out the clenching of his teeth. Other psychologists believe the dream reflects anxiety about appearance and how others perceive you.

Flip side: Being healed, born or reborn

Rare, but good, this dream often accompanies a new start, a new job or first day of school. Sometimes dreaming of rebirth represents your hopes for a loved one who has died.

3) Car or other vehicle trouble

Fairly common nightmare among all people and ages, whether or not the dreamers actually drive. Sometimes they have problems with an aircraft they're flying. May occur when the dreamer feels events in waking life are out of control.

Flip side: Vehicular pleasure

When your time in a car or another vehicle is delightful. This can represent freedom, or moving in the direction of your choice.

4) House or property loss or damage

In these dreams, your house is damaged or destroyed by fire, water or other causes. These dreams may surface because you feel that some valuable aspect of waking life is at risk, she says.

Dreams about losing a wallet, watch or cherished piece of jewelry, such as a wedding ring, also fall into this category. Meanings vary depending on what is lost or damaged. Biologically, they may reflect a basic need to defend your territory.

Flip side: House or property improvement

You may discover new rooms in your home or dream about repairs or improvements. These dreams may occur when you feel that some valuable aspect of waking life is improving.

5) Poor test or other poor performance

You've probably dreamed of arriving for a test and found the exam has already started. Or you search fruitlessly for the room. This is a common nightmare and can occur years after you've faced the SAT. Garfield says it usually occurs when you feel you are somehow being "tested" in waking life. People continually face situations that challenge their capacity to perform well. This stems from the innate feeling that we need to achieve or compete. Some psychologists think the dreams can denote anxiety about sexual performance.

Flip side: Great test or other fine performance

This may occur when the dreamer feels that she is doing well in waking life. Not limited to exams, the dreamer may envision doing precise spins on the ice or catching a touchdown pass. Sometimes people master certain activities after they've successfully performed them in their dream.

6) Falling or drowning

Falling is one of the most common nightmares among people of all ages, and may be a reflection of feeling insecure, helpless or of having no support or solid grounding. Some people may actually fall from their beds during this dream.

Dreaming about drowning is less frequent, and often occurs when a person feels overwhelmed.

Both scenarios involve life-or-death situations and can be traced to prehistoric origins. Garfield says that dreams of falling reflect a time when our ancestors took risks when climbing trees. Falling dreams of modern day often take place from high buildings, elevators and rooftops.

Likewise, dreams of drowning go to our inborn need to breathe for survival.

People often awake to "escape'' the danger in the dreams.

A person's age and medical circumstances can influence these dreams. Toddlers and young children, as well as older people, are prone to more falls in waking life. People with heart conditions that cause fluid buildup in the lungs or those with severe colds may dream of drowning.

Flip side: Flying, swimming or dancing joyfully

Have you had that feeling of zooming through the air, feeling free, unhindered?

Flying often becomes a person's favorite dream. These can inspire the dreamer, lifting him to spiritual heights or filling him with creative notions. Pleasurable swimming may mean freely exploring your depths; dreams of dance may be a metaphor for moving freely through your life.

7) Being naked in public or inappropriately dressed

This is a common scenario that occurs at all ages, including with children. The dreams involve feelings of exposure and vulnerability, and often include an element of embarrassment or shame.

Appearing partially nude is more common than being totally naked, Garfield says. Meanings vary depending on whether this occurs at school, at work, or on an open street, and depending on what part of the body is exposed.

Wearing the wrong clothing also has various meanings. A bride being inappropriately dressed for her upcoming wedding, for example, could suggest second thoughts she has about the union.

Flip side: Being well dressed

Dreaming of being dapper or wearing a special outfit may suggest you feel good about your body or attractive, or feel good about your life.

8) Missing the boat or other transport

You rush to catch a departing bus, train, airplane or ship, only to have it leave without you. These leave you engulfed in an overwhelming feeling of frustration rather than fear. Garfield suggests that these dreams reflect feelings that you are missing out on something in waking life.

Flip side: Pleasant travel

Very infrequent dreams, but may arise when you feel content about how your life is going.

9) Machine or telephone malfunction

Moderately common, and more frequent in women. These occur when you feel anxious about making an emotional connection or when you feel you're losing touch with someone. They can relate to mechanical difficulties with your body.

Flip side: Smooth operation

These usually occur when you feel there is an improvement in emotional connection. Garfield says many of the dreamers who participated in her study during bereavement reported dreams of clear connections with their deceased loved ones. Messages they received during the dreams helped them cope with their losses.

10) Natural or man-made disasters

You're confronted with overwhelming floods, tidal waves earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes, hurricanes, bombings or chemical warfare. These dreams may depict personal problems raging out of control.

They can be among the most frightening dreams. People through the ages have sought to harness nature, which can help them survive but also destroy them.

Flip side: Natural beauty, miracles or rituals

Dreams of vibrant flowers, verdant hillsides or uplifting music can leave the dreamer rejuvenated. Color is intensified, with bright yellow-green most often mentioned by dreamers. This may illustrate new growth.

Dreams of natural beauty can inspire and invigorate.

11) Being lost or trapped

In these highly common dreams, you're lost and feeling desperate. You may be buried alive or locked in a cage. Or you dream of not being able to move; you're powerless to scream or breathe.

These dreams may occur when you feel confusion or conflict about how to act in waking life.

The images are influenced by biological roots and experience. Feeling trapped or paralyzed also mirrors what occurs to the large muscles of the body during normal REM sleep, when they're paralyzed to prevent the body from acting out the dreams.

Such dreams could reflect frustrations in waking life, such as feeling trapped in a relationship or a dead-end job.

Flip side: Discovering new spaces

You may open a door in your home to find a new room or find something new in the neighborhood. These dreams occur usually when you feel an aspect of your life if opening up.

12) Being menaced by the dead or a spirit

You feel you are being haunted or berated by someone who has died. There may be feelings of terror, guilt, resentment or abandonment. They may occur when you feel guilty or responsible for a death, or anxious about the situation. Although they are quite rare, Garfield says these can be among the most uncomfortable dreams we have.

 
 
 
 

 

 

 
 
 

Flip side: Being guided by the dead or a spirit

These usually occur during active grief, which can last years. Visits from a deceased loved one may give you the feeling that he or she is OK, or inspire you to change your life. There's a feeling of hopefulness and comfort.

International Association for the Study of Dreams

COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT NIGHTMARES


What is a nightmare?

A nightmare is a very distressing dream which usually forces at least partial awakening. The dreamer may feel any number of disturbing emotions in a nightmare, such as anger, guilt, sadness or depression, but the most common feelings are fear and anxiety. Nightmare themes may vary widely from person to person and from time to time for any one person. Probably the most common theme is being chased. Adults are commonly chased by an unknown male figure whereas children are commonly chased by an animal or some fantasy figure.

Who has nightmares?

Just about everyone has them at one time or another. The majority of children have nightmares between the ages of three or four and seven or eight. These nightmares appear to be a part of normal development, and do not generally signal unusual problems. Nightmares are less common in adults, though studies have shown that they too may have nightmares from time to time. About 5-lO% have nightmares once a month or more frequently.

What causes nightmares?

There are a number of possibilities. Some nightmares can be caused by certain drugs or medications, or by rapid withdrawal from them, or by physical conditions such as illness and fever. The nightmares of early childhood likely reflect the struggle to learn to deal with normal childhood fears and problems. Many people experience nightmares after they have suffered a traumatic event, such as surgery, the loss of a loved one, an assault or a severe accident. The nightmares of combat veterans fall into this category. The content of these nightmares is typically directly related to the traumatic event and the nightmares often occur over and over. Other people experience nightmares when they are undergoing stress in their waking lives, such as difficulty or change on the job or with a loved one, moving, pregnancy, financial concerns, etc. Finally, some people experience frequent nightmares that seem unrelated to their waking lives. These people tend to be more creative, sensitive, trusting and emotional than average.

What can be done about nightmares?

It really depends on the source of the nightmare. To rule out drugs, medications or illness as a cause, discussion with a physician is recommended. It is useful to encourage young children to discuss their nightmares with their parents or other adults, but they generally do not need treatment. If a child is suffering from recurrent or very disturbing nightmares, the aid of a therapist may be required. The therapist may have the child draw the nightmare, talk with the frightening characters, or fantasize changes in the nightmare, in order help the child feel safer and less frightened .

The nightmares which repeat a traumatic event reflect a normal psychic healing process, and will diminish in frequency and intensity if recovery is progressing. If after several weeks no change is noted, consultation with a therapist is advisable.

Adults' nightmares offer the same opportunity as other dreams for self-exploration and understanding. With practice, the dreamer can often learn to decode the visual and symbolic language of the dream and to see relationships between the dream and waking life. The nightmare by nature is distressing, however, and the dreamer may need to reduce the distress before looking more closely at the meaning of the dream. Some techniques for reducing the distress of the nightmare include writing it down, drawing or painting it, talking in fantasy to the characters, imaging a more pleasant ending, or simply reciting it over several times. The more relaxed the dreamer can be while using these techniques the better. A number of good books are available for learning how to understand dreams. Alternately, the dreamer may wish to ask a therapist for assistance.

Sometimes nightmares are related to intense stress or emotional conflict that is best dealt with in consultation with a therapist. One should not hesitate to consult a therapist when in doubt.

It may be surprising to learn that many people are not really disturbed by their nightmares, even though the experiences themselves are distressing. Research has shown that about half of people who have quite frequent nightmares regard them as fascinating and creative acts of their minds, and either view them as very interesting or dismiss them as "just dreams". This illustrates the fact that one's attitude toward nightmares is quite important.

What about night terrors?

Night terrors are something quite different. Nightmares tend to occur after several hours of sleep, screaming or moving about is very uncommon, the dream is usually elaborate and intense, and the dreamer realizes soon after wakening that he or she has had a dream. Night terrors, on the other hand, occur during the first hour or two of sleep, loud screaming and thrashing about are common, the sleeper is hard to awaken and usually remembers no more than an overwhelming feeling or a single scene, if anything. Nightmares and night terrors arise from different physiological stages of sleep. Children who have night terrors also may have a tendency to sleepwalk and/or urinate in bed. The causes of night terrors are not well understood. Children usually stop having them by puberty. They may be associated with stress in adults. A consultation with a physician may be useful if the night terrors are frequent or especially disturbing.

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