Friday, November 18, 2011

Insights from dreams

Dreams as a mere subconscious activity are passe. Youngsters today record their dreams on a daily basis to get an insight into their minds.

Be it a garish nightmare or a spaced-out daydream, dreaming has been a mystery to the human mind. While some of us forget our dreams, others remember it to the last detail. What is it about this mystical phenomenon that is so alluring? Ignorant as we are, there are some who attempt to keep in touch with their subconscious by penning down their dreams in what is called a 'dream diary' - a record of dreams.

Youngsters have, of late, started maintaining dream diaries in an attempt to get in touch with their subconscious self. However, brace yourself because the other side is quite twisted!

Apart from the fact that you can go back to your dreams and have a ha-ha moment, the use of a dream diary can have a tremendous effect on improving future dream recall. Besides the confusion it causes, maintaining dream diaries has other drawbacks too. One is, what is often called as the false awakening! For example, The habit of waking up to record sometimes leads to what is called a false awakening, where the dreamer records the previous dream while still in the dream. This thought is quite disturbing as the dreamer isn't aware of his own bodily actions at this point. Dr Michael Lennox, a psychologist, has been deeply influenced by Carl Jung's (founder of analytical psychology) theories and he talks about how dreams work. It is a proven fact that nightmares help you process very deep levels of fear. "Life can be scary and brutal, but we can't function if we were living in that place where you're scared. In fact, it is through these dreams that you survive the ordeal so you can wake up the next day and do it all over again," says Michael Lennox. The unconscious mind is a gateway to the soul.

Psychologists say that when you decide to keep a dream diary, and your are that subconscious consciously . " is I a big step think to allowing talk to the knowing to you. yourself really unconscious mind wants to speak to us. That's why dreams repeat with the same theme. In effect, they are just trying to get your attention," says he. Vidya Ravi, a masters student explains how she has been maintaining a diary for the last two years. "The experience has been an eye opener. I didn't understand the psychology behind writing it down then, but as I started reading it, I gained more insight into my mind." Vidya maintains an online blog to record her dreams every morning. An enriching experience, Vidya explains that her dreams have been a pattern of what she does in a day or maybe even days before. But contrary to that, Rahul Nair feels that writing his dreams down didn't help him much. "I developed a block in my writing. I am a journalist by profession and writing dreams down created a gate between my creativity and my dreams. It was as if, I wrote too much and I was saturated to write anymore," he laments. Rahul soon stopped his habit and instead chose to just remember them.

Now, the question is if it is really healthy to have a dream diary. And the answer is definitely 'yes'! People must dream, else their head will explode. It's a scientifically proven fact that if you lost REM (Rapid Eye Movement or that stage of sleep where people dream) sleep for a night, you'd have a psychotic break down. Dreams reflect hidden unconscious motivations, fear, blocks, limitations, joys. College students have longer REM hours while preparing for their exams. It's a proven fact that we learn things in REM sleep

But here's the real beauty of dream thoughts; there is no right or wrong way. Dreams are doing their job whether we remember them or not. People who write down their dreams begin to have more vivid dreams and also have a better memory. We gain soul clarity in dream process. Go ahead, get yourself a dream diary! See what wonders your subconscious can conjure up.

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