Dreams de­coded

What are your dreams try­ing to tell you? Find out how to make sense of their mes­sages

Singapore Women's Weekly (Singapore) - - SLEEP SPECIAL -

De­spite dreams be­ing a nearuni­ver­sal phe­nom­e­non, we still know very lit­tle about what they are and why they oc­cur. How­ever, many peo­ple be­lieve that dreams are our way of mak­ing sense of our world.

“We dream dur­ing light sleep and go into a tem­po­rary paral­y­sis, so we don’t act out. The body does this in a de­lib­er­ate way, so dream­ing def­i­nitely serves a pur­pose in our lives,” ex­plains Pro­fes­sor Har­riet His­cock from the Sleep Health Foun­da­tion.

That pur­pose is to keep our minds in or­der, be­lieves dream in­ter­preter Ka­trena Friel. “The dreams that we re­mem­ber are the way our un­con­scious mind talks to us – in sym­bols.” Be­cause our dreams are per­sonal, you are the best per­son to in­ter­pret what yours mean. “Keep a journal next to the bed,” sug­gests Ka­trena. “When you wake up, write down each el­e­ment of the dream in as much de­tail as pos­si­ble.” You can then be­gin to work out the dif­fer­ent mean­ings of each el­e­ment and be­gin to ex­plore the mes­sage your dream is send­ing you.

Death

Dream­ing about death is very com­mon and ac­tu­ally has noth­ing to do with dy­ing. “It usu­ally means the sym­bolic end­ing of some­thing, whether that’s a job or a re­la­tion­ship,” says Ka­trena. Dream­ing that you killed some­one can of­fer clues to what you’re tr ying to ‘kill off’ – such as bad habits, re­la­tion­ships or pat­terns. Con­sider what the per­son who dies means to you.

Be­ing Naked In Pub­lic

Be­ing naked sym­bol­ises one’s in­ner truth, says Natalie Ben­hayon, who teaches peo­ple how to in­ter­pret their dreams. “When you dream about be­ing naked in pub­lic, no­tice what your re­ac­tion is, as this says a lot about how com­fort­able you are to present the real you to the world.” It may also hint at your feel­ing of be­ing on dis­play – per­haps in a new job or a new re­la­tion­ship. If you felt pos­i­tive about be­ing naked, then it demon­strates a strong self-im­age.

Be­ing Chased

Be­ing chased is the most com­mon uni­ver­sal dream, ac­cord­ing to Rose. “We tend to have the chase dream when we’re feel­ing un­der pres­sure or over­whelmed. Ask your­self what you are run­ning away from in your wak­ing life,” she says. Chase dreams are of­ten re­cur­ring and will con­tinue to haunt you un­til you make changes. “Who or what does the chase rep­re­sent? Be­ing chased by an an­i­mal is about not trust­ing your in­stincts, shad­ows com­monly rep­re­sent fears, while peo­ple you know will have a per­sonal mean­ing to you,” she ex­plains.

Fall­ing

Dream­ing about fall­ing is ver y com­mon when you’re feel­ing a lack of con­trol over a sit­u­a­tion in your life. “It’s an in­di­ca­tion of in­se­cu­ri­ties, in­sta­bil­i­ties and anx­i­eties,” Ka­trena ex­plains. Con­sider other sym­bols within the dream to de­ter­mine what it is that is mak­ing you feel out of con­trol. Who were you with when fall­ing, and what do they rep­re­sent to you? This dream is a sign you want to take back con­trol of a par­tic­u­lar sit­u­a­tion.

Run­ning Late

“Dream­ing about run­ning late, per­haps for a sig­nif­i­cant event or exam, is high­light­ing your anx­i­ety around not feel­ing pre­pared or or­gan­ised enough to achieve your goals,” says Rose Inserra, au­thor of Dreams. “Do you feel you’re miss­ing out on op­por­tu­ni­ties? What’s within your reach that you miss out on?” Now’s the time to re­de­fine your goals to a more re­al­is­tic mea­sure. “On the pos­i­tive side, your dream is show­ing you that you are a late bloomer – you will reach your goals at your own pace,” she says.

Be­ing Un­pre­pared For An Exam

Turn­ing up for an exam ill-pre­pared usu­ally rep­re­sented an un­re­solved anx­i­ety, says Natalie. “It might be ei­ther when you have put pres­sure on your­self, or when you haven’t truly been pre­pared for life’s chal­lenges and know you’re not quite ready to deal with what’s com­ing.” This could be a wake-up call to get your­self more or­gan­ised for the fu­ture. It may also be a sign that you’re about to face a chal­lenge that you don’t feel qual­i­fied to han­dle.

Be­ing Preg­nant

Dream­ing you’re hav­ing a baby rep­re­sents the po­ten­tial for a new be­gin­ning, but that doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean you’ll be ex­pand­ing your fam­ily. “Be­ing preg­nant in a dream shows the po­ten­tial for a new star t. This is not al­ways guar­an­teed to be a pos­i­tive mes­sage, as you can be start­ing some­thing new that will lead you astray,” cau­tions Natalie. Con­sider how you felt about be­ing preg­nant and your fam­ily ’s and friends’ re­ac­tion if you’re look­ing for answers.

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