Saturday, December 8, 2007

Analyzing and Interpreting Your Dreams

The meanings of dreams are as personal and unique as the people who dream them. No one interpretation, no matter how universal, will apply to every dream, dream symbol or dream situation. When analyzing or interpreting a dream, it is always important to pay attention to the details of the dreams, your feelings within the dream world, and of course, what is going on in your own life.

If you do wish to interpret your dreams, either purely for fun or to pursue personal and spiritual growth, there are a few pointers that will help you get the most from your dream world.

Ø As you awaken, immediately replay the dream scenario in your head. It is important to do this immediately, preferably before you even open your eyes. The dream world slips away quickly, and as much as 50% of it can be gone in a mere five minutes. By the time ten minutes has passed, more than 90% of the dream’s contents may be lost. Replaying the dream in your head will help you remember more of those tantalizing details.

Ø Immediately write down a description of the dream, focusing on key objects, symbols or feelings. Write a few words about each key element in the dream quickly, before they are forgotten, they go back later and fill in the gaps. Again, it is important to write your dream down as quickly as possible. Keeping a notebook by the bed will be a big help.

Ø Choose a quiet place in your home to begin your interpretation process. Cutting yourself of from sources of distraction will be very important. The space you choose should be as quiet and peaceful as possible. If no such space is available, review your notes a final time, fill in any details you can remember, and come back to them later.

Ø Use your intuition as you review your dream notes and try to make sense of your dream. You may already know on an instinctual level what your dreams are trying to tell you. Connecting with your intuition can help you connect with your unconscious mind. If you meditate, a short meditation session can often be a big help. Connecting with your inner self is always a huge help when it comes to interpreting and analyzing dreams.

Ø As you review your dream notes, pay close attention to the emotions they stir in you. Paying close attention to your emotional state, both at this moment and during the dream, can help you to understand what your dream really meant.

Ø Think very carefully about any vivid details, situations, locations, sensations or symbols that make the dream memorable. Open your heart as well as your mind and carefully explore the possible meaning of each symbol, situation and event. It may be helpful to jot down the impressions in your dream journal or notebook. As you search for meaning, don’t limit yourself to obvious interpretations. For instance, dreaming about a missed appointment could simply mean you are worried about being late for work, but that missed appointment could also symbolize a feeling of missed opportunity in your life.

Ø Running an inner dialog with the people or objects you dreamed about is often helpful as well. This inner dialog is especially useful when trying to determine why you dreamed about certain people. Try asking them in your head “why am I dreaming about you?”, “what are you doing in my dream?”. It is also helpful to know that often people in our dreams are symbols of aspects of our own personality instead of literal people.

Ø If you are stuck for an interpretation, it is a good idea to leave your dream notebook and come back to it later. It may also be helpful to discuss the dream with others, or to consult an expert on dream interpretation.

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