Analyzing our Dreams

Have you ever wondered how and why we remember dreams–and what purpose they are likely to serve

The study of Oneirology can be distinguished from dream interpretation in that the aim is to quantitatively study the process of dreams instead of analyzing the meaning behind them.

The reason I have dreams as a topic this week is to do with the fact I have been fascinated by them for a very long time.

I had a dream on May 2/3 that I was delivering a baby. I looked online to see what it meant. Here is the result::  A baby signifies new life or beginnings. It can also refer to a new chapter in one’s life.

Our brain experiences four types of electrical brain waves: “delta,” “theta,” “alpha,” and “beta.” Each represents a different speed of oscillating electrical voltages and together they form the electroencephalography (EEG).

For centuries people have pondered the meaning of dreams. Early civilizations thought of dreams as a medium between our earthly world and that of the gods. In fact, the Greeks and Romans were convinced that dreams had certain prophetic powers. While there has always been a great interest in the interpretation of human dreams, it wasn’t until the end of the nineteenth century that Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung put forth some of the most widely-known modern theories of dreaming. Freud’s theory centred around the notion of repressed longing — the idea that dreaming allows us to sort through unresolved, repressed wishes. Carl Jung (who studied under Freud) also believed that dreams had psychological importance, but proposed different theories about their meaning.

Dreams seem to help us process emotions by encoding and constructing memories of them. What we see and experience in our dreams might not necessarily be real, but the emotions attached to these experiences certainly are. Our dream stories essentially try to strip the emotion out of a certain experience by creating a memory of it. This way, the emotion itself is no longer active.

This mechanism fulfils an important role because when we don’t process our emotions, especially negative ones, this increases personal worry and anxiety. In fact, severe REM sleep-deprivation is increasingly correlated to the development of mental disorders. In short, dreams help regulate traffic on that fragile bridge which connects our experiences with our emotions and memories.

Pay attention to your dreams they are telling you something important about your life.

~Andrea

 

 

 

 

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