Most of us have dreams, even nightmares.
Scientists have studied dreams for many years to try and determine whether or not they have any kind of valid meaning.
Depending on who you talk to and what their beliefs are, you may get ten different answers about the meaning of a dream if you ask ten different people.
Even psychologists and psychiatrists have different viewpoints when it comes to whether or not dreams are accurate ways to predict the future.
There is proof that dreams have meaning in terms of interpreting events in a person’s life.
There have also been instances where people have “premonitions” in the form of dreams that cause them to take another only to find out later that their decision saved their life.
This has been documented on several occasions but has never scientifically been proven as an accurate premonition, especially when it comes to predicting injuries.
Many dreams are simply random thoughts that are guided by our stress or the events in our lives.
They may be the hidden fears that we have and don’t readily express when we are awake.
Sometimes, the thoughts we have tend to dwell within our minds and show up in our dreams to help us sort through the obstacles we face.
We may not associate our dreams with the events in our day-to-day lives until something happens to connect them in our minds.
Do they have meaning? In many cases, they have whatever meaning we choose to assign to them.
The meaning can be associated with events of the day or how we are feeling towards someone.
People who dream often, and sometimes vividly, believe that their dreams hold details of the future.
From a specific color to a sequence of events, they believe they can interpret the future by carefully looking at their dreams.
When people have a dream and the events in their dreams come to pass, they believe wholeheartedly that they predicted the future.
Did they really predict the future or was the event they dreamed about already likely to happen?
Many people believe that “thoughts take form,” and that if they dream about or think about an event enough, they can will it into happening.
Interpreting dreams has become a hobby for many.
They look at what certain things mean, like animals, different types of trees/plants, rocks, elements, or colors, and attach meaning to each one.
The problem with this as a science is that it is rare to find two people who agree on what each item means.
In most situations, there will be a different meaning for every person you speak to.
While there are psychologists and other professionals who study dreams and their meaning, it’s still a difficult task to find one set of meanings among all the different professionals.
Dreams can be any sequence of thoughts, images, or conversations you experience while you are sleeping.
Dreams can involve all kinds of emotions, activities, and events that you have or have not experienced.
People dream about places they have never been just because they have seen pictures of it in a book or watched a movie that was shot in that location.
Dreams are full of the entire range of emotions, but not so much in a negative way.
Nightmares, on the other hand, elicit fear and anger. They are often full of heinous images that involve death, dying, and extreme violence.
They may become so bad and unsettling that they prevent a person from relaxing enough to fall asleep.
Until the root cause of the nightmare is uncovered, the nightmares may persist, making it difficult to get the rest that is needed to function properly.
Many cultures assign cultural significance to dreams and the items and events that they contain.
Native Americans and other indigenous people attach specific meaning to items, colors, animals, elements, and events that are included in both dreams and nightmares.
Cultures apply meanings to items in dreams according to their belief structure and the things they experience in their daily lives.
Each culture is different. Even the tribes within each culture may attach their own unique meanings.
In order to uncover the significance of each item, you will have to talk to someone from each tribe to determine exactly what it is.
Interpretation for most will be subjective, meaning that it will change from person to person and how you perceive the information in your own mind.
Dreams can be extremely personal and may only hold meaning for the person who dreams them.
Many people believe that dreams indicate some level of psychic ability.
Even though there is no scientific proof to support this train of thought, there have been indications that people do believe that psychic abilities and dreams are intricately connected.
In order to determine the accuracy of this train of thought, many more studies would have to be performed.
Because both the interpretation of dreams and psychic ability are subjective, it will be incredibly difficult to determine the validity of either one.
Daydreaming occurs while you are still in a wakeful state. Dreaming occurs when you achieve a state of deep sleep.
While you may think you are dreaming while you are awake, the state of daydreaming is somewhat different.
You are still technically awake and able to function in a wakeful state.
Some people may be able to guide their daydreams, much like they would if they were using guided imagery.
This is not easy to accomplish while you are in a deep state of sleep. There are some people who do not dream at all no matter how deep a sleep they enter into.
Many people are able to plant a thought in their heads and dream about it once they fall asleep.
Others have absolutely no control over what is going to happen in their dreams. Some people are also able to return to a dream if they wake up in the middle of it.
Every person is different when it comes to their dreams. Some have vivid dreams, while others dream in black and white.
People have often claimed that when they dream, it is like they are watching themselves from outside of their bodies.
Some people who dream while they are in deep sleep may also sleepwalk or get out of bed and perform specific tasks even though they are sound asleep.
In some psychology circles, it is believed that sleepwalking is similar to being in a trance-like state.
People who sleepwalk very rarely remember their escapades when they wake up the next morning.
Those who dream, on the other hand, will sometimes at least remember bits and pieces if not the entire dream.
Most mental health professionals do not put dreaming and being in an altered state in the same category.