Nightmares are an unfortunate part of my reality. They don’t happen every night…. but far more often than I’d like. The people, places, and situations are always changing. However, the panic remains the same. Long after I wake up in my nice, warm bed, the fear lingers, holding me in its icy clutches. Sometimes, it takes hours to calm down.
Do you suffer from constant nightmares? Here is a bit of good news: they aren’t necessarily bad. Like all dreams, nightmares reveal desires, thoughts, and ambitions that are buried in our subconscious. Though the dreams themselves may be upsetting, they can actual do a lot of good. It is time to discover what your nightmares really mean.
Though our dreams are unique and always changing, many themes and situations appear time and time again. Some of the most common include:
- Being Chased. Often, we have dreams about being chased by someone or something. These typically suggest that there is something in your day-to-day life that is causing you anxiety. It means you tend to run away or avoid conflict.
- Flying or Troubles In The Air. This is a nightmare that I have often – being in an airplane and plummeting to the ground. It usually happens before a vacation or trip, indicating that my mind is on transportation. The meaning behind it is more significant than pre-travel jitters, though. Nightmares about flying represent something stopping you from moving onto a new chapter in your life. It may also have to do with fear that you cannot live up to your high standards.
- Running Late. Another common nightmare is running late or rushing around. One interpretation of this dream is that you feel you are running out of time to accomplish your goals. Alternatively, it may relate to taking a different direction in your life or career.
- Falling. If you have a dream that you are falling, this can relate to anxiety, fear, or insecurity you have about something going on in your life. It may also be letting you know that you struggle to accept change.
Waking up from a nightmare can be a jarring experience. One moment, you are in a terrifying or perilous situation, and the next…. everything is okay. It takes your brain a while to adjust. To deal with a nightmare, start by:
- Sitting up in your bed rather than staying in a sleeping position. You need to separate yourself from your nightmare.
- Either sit on the edge of your bed with your feet on the floor or stand up and get something to drink. This step will help ground you in reality.
- Use logic to calm your mind. Remind yourself that it was just a dream and everything is fine. This is a good time to use a dream dictionary or look online for possible explanations of your nightmare. Knowing what the dream actually meant can help you gain a sense of closure.
- Do your best to go back to sleep. If necessary, put on some calming music or a guided meditation for sleep.
If you have grown weary of nightmare after nightmare, there are some preventative measures to consider. Their effectiveness is always up for debate, but they are certainly worth a try.
- Dream catchers have long been a part of Native American culture. (To find out more about them, check out this post.) They were thought to catch bad dreams and only let good dreams flow through. Not only are they beautiful to look at…but they might help you get a better night of sleep, too.
- Certain crystals are linked to a better sleep and a peaceful state of mind. Some well-placed stones can help you let go of stress and avoid nightmares altogether. A few to consider include: amethyst (a healing stone that restores balance), moonstone (a stone that reduces emotional tension), clear quartz (provides a calm state of mind), and smoky quartz (which gets rid of negative energy).
We all experience nightmares at one time or another. It’s okay! Use them as an opportunity to dig deep and discover more about yourself.
How do you deal with nightmares?