Understanding Dreams: Make Your Life Better

Understanding dreams is far easier than most people think. The many benefits of working with your dreams are stupendous. This article will give you a brief tour of how to use your dreams to make your life better.

People have been working at understanding dreams since the emergence of man. The dreams of the ancients foretold coming events, warned of impending danger and helped dreamers to better understand who their friends and enemies were.

A Brief History

The powerful dreams of Joseph and Jacob are in the Hebrew scriptures, and the dreams of Gilgamesh go back 2,000 years before Christ. People used to go to dream temples to find a cure for disease. And many saw dreams as the expression of inner truth.

America's psychic, Edgar Cayce, found that dreams could give warning or provide inner direction to the sensitive and awakened dreamer.

What does modern science say about dreams? Well, dreams are for real. Everyone dreams, but people don't always remember their dreams. And not everyone knows how to interpret their dreams. Even in today's enlightened times, understanding dreams remains a mystery, for many. But it needn't be that way!

The great Swiss psychoanalyst, Carl Gustav Jung, believed dreams were:

  • "psychic facts" that can help us to expand our self-knowledge,
  • solve problems
  • and offer insight into any matters of interest or concern.

In my almost four decades of experience as a professional helper, I have learned dreaming helps us to survive, succeed and be happy . . . So understanding dreams is important business!

There are many kinds of dreams, but most dreams can be viewed as an attempt on the part of the unconscious to deal with concerns and communicate material to the dreamer. If you're wrestling with a problem, you just might dream about it.

But sometimes people don't recall their dreams or realize they have dreamed during their sleep.

Dreaming performs various regulatory functions, such as consolidating memory. And understanding dreams is a powerful way to improve your inner life. It's like getting help from a wise old wizard or reliable sage.

Over the years, dreams have assisted my clients in advancing their careers, improving their relationships and finding greater happiness.

Understanding Dreams: Simple Steps

1. Write your dreams down in a special notebook that you keep on your bed stand.

2. Every morning when you arise, write down the night's dreams, before you forget them. Get in the habit of doing this and you'll develop the ability to remember your dreams in full detail.

3. Wait to analyze your dream after you get it written down, perhaps later in the day.

It's that simple to get started recording and understanding dreams.

How To Read or Interpret Your Dreams

OK, while it's true dreams can be complicated, there are a few simple tricks you can take in understanding dreams and making them work for you.

1. Trust your own mind and hunches in understanding your dreams.

2. Begin by taking note of the dream's setting. What does the dream's setting suggest about the dream? How does it set the stage for the action of the dream?

3. Who are the characters and what might they represent? I think of a dream like a play. Certain characters come together in your dream and interact or engage in some type of drama. Who are these characters? What did they make you feel? How do you see them? What are they doing?

Was someone trying to impart a message to you? Were you angry, happy or sad due to an interaction with a character? Did characters work against you? Was someone chasing you? Were animals involved? Were you in a crowd or with one person?

4. Was someone you know in your dream? If so, consider what that person or animal means or represents to you. Often when we dream of a real person, it may suggest that person wants to have a relationship with us...or we want more of one with them. Dr. Jung believed we are all connected through an aspect of our unconscious, called the "collective unconscious."

5. Were there universal symbols (Jung's "archetypes") in the dream? For example, did you encounter a wise old woman or shaman of some sort? If any such symbols were present, what might they mean in the context of your dream?

Assigning Meaning to Your Dream

Now that you've assembled information about the setting, characters, symbols and action of your dream, you are ready to think in terms of the dream's meaning. What could the dream be trying to suggest? Is there a hidden problem or conflict in your dream? What might the dream's plot reveal to you about your life?

Think about the dream symbols you encountered. Was there a bad guy in the dream? Did a powerful tiger, snake or lion protect or threaten you? What could these symbols mean?

Usually a little effort will make things crystal clear.

It is best to interpret your own dream, rather than having someone else do it. You, after all, know yourself better than anyone, and you may have a strong intuitive impression to guide you in understanding your dream.

So believe you can succeed in understanding your dreams, and be sure to trust yourself. You'll be much more successful in catching the drift of your dreams. It may help you to write down the first possible meaning that comes to you, then brainstorm.

Ask yourself, What other possibilities exist for understanding the slant of your dream? Compile a short list and look for an explanation that seems to jump out at you, feels logical or captures the dream's basic intent.

Case Scenario

Let me tell you about a powerful and fortuitous dream I had, not long ago. After suffering with allergy problems for years, and after trying various medications and remedies, I decided to ask for help from within. So . . .

I meditated on the problem, right before going to bed, and that night I dreamed about it. When I awakened, I had a strange image in mind: a neti pot. I had dreamed about a neti pot!

But what's a neti pot used for? I wondered. When I gathered information about neti pots, I realized what my inner mind was trying to tell me. Using a neti pot is one way to clear toxins from your system. I asked an ear, nose and throat doctor about them, and he said they were truly effective in helping many people reduce or eliminate allergy problems.

So I began using a neti pot, along with a salt/mineral formulation my doctor had given me to dissolve in pure water. And believe it or not, my allergy symptoms decreased considerably! If I use the pot to cleanse my nasal passages every day, my allergies are almost a 100% better!

This is just one of many wonderful dream encounters I've had. And this particular dream made understanding dreams seem like child's play, it was so simple.

In both my coaching and counseling work, I help people to understand their dreams and take advantage of "hidden" opportunities revealed by their dreams. I have learned that dreams work in marvelous and mysterious ways. Although anyone can learn to use dreams effectively, if you'd like to inquire about my coaching services, or you'd like help in better understanding your dreams, feel free to let me know.

Contact me to get more information on using and understanding dreams.

Got relationship problems? See how our e-book, Ultimate Relationship Solutions, can help . . .

In review

Your dreams can help you to solve problems, improve relationships and lead a happier life.

Be attentive to the symbols in your dreams, and develop a habit of writing your dreams down for later analysis and study. Soon you'll be using your dreams to improve your everyday life . . . and you'll be an expert at understanding your dreams.

Good luck!