And the meaning behind them.
Whether you’ve been dreaming up a storm yourself, your friends are telling you about their bizarre nightmares or you’ve seen multiple threads on Twitter about it, it’s clear that many of us are seeing our night’s sleep impacted in a big way right now. It’s no surprise that our current situation is responsible. “One of the many reasons we dream is to process and assess whatever’s going on in our lives. The current coronavirus crisis is sudden and unprecedented, and it’s so huge that our dreams are working overtime to cope with it,” says dream interpreter Alison Byrne.
“When you’re under stress it also triggers similar stresses from the past.” And if you’re not having vivid dreams, you’re waking up at all hours or not feeling rested, which Alison says is probably a combination of missing routine and the fact that we’re in a whole new experience. “In a lot of cases our diet is different, and we’re not eating at our normal times. When it comes to dreams, exercise and nutrition all play a part.” Plus, we’re no longer having as many chats over coffee or drinks or in the staff kitchen to get out our many thoughts and feelings throughout the day.
“Communicating helps us to process, and we’re usually doing it all the time. Even if the other person hasn’t got any solutions or input, the fact that we’re talking about it is often enough to ease the stress. We’re not getting that opportunity now, so our dreams have to work harder,” Alison, who is a holistic therapist, explains.
So, are dreams always bringing us a message, or can a weird dream ever be just that?”
“There is always a reason for a dream. During a busy day, we don’t always have time to process everything that happens, so at night we assess and link things together, like putting files in a drawer.” Alison adds that if you want to find out what your dream means, be aware that it can all be down to the individual person. For example, two people may have a dream about a cat, but the individual elements in the dream (the size, the colour, the surroundings) may actually be the part you should be paying attention to.
Many of us are struggling with nasty nightmares or being woken up by dreams at ridiculous hours, so if you’re looking to improve your dreaming, Alsion says that there are things you can do. “You can write down the dream as soon as you wake up, getting it out of your mind into the physical world, which may be enough in itself. To interpret the dream. you concentrate on the individual elements in it rather than the story, see what you associate with each of these elements, and then put these associations together to get your interpretation!”
“Usually when you dream of a baby, it’s nothing to do with a physical baby. It’s usually about giving birth to a new phase of yourself, or the next phase of your life. If you know if the baby in your dream is a boy or a girl, this shows which part of your life is most affected – your male or female side. The male side is the part of us that is full of action, goes to work, gets things done, and is the protector. So, if you dream of a baby boy, you are working through the changes in your work life, changes in all your activities and/or your ability to protect yourself and others. And our female sides are concerned with nurturing, caring, beauty and creativity, so if the baby in your dream is a girl, you are processing the changes in these areas. Maybe there are extra demands on you to care for others, but remember to care for yourself too!”
Can’t see clearly
“There’s something that you’re not able to see clearly in your life. So you’d have to know where the dreamer is in the dream. Let’s say she’s at work and can’t see clearly. Then there’s a part of her work or work-life that she can’t see, won’t acknowledge, or doesn’t understand.”
Not being able to talk
“This means you’re not able to express yourself, or you’re not being heard when you talk. Again, you get the clues from the dream to tell you what part of your life is involved. Sometimes the one who is ignoring you is you! You’re ignoring your needs or your instinct, and your dreams are telling you to pay attention.”
“This is to do with feeling vulnerable and exposed. We have an instinctual need to be accepted by ‘our tribe’ in order to survive. We put on different roles and faces all the time, and the fear is ‘if they saw underneath this, would they really like me or accept me?’ It’s very relevant where the person is in the dream when she is naked, as that will indicate the area where she feels insecure.”
“People worry a lot about this dream. They think it’s a prediction, or it’s about a lack of trust. It could be – but it usually isn’t. As I was saying, we all have a male and female side, regardless of our gender, so it’s usually about one side getting more attention than the other. If you dream that a lady is cheating, you may need to be more proactive, and if a man is cheating, you may need to be more nurturing or creative.”
“The home often represents your body. The attic is your head and the cellar is your feet, the kitchen is your stomach and so on. So right now, it’s likely that you’re worried about your body being ‘invaded’ by the virus. We often think that we’re coping, but we’re just burying things – so during the night you can pull up these things and actually process them, and put them in their proper places in your mind so you can cope better the next day.”
Lost loved one
“This can mean different things: it could be a visitation dream, where your loved one has come to visit. When we’re awake, we tend to operate in logic and block the other side of us, our spiritual side. But when we’re asleep, our resistance is down and the veil between the two worlds is thinner, so it is easier for our loved ones to actually come into our consciousness. You’ll just know when you’ve had a visitation. Other times it can be a regular dream, meaning that you are processing losing them and missing them.”
Dreaming of someone random from your past
“People will say sometimes ‘I haven’t seen that girl since I was five – why on earth am I dreaming of her?’ It’s because when you dream of anybody, they are representing you. So I ask people to describe the person, usually in three words. Whether they’re happy or worried or generous, you look at that quality, to see if you have too much of it or too little of it.”
Going to the toilet
“It’s very common to dream of going to the toilet. That’s good, it’s elimination, or letting go. But more often than not, people dream that they want a toilet and can’t find one. Or they find one but there’s no privacy, there’s no door or it’s dirty. In that case, it means that there is something – or someone- in their life that they want to let go of, but haven’t been able to yet.”
Alison sees clients privately, for more, see alisonbyrnehealing.com.
Images via Twenty20