By Linda Tang, Owner/Creative Director of Dream Designs
Dreaming is free, but dreams are far from being worthless. Recent discoveries in sleep science have advanced our understanding of how we dream and why we dream. However, most people don’t think or talk much about their dreams and are missing out on one of nature’s most powerful and abundant source of creativity, healing, inspiration, and connection. Below are ten ways dreams can help you live a better life:
- Dreams help us make breakthroughs in difficult problems. Among many documented examples, golf legend Jack Nicklaus, after a period of mediocre performances in the early 60s, visualized a winning technique in a dream that helped him succeed throughout his entire career.
- Dreams enhance learning by helping us process data collected from wake times, discarding useless ones and sort important ones into long term memory.
- Dreams provide creative content to those in film, art, writing, theatre, and music. One of the greatest songs in modern times, "Yesterday", composed by Paul McCartney, presented itself to him in a dream.
- Dreams help us evaluate the relationships and situation we are in, separating healthy ones from those that are not.
- Dreams offer alternative approaches to taboo situations in real life, breaking boundaries and limitations.
- Dreams remind us of the unknown, stimulating a sense of discovery and curiosity - important traits for thinking outside of the box.
- Dreams flush out emotional stress that can cause anxiety and depression. They help us cope or persist in recurring nightmares to propel us to seek help.
- Dreams generate theta waves in our brains, which is linked to mental healing, particularly to those who have experienced trauma.
- Dreams ease the sadness associated with grieving by adding a spiritual dimension to death and separation.
- Talking about dreams with others is life-affirming. Dream sharing fosters meaningful connections and can deepen existing relationships with others.
Dreams, especially the more complex and meaningful ones, only occur during the deepest states of sleep, so make sure you give yourself enough hours to sleep. Keeping a dream journal is very helpful to get yourself into the habit of tracking and analyze your dreams. By paying more attention to your own dreams, over time you will feel more balanced and in tune with your thoughts and emotions, and find greater joy and purpose in life.
To learn more about the science and psychology of dreams, join us at "Dream Salon" on Sat Nov 2, 2019, at Kay Meek Theatre in West Vancouver.
Golf the Way You Dreamed It Would Be By Lisa D. Mickey, Jul 1, 2012
The Science of Dreaming: 9 Key Points - The essential scientific findings about dreaming everyone should know By Kelly Bulkeley Dec 7, 2017
Dreams Can Heal Mental Wounds By Alice G. Walton, Dec 12, 2011
Is being 'dream deprived' making you miserable? Dreams could be as vital to life as breathing, scientists claim, and learning to remember them is the first step to a healthier mind By Alice Robb, Apr 6, 2019
Learning While You Dream By Tara Parker-Rope, Apr 22, 2010
Could Lucid Dreaming Be the Next Treatment for PTSD? By Rachel Barclay, May 20, 2014