Whether it’s Om or ZZZ, your dreams are a powerful tool for mindfulness and meditation!
By Sansan Fibri and Simona Stankovska, @DreaMeApp
Have you ever tried finding an answer to a nagging issue and not able to make a breakthrough regardless of how hard you try? That’s because sometimes the answer cannot be determined from anything we do. It’s actually a part of who we are, and if we just sit still and listen deep inside, it will come to us without us having to try too hard.
But how, I hear you ask? Downloading the latest meditation app didn’t work, nor did that yoga class. We live in such a busy world, such noisy times, that even inside our head we can rarely find the peace and quiet to “tune in.”
This is why we dream! Dreams are a powerful tool that help us unlock our subconscious and learn more about ourselves. It’s kind of why they say “sleep on it.” 😉
According to Healthline, when we are awake our thoughts have a certain logic to them, which is our conscious mind in action. When we’re sleeping, our brain is still active (our subconscious mind), but our thoughts or dreams often make little or no sense, and we can often wake up feeling confused or unsettled. This is why there are more than 100,000 monthly Google searches for terms such as “What does my dream mean?”
It’s good to be curious, because often our dreams are actually full of hidden messages that, if we try to decode, could help us in our waking lives. If knowledge is power then there is no greater power than knowing oneself!
Research from some of the world’s leading mental-health and sleep-health institutions (Harvard University, The Mental Health Foundation), found that tuning into our dreams is a powerful tool that improves our self-awareness, self-love, and empathy. Tapping into our dreams on a regular basis has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, and actually make us sleep better, as our mind knows it can tap into its most intuitive, creative problem-solving mode.
While tapping into our subconscious through dreams has existed in most ancient societies, modern science was divided on the subject for many years. Only in the past 20 years has it been more of a consensus that dreaming has some very essential biological functions. To quote one of my favorite sleep and dream researchers, Dr. Matthew Walker (Psychology & Neuroscience, UC Berkeley):
“It’s said that time heals all wounds, but my research suggests that time spent in dream sleep is what heals.” “It’s Not Just Sleep That’s Important to Your Well-Being. It’s Dreaming, Too.”
We now understand dreaming is a biological imperative and its function is to:
Help Us Work Through Tough Situations
According to The National Sleep Foundation, dreams can force us to face an emotional circumstance that’s actually happening in our life, thus allowing us to deal with the emotions in our dreams — a safe and protected environment. Our dreams can help us see the situation in a different light or understand something new about ourselves. It may also help us get to the root of whatever may be causing us to feel anger, fear, or envy.
Practice a Skill
Our dreams let us practice for major life events that require extra concentration, such as a review at work, a piano recital, or simply a difficult conversation that you may be avoiding.
Dreams can help us think in an intuitive and imaginative way and come up with ideas that maybe we couldn’t in our waking lives. For example, I came up with the concept for the DreaMe App in my sleep! Other famous inventions that have resulted from dreams are: Google, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, the sewing machine, the periodic table, and DNA’s double helix. So, what will you invent?
Remember and Declutter
Dreaming allows your brain to reshuffle everything that it has remembered, keep the important connections that it has made, and get rid of the useless ones. In other words, dreams can help us commit essential details to long term memory — sifting through the junk!
Therefore, tomorrow, when you wake up, stay still for a moment longer. Go ahead and turn that awful buzzing alarm off, lie right back down, close your eyes, and try to conjure up the images from the dream that is just beginning to fade away.
Ask yourself, “Where was I, who else was there, and what was happening?” It’s okay if very little details actually emerge. Whatever you think it might have been, don’t doubt it! Most importantly, ask yourself: How did I feel about it all? Did you wake up feeling anxious, excited, sad, or maybe lustful? Your dream is definitely trying to tell you something! If you’re curious to know what, go to https://dreameapp.com/kolmain to find out!