To sleep, coincidentally to dream? While many of us leave our chances on a fun nighttime adventure — the kind that has you rushing to the first person you see and exclaiming, “You’ve had the most… surprising Last night’s dream! – Until fate, others prefer to take matters into their own hands. Or bosses, I suppose.
I’m not talking about lucid dreaming aka the practice of becoming aware in your dreams while you’re still asleep. I’m talking about…well, let’s call it Dreamscaping: the act of lying in bed and planning out the exact scenario you’d like to dream about that night.
It’s something I’ve done for as long as I can remember, though I never realized I was doing it. When it comes to bedtime, especially after a bad day, I fill a pillow, lie down and get ready to work crafting the sweetest dream I can think of: flying across a starlit sky or (my favourite) riding a luxury steam train as it cruises merrily across the North Pole. I decided to see the polar bears and the dancing green swirls of the Northern Lights. I’ll drink cup after cup of hot chocolate. Maybe I’ll solve a murder along the way, Poirot-style, or maybe I’ll settle down, relax, and enjoy the view—the minute details are up to my subconscious, after all. I’m just here to set the scene.
It seems I’m not alone in escaping from my dream. I asked the general public to tell Refinery29 about their own experiences with Dreamscaping and they were all more than happy to oblige.
“Sometimes I’ll just be in a maladaptive little daydream and let that occupy my mind until I fall asleep,” says Mariana, who finds herself constantly dreaming. “I do this in the hope that my mind will naturally carry on with a ‘story’, albeit with any random twists and turns that may appear.”
Michaela says she almost always plans a dream ahead of time because it “bothers me—until my vivid nightmares take over!”
Harriet, too, admits: “If I’m having a particularly exciting day, or witness something that upsets me before bed, I try to force sweet dreams by being really specific in what I’m imagining. So I’ve been visualizing all five senses of a scenario — like being on the beach — This reasoned me enough to settle down to sleep.”
She adds, “No matter what I try, though, I always have a bad dream — or at least I wake up with the feeling I have.”
Finally, Jenna says, “Planning my dreams calms me down. I take some time before bed and journal and think about what I want to dream about. It often works. But when I’m really anxious, it can do the opposite, mind you.”
I’ve had many messages, and they all go along the same lines. I found it interesting that so many of us try dreamscaping as a way to gain some semblance of control over our emotions. It was also interesting to discover that our emotions tend to win the battle regardless, waiting until we’ve fallen into deep sleep to fight back.
And so, with that in mind:
Is it possible to plan dreams?
While it’s easy to dismiss seeing dreams as absurd, experts who study dreams say there’s a small but emerging body of research that shows we’re probably Can Decide what we dream about before we go to sleep.
Teresa Cheung, bestselling author Dictionary of dreams from A to ZLee explains: “Dreams are a bit like the ocean. You can learn to navigate them or navigate them subtly, but you can never fully control or predict what will happen in them.”
Therapist and author Kalanit Ben-Ari agrees, pointing out that our ability to see dreams depends on the awareness and skill level of the dreamer. There is actually a technique used in therapy called the daydreaming process, where the therapist uses relaxation techniques to guide the client to relive their dream in their imagination.
“Through creative, guided visualization and imaginative ways to transcend the mind, one can step into the realm of the unconscious—where you can gain clarity about the deeper meaning of your psyche, emotional state, and spiritual direction.”
Do some people tend to dream more than others?
“People who are considered highly sensitive according to psychological tests are more at risk of dreams,” says Cheung.
About one in five people score high on sensitivity tests, which means their empathy, creativity, and intuition are highly developed, which makes them better suited to dreaming — but that doesn’t mean those with lower scores can’t make dreams come true. They may find that it It looks less natural.”
Dr. Ben-Ari believes that with supportive guidance and practice, “Anyone can experience the process of daydreaming. It’s not necessarily about a specific personality type but more about an individual’s openness and willingness to explore their inner world and their unconscious mind.”
If we’re new to dreamscaping, how can we start planning our dreams?
“The simplest way to start dreaming is to tell yourself what you would like to dream about, right before you fall asleep and your brain is suggestible,” says Cheung.
“You can write the dream you want on a piece of paper and put it under your pillow. Sometimes written words imprint themselves in the subconscious with more force than thoughts.”
It’s best to keep your written intentions brief, because our subconscious minds don’t process language as well. Visualize those words in your mind’s eye and try to say them out loud to yourself, like a mantra. It might help.
Can we deliberately go back to a dream we had before?
Have you ever woken up from a brilliant dream to hit your snooze alarm, buried yourself under the duvet, and tried to get back in? Me too. Fortunately, there is a method that may help us do this.
“If you want to go back to the dream you had before, try to visualize that past dream in your mind’s eye,” Cheung urges. If you struggle with fantasizing (afantasia is a condition that limits the ability to imagine and is more common than you think, but the good news is that aphantasia does not limit the ability to remember dreams), talk to yourself about that dream or think about it. Describe it to yourself. with thoughts or words as if you were reviewing a movie.”
Practically, she adds, “Also consider your sleeping position, as this also plays a role in your dream narrative. Back sleepers are more likely to have vivid creative dreams, while front sleepers are more likely to enjoy erotic fantasies. Finally, people Side sleepers experience more restful dreams.
Is dreamscaping a good idea? Should we let our unconscious minds take over?
Some people, when I asked them about their dream experiences, weren’t just dismissive of the concept; They were terrified. I had been warned that by manipulating the fabric of my unconscious mind, I was exposing myself to “all sorts of horrors” — a thought that would haunt me into the wee hours of the morning.
When I express these concerns to Cheung, she is quick to reassure me that Dreamscaping is and always will be a positive thing.
“Planning or re-entering a dream is highly recommended for the simple reason that your dream world is your subconscious world,” Cheung says.
“Anything that happens on a subconscious level affects your beliefs and what you believe about yourself, and your life tends to be what manifests or what you attract into your life. So influencing the dream in the direction you want it (seeing yourself doing the things you want to do, gaining confidence) “, etc.) convinces the subconscious that something is really possible for you. When you believe something is possible, your waking life changes for the better.”
If attempts to decipher our dreams fail and we find ourselves trapped in a nightmare, what can we do?
Many of the people who answered my dream questions were quick to tell me that while their attempts are usually more or less successful, they often end in nightmares.
Why? Well, as Dr. Ben-Ari explains: “Since dreams are a window and bridge to our spirits and our unconscious, I will first consider their deepest meaning. Meaning is hidden so you might benefit from working with a Jungian psychotherapist to explore hidden messages.”
She continues: “The meanings are usually not related to things in your conscious level of awareness. For example, if you are stressed about your relationship and you dream about your partner, it is more likely that no About the pressure you are experiencing on your conscious level. As it is already in your conscious mind, you don’t need to dream about it. In addition, people, landscapes, and events in dreams are symbols, not literal representations.”
Dr. Ben-Ari tells me that once we figure out the underlying problem behind our most troubling dreams, we can practice a therapist-approved daydreaming process.
“You can do some meditation exercises to relax your mind and body and start visualizing your dream from the beginning,” she says. “Really feel” each scene – pay attention to the colours, smells, textures and landscapes of the dream. Try to do this as soon as you wake up, when your mind is still in a fluid state.
Then it depends on the quality and elements of the dream. For example, if your dream saw you running away from a scary figure, in the process of daydreaming, you might want to confront that figure, to come into contact and start an intimate conversation. Ask the person why they are chasing you. What do they want from you? Continue to develop the conversation by asking about the meaning of the objects.
The meanings are very personal, and the same dream can mean different things to different people. By understanding and working through issues beyond our dreams, we can grow and heal as individuals. I witnessed this phenomenon in therapy. Once we uncover and engage with the hidden messages within dreams, the narrative of dreams also undergoes a transformation.”
What do our dreams really reveal about us as individuals?
“Dreams show us that we have so much more than meets the eye,” Cheung says. “There is an inner world separate from matter, the body, and this world is a source of infinite power and creativity. If you fall in love with decoding your dreams, what you are actually doing is falling in love with yourself.”
She continues, “Your dreams show you what is important for you to know for your personal growth in your waking life. They show you things your intuition, your heart, and your notices, but your ego suppresses or ignores. And if the dream persists or repeats, it is because of the precious wisdom your mind wants Which dreams to share with you are very important to your personal growth.You will continue to have your dream or similar dreams until you understand the message they are trying to tell you.
According to the Talmud [a sacred Jewish text]An uninterpreted dream is like receiving a handwritten letter from someone who knows you better than anyone else and simply does not read it. Your dreams never lie. They really are your best friend. Sometimes they use tough love and send you a weird nightmare or two but always with the goal of helping you grow and evolve. Every dream you remember is a transformative gift.
“It’s not just a dream.”
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