How to interpret dreams and nightmares

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

The nature of dreams and nightmares

Dreams and nightmares are not nonsense or hallucinations as many people think but they are a method of communication that your subconscious mind uses in order to communicate with you.

What makes dreams and nightmares appear less serious to some people is the fact that each dream is encoded into symbols.

We human beings think using metaphors and during our daily conversations we describe things using them. For example Saying something like "As brave as a lion" can help you understand why your subconscious mind presents you with symbols in your dreams instead of real things.

how to interpret dreams and nightmares

The subconscious mind uses its own language, symbols in this case, to tell you about something through the dream that's why the first step to interpret dreams and nightmares is to learn how to decode these symbols.

Even the people you see in the dream can be symbols representing other people. For example you may have a fight with one of your friends and then on sleeping that day dream that you had a fight with your neighbor .In that dream your neighbor represented your friend you fought with in reality. (see Why does it mean to dream about someone).

Dream interpretation and symbols

but why don't you see your friend instead of your neighbor?
While its still not quietly understood why people replace others in dream still there is an interesting theory that states that your mind picks a person who has some similarities with the person involved in the real life situation.

For example if your neighbor looks a little like your friend or even if there are few common things between them then your mind might replace them in a dream. Objects also can appear in different forms in dreams. For example if you lost your wallet in reality you might find yourself dreaming that you lost your car.

The key to interpreting dreams and nightmares

From these facts we can conclude that each person has his own symbols and that trying to decode your dreams using symbols that others use makes no sense at all.

For example if you fear dogs then saw a dog in your dream then this dream might be referring to one of your fears,on the other hand, If a friend of yours loves then certainly seeing a dog in his dream will have a different meaning.

Try to understand your own symbols and find out what they mean to you. Only then you will be able to interpret dreams and nightmares.

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