Dreaming LifeDreaming Life

The negative emotions that you experience in your dreams can reflect the feelings you have in waking life. When you dream, your amygdala, the part of your brain that processes emotions, that conditions you to fear certain things and that is responsible for your reaction to threatening situations - your "fight or flight response"- is active. At the same time, you don't have the need to repress your emotions that you do in waking life. As a result, negative emotions can seem more intense when you dream than when you are awake.

In our dreams, we tend to experience more negative emotions than positive emotions, even when we feel more positive in our waking lives.

According to the evolutionary theory of dreams, this is because our dreams are designed to teach us how to deal with difficult, dangerous situations. Dreams teach us what to do if we are being threatened by dangerous creatures or if we have to fight to survive. Thus, it is common for us to have dreams in which we experience fear or anxiety or dreams in which we are so enraged that we become violent.

Jung would say that if you examine the negative emotions you have in your dreams, you can identify emotions you have been repressing in your waking life. Acknowledging and understanding these emotions can help to improve your emotional well-being.

Anger Dreams

A dream that you are angry can be a sign that you are angry about something in waking life, but you are unable to express your anger fully when you are awake.

Such a dream can also be a manifestation of your natural aggressive drive. Freud believed that everyone has an aggressive drive, but we often repress this drive so that we can function in society.

Alfred Adler thought that anger was the basic force that drove the mind. He believed that your anger would be revealed in your dreams if you repressed it in your waking life.

Evolutionary theory says that we become angry in our dreams so we can learn how to fight and how to defend ourselves.

Fear Dreams

Dreams in which you feel frightened can be expressions of the fears you have in waking life. These dreams can teach you how to deal with your fears. If you are able to have lucid dreams, you can make a conscious effort to face the thing that is frightening you in your dream.

A common dream is one in which you are being chased. Such a dream can mean that you are avoiding a conflict or a difficult situation in your waking life.

The evolutionary theory of dreams says that dreams about being chased or about other frightening situations are supposed to teach you how to deal with such situations in waking life.

Scientists believe that the feeling of terror that often accompanies sleep paralysis is caused by the activity of the amygdala.

Someone who has experienced a traumatic experience may have recurring nightmares in which they relive that experience.

There is also a form of epilepsy in which seizures take the form of recurring nightmares.

If you have frequent, recurring nightmares, you should seek medical attention.

Frustration Dreams

If you dream that you are frustrated about something, it can be a sign that you are having trouble coping with an issue in your waking life, or that your life is not going the way you want it to go.

Embarrassment Dreams

A dream in which you feel embarrassed can be a sign that you are feeling insecure about something or that someone is making you feel less confident.

It can also mean that you have hidden weaknesses that you don't acknowledge when you are awake.

If you dream that you find yourself naked and are embarrassed about that, you may be worried about others finding out something about you that you wish to keep hidden.

Guilt Dreams

If you feel guilty in a dream, your unconscious may be telling you that you should be feeling guilty about something you've done in waking life.