As the name suggests, recurring dreams are those that a person gets repeatedly. Recurring dreams can occur over a span of a few weeks to few months and may sometimes last for years. Recurring dreams can be nightmares which can disturb a person immensely or they may be just like any other dream, with no negative or positive connotations.
Dream analysts say that some dreams occur repeatedly because through them, our subconscious mind is trying to tell something which our conscious mind has missed. Through these recurring dreams, the subconscious mind may be trying to bring our attention to some unresolved issue in our life or about a situation that needs to be changed.
A common recurring dream that is experienced by many is a free fall from a height. If you go by what dream interpreters say, falling from a height indicates that a person feels abandoned by people close to him! Likewise, recurring dreams, most of the time, are not direct. Instead, they bring to attention a particular issue through a metaphor, which can sometimes turn out to be very negative and scary.
Being trapped, seeing your teeth falling, being chased by a shadow, going out in public without clothes, being in the middle of a storm, bitten by a snake, death of a loved one - all such dreams, if they occur again and again can be very disturbing for any person. That's why, analyzing the bad dream and then putting an end to it is very important.
How to Stop Having Recurring Dreams
Maintain a Sleep Diary
As mentioned earlier, recurring dreams are often trying to tell a person something. So, in order to understand what it is, start writing a sleep diary. As soon as you wake up, write in detail whatever you have seen in your dreams. Write each and every object, person, figure or anything in the background that you see. Write about the dream in a very objective manner and do not add any of your own inputs. If you wake up in the middle of the night due to the dream, write about it then and there. Do this for a couple of times, till you have the entire details of your recurring dream in your diary.
Analyze the Dream
The next step is to analyze the dream. You could meet a dream interpreter, a counselor or a psychiatrist for this, who would be in a better position to guide you. Otherwise, you yourself can try to gauge what the dream is trying to tell you. Are you getting the dream repeatedly due to some traumatic event that has taken place in your life recently or maybe in your childhood? End of an important relationship, setbacks in professional lives, inability to utilize an opportunity, being neglected or abused in your childhood, being taken advantage of by someone, death of a family member, unable to handle the pressure at work - all these can cause stress and lead to recurring bad dreams in a person.
If you are able to analyze the dream correctly, taking certain steps to resolve these issues in your life and managing stress can help you get rid of them with time. If stress of work is causing these dreams, you should think of ways to cut down on your work or delegate it more to others. If a relationship is behind it, trying to resolve the issues with your partner might help. If it is the death of a loved one, sharing your grief with a close friend can do wonders. Likewise, take steps to make things right in your real life and the recurring bad dreams will automatically become less with time.
Meditation and Medication
Recurring dreams can sometimes make a person feel very stressful. So, meditate and undertake stress-relief breathing exercises everyday. Also, there are some medicines such as MAO inhibitors, which are designed in such a way that they block the part of sleep in which dreams occur. So, such medicines are recommended to get over recurring dreams too.
Changing the Dream
You can change the dream that you see everyday by repeating to yourself that you are going to see "ABC..." in your dreams from now on. If you repeat this "new dream" to yourself, a couple of times in a day, especially before sleeping, it can change your dream to something else, thus helping you in getting rid of the recurring bad dream.
These are some useful tips on how to stop having nightmares and recurring dreams. If you make use of them, you can definitely put "bad dreams" behind you. However, as these dreams tell you about some problem in life that you facing, if you face the same issue again in your life, there are chances that the nightmares might come back! By steering clear of stress, being positive, happy and open person, by having a good social and emotional support in place, you can, to some extent, keep yourself away from recurring nightmares!