Significance of Dreams

Understanding the Significance of Dreams and What They Represent

Each of us dream, but we rarely think about the significance of our dreams. This Buzzle article shares some insights on dreams that will help you understand what your dreams mean.
PsycholoGenie Staff
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
Believe it or not, it is scientifically proven that dreams exist. Every human being dreams, whether he remembers it or not. It is said that dreams are reflection of our day-to-day life. In ancient Egyptian culture, it was believed that dreams had oracular power, and one could communicate with divine power through dreams, thus giving rise to the concept of dream interpretation.
Dream interpretation is all about attaching meaning to the symbols, situations, and events seen in a dream, that helps us understand its significance. However, this topic is very complex and each school of thought has different opinions about the different types of dreams. Today, there are many websites that tell you the significance of dreams, based on what you see in the dream, at what time you see the dream, etc., but they are generalized and so their authenticity is questionable.
Psychological Significance
According to the great psychologist, Sigmund Freud, dreams are nothing but representations of our subconscious. According to him, human unconscious mind is full of different memories and ideas of different objects, people, animals, places, situations, events, sentiments, and emotions. These things are not always expressed by the person, and so they come out in the form of dreams. The dream is somehow related to your emotions, ideas, or an experience that is suppressed or haunting you and is stuck in your subconscious. With our hectic schedules, we don't even realize that there is this ocean of memories lying under the inner layer of our mind. According to Freud, the conscious mind is just the tip of iceberg that we are aware of, everything else is in our subconscious. When we are sleeping, these ideas find a way to release the pent up emotions trapped in our mind.
Freud's psychology of dreams was rejected by many other psychologists, as his dream interpretation was only attached with sexual desires and sexual suppression. Apart from the over emphasis on sex, most psychologists agree with the rest of the theory.
Biological Significance
Humans dream when they are in a REM stage sleep. REM refers to Rapid Eye Movement. When we are sleeping, our brain still works, and it produces large and slow waves. At some point, the brain waves become smaller and faster, that causes rapid eye movement. This stage is known as REM, and we go through this every night. In this period, humans see certain pictures and images moving in their minds, which are referred to as dreams. According to experts, it is one of the important aspects of procession of memory. During REM sleep, the brain stem and memory interact in such a way that the innermost part of the mind and memory comes in front of our eyes in the form of flashes, pictures, and symbols. Like any other body system, dreams are an essential part of memory storage, recollection, and processes of the brain. So, there is no doubt that dreams have some significance, but only the dreamer can interpret it well as it is related to his life.
Meaning of Dreams
As mentioned earlier, only the dreamer can find out the meaning of his dreams. There are few simple tips that can help you find out the meaning of dreams. If you have a problem remembering dreams, then keep a notepad and a pen next to your bed. When you wake up, immediately write down your dream with all the details of what you saw and how you felt. Try to relate it with an experience, event, or situation. If not, check if it has any relevance to your inert desires, wishes, or emotions, such as fear, happiness, anxiety, etc. If the dream still does not make sense, then it relates to an unnoticed emotion within you, which you have suppressed, either recently or a long time ago.
Many times the dreams are obvious, for example, a student appearing for an important exam may dream that he has submitted a wrong paper, did not submit the paper, or could not reach the exam hall, etc. It represents an anxiety he holds for the exam. Sometimes, dreams can be complex, for example, the same boy may dream that he has been locked up or has no control on what he is doing or somebody is forcing him to do things, etc. These things too represent the same anxiety and fear, but in a dramatic manner that is close to what he has seen, experienced, or imagined. In short, dreams have some meaning, whether you understand it or not. But, it certainly has no supernatural quality attached to it; dreams are purely a part of our psychological process and nothing else.
Recently, a lot of studies have been conducted to understand the significance of numbers in dreams, and the significance of symbols in dreams, but they all essentially relate to the psyche of a person. As it is often said, dreams are nothing but all the thoughts you didn't have time to think about during the day. They are like illustrations and pure imaginations, that need to be given meaning to make them belong to you.