Most of us have experienced them: weird, vivid dreams that leave us thinking about them the next day. But “weird” can mean several things in this regard. It can imply dreams that call up people from the past, the dead or even those of a sexual nature. Strange dreams can also entail those that wake us up in a state of high anxiety and stress. You know the kind: you’ve shown up for a big test that you didn’t study for, or an event in your real life goes horribly wrong in your dream life.
The stressful dreams usually follow a similar pattern. And they are commonly experienced, ranging from those that have you losing your teeth to being chased or to coming close to dying.
Unpleasant as they may be, nightmares are an essential part of dreaming. While our more enjoyable dreams are spurred by wishes and desires, nightmares are a manifestation of other common feelings like stress and anxiety. However, like many dreams, nightmares are not as straightforward as they seem.
Within the hazy realm of nightmares, a cigar is never a cigar. Dreams are categorically symbolic, and the images within them should never be accepted for their face value. If you interpret them as such, you're likely to miss the important issues your subconscious may be trying to convey.
Here are the 5 common sleep nightmares that may be a red flag for your mental health:
1. Feeling Lost Or Trapped
Unlike most of the nightmares on this list, this dream is very direct and simple to analyze. Feeling trapped or lost in a dream indicates a concern of being lost or trapped into a certain situation or position in your waking life. Are others pressuring you into doing something? Do you feel as though you've been lost in the shuffle of things, or you've run out of options?
Realize this dream is a direct warning to your internal concerns, and it should be a cue to consciously address these feelings before it's too late. Otherwise, you may start having this next type of nightmare.
2. Natural Disasters
Have you ever found yourself dreaming about being caught in a violent hurricane, or perhaps an approaching tornado that is ripping apart houses and trees? These types of nightmares are said to indicate a sense of impending fear or anxiety in the person having the dream. Since the weather is often unpredictable and cannot be controlled, this relates to the individual holding stress and anxiety throughout their day to day life. This can be caused by anxiety or nervousness about anything from a test to a doctor’s appointment, to a required speech, to relationship issues.
3. Falling or Drowning
Do you feel like you're in over your head? Maybe you're caving under the pressure of a certain task or duty. These anxious feelings will most likely result in a dream of you falling or drowning. Dreams revolving around a continuous fall or drowning demonstrate an internalized anxiety about a situation or task at hand. The emotions they evoke can range from loss of control to exhilaration. Your specific reaction in this nightmare will likely mirror your reaction to certain circumstances in reality.
This is also a perfect opportunity to engage in lucid dreaming. If you know you have this dream often, you can resolve these falling and drowning anxieties by realizing it's all a dream, and then tell yourself to control it. Instead of falling or drowning, tell yourself to fly or swim. After all, it is your dream, and within it, you can do whatever you please.
It is very common to have dreams end in death, but it is not necessarily a sign of death or a bad omen. Dreams about death can represent rebirth, maybe an old part of your life is finishing, making room new beginnings. Dreams of tombs or graves often represent a concern that a part of you has ceased to exist. But as we get older in years dreams of death is simply your subconscious accepting mortality and the inevitable conclusion to life.
5. Teeth Dropping
This might not be so frequent, yet some people describe it as a profoundly anxious experience filled with a tremendous anguish. In the dream, the person starts feeling their teeth dropping suddenly from their mouth or generally surrounded by other people. This nightmare has been linked to profoundly personal worries about other people’s judgments on his physical appearance.
Dreaming is a natural phenomenon that happens when you sleep, but there will be times that you will experience bad dreams or nightmares. Nightmares are not only bad dreams, but they also have ill effects on the mental health. Staying physically and mentally healthy will help to lessen nightmares at the same time lessen mental illnesses. In this post, I shared with you 5 common sleep nightmares that may be a red flag for your mental health.
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