Bad dreams can be scary and hard to understand, and they are becoming increasingly common.
Modern research has made these dreams easier to internalize. Scientists dedicated to the study of dreams have come to realize that bad dreams often reflect the stress that we feel in our daily lives.
Scientists have found that insecurity, anxiety, frustration, misunderstandings, and feelings of dependence all substantially increase the risk of having nightmares.
When a person’s circumstance does not allow for the fulfillment of ‘basic psychological needs’, unpleasant emotions can’t process healthily, and they surface in the subconscious through dreams.
Certain specific, recurring bad dreams have been so oft reported that research has attempted to identify their various causes.
Dreams that involve a lack of preparedness for something like an interview, quest, or an exam, are a sign that the dreamer is feeling pressure and stress in their waking life.
Dreams that involve falling or being attacked, on the other hand, indicate frustration or disappointment.
In the wake of the heightened attention being given to dreams, researchers from Cardiff University have undertaken two separate studies, both conclusively investigating the relationship shared between emotions, psychological needs, and the subconscious workings of dreams.
The first study involved 200 test subjects, each of whom were asked to describe their most frequently recurring dream.
The second study analyzed dream diaries kept by 110 subjects over the course of three days.
Both studies had similar findings, showing that the emotions linked to different and specific psychological needs have a large and fairly predictable influence on the content of dreams.
Test subjects whose emotional need were not being met during their daily lives reported frequent nightmares, many of which involved recurring and persistent themes.
These themes included but were not limited to, being chased/attacked, being trapped, falling, or failing to accomplish a task.
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