In our daily life, a number of desires go unfulfilled, and a number of fears about the uncertain future cross our minds. We often suppress our emotions, but these thoughts don't leave us. They stay in our sub-conscious, and it is these unfulfilled desires and unforeseen fears that shape our dreams - making them happy sometimes and sometimes sad.
While good dreams, such as one of a festive gathering with dear ones or that of a new born baby, denote a beginning and are welcome. Bad dreams such as those about illness, death, failing a test, falling from a height, being chased, dressed inappropriately or seeing your dear ones suffer, tend to shake one up. "Anxiety and stress are often results of traumatic experiences in life. They can cause nightmares," says psychologist, Dr Sayyara Ansari of Columbia Asia Hospital.
"Witnessing a critical surgery or illness, grieving over the loss of a loved one, and suffering or witnessing an assault or accident can trigger bad dreams and nightmares. Everyday stress factors, such as professional pressures or financial anxiety, or major life transitions like moving in or out of a divorce, can also cause bad dreams," adds Dr Ansari.
COMMON DREAMS AND WHAT THEY MAY MEAN
Sitting for an exam may mean fear of evaluation. It signifies that there is an underlying fear of being judged. It can also mean that you are anxious about being tested by higher authorities and at times, it is symbolic of fear of competition. Dressed inappropriately Dressing inappropriately or seeing yourself naked symbolises the fear of being exposed. It indicates the deep fear of your actions and their results.
To dream of flying signifies a sense of being or a desire to be free and liberal from restrictions and limitations of the world around you. Seeing your deceased loved ones This indicates that you've been very attached to these people, who passed away, and you are vying to relive your old experiences and moments you once shared with them. In trying to keep up with the pace of your daily waking life, your dreams may serve as your only outlet in coping and coming to terms with the loss of a loved one.
This may mean you're going through some transition in life. Freudian theory also says that a snake or serpent is a phallic symbol denoting deep urges, especially connected to your sexuality. Being chased Dreams in which you are being chased by a stranger or being attacked by monsters, are said to occur during times of stress, following the death of a loved one, separation from parents or a divorce.
Falling from a height
To dream of falling from a height or sinking in water may mean that you are feeling insecure and that you lack support and feel very lonely. Bad or decaying tooth This may mean that you are scared of being found less attractive. It signifies a fear of embarrassment or a loss of control in life.
(By Shilpi Ashta, clinical psychologist, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute)