Medically reviewed by Dr. Riaz Ali Shah.
The psychology of dreams has been studied by various researchers from different angles. The brain is hands down the most fascinating organ of the human body. From sending electrical impulses that make us move and work and talk and walk without any pause, to helping us memorize all things importantly. But you know the thing that makes it the most fascinating for me is dreaming. We all dream, and we dream all sorts of things. Sometimes what we are thinking right before falling asleep takes a swift turn and makes its way into our dreams. While at other times, we see the most unexpected things in our sleep!
Religious and spiritual people connect meaningful dreams to the signs of God, often taking meaning out of the dreams. Doctors and psychologists on the other hand have something else to say.
So, let’s read some psychological facts about dreams.
Psychology of dreams.
There have been different psychological approaches towards dreams. Some psychologists say that we dream out of unconscious forces and they usually represent the actual feelings within an individual. Others believe that dreams are a product of all the information processed throughout the day.
But the most popular reason behind dreaming is the representation of unconscious desires and wishes. What we dream constantly represents what is going on in the back of our heads and what we are constantly wishing for, whether consciously or unconsciously.
According to research, the following are some interesting findings about dreams psychology:
- It helps improve the cognitive capabilities, thereby enhancing memory and understanding.
- Dreams may also prepare us for possible future threats, which needs more research as this is a diagnosis that falls midway between the spiritual and psychological approach towards dream.
- Offline memory reprocessing, i.e. the brain supports and learns the memory tasks throughout the day and records waking consciousness.
The room for research is quite big when it comes to dreams and there is still so much more to find out about the art of dreaming.
What about nightmares?
Apart from the dreams that we regularly experience, all of us have at least had one nightmare that took our breath away! The reason behind these distressing dreams could be:
- Stress and emotional difficulties
- Any kind of trauma or as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder
- Certain illnesses and medications
- Fears and phobias
Dream analysis psychology
Dream psychology also includes dream analysis psychology which was was viewed by Sigmund Freud as the royal road to the unconscious mind, which can be used to develop dream analysis or a way to tap into unconscious material.
Dream analysis is used in therapy, through discussion with a therapist new information is extracted from the dream which can then be applied in useful ways by the person.
All in all
Dreaming is the most mysterious and fascinating thing about the human brain. Even though there hasn’t been enough research about dreams, psychologists believe that it is the representation of our desires, feelings, and wishes. In fact, dreams serve some important cognitive and memory reprocessing functions as well.
So, keep dreaming!