What to do when you have nightmares or ugly dreams?
It is very unpleasant to wake up in the middle of the night with the feeling of fear and disgust generated by nightmares, to open your eyes and find yourself in the dark and bewildered by what you just dreamed of. Why do we have nightmares? Can we do something to stop having them?
Many people have asked why they have more nightmares when they have anxiety and what that means. I think that when we are anxious, we bring so much anguish inside, and we are thus susceptible to the “strong” things that we see/hear around us and above all, we allow each thought to come to our mind to believe, however catastrophic it may be that logically, When you go to sleep, it is not like putting your brain “off,” it keeps on walking and keeps releasing those anguishes and thoughts you had during the day, to be able to deal with them.
But if you have to know something, it is that the content of dreams is usually confusing, scrambled, strange, and when you remember what you thought, it can be disconcerting. This is because when we sleep, the brain in some way, does internal cleaning, and as in any cleaning, dust, stains, and the piece of candy left in the middle of the armchair cushions.
That is, many things generate the content of your dreams, sensations and emotions that you had during the day, news or images that impacted you, sounds or conversations that you heard for a microsecond but that also changed you, or perhaps, things that You lived but did not realize that you lived, all this mixed with previous experiences of your life with which relationships and your emotional state. In short, a real cocktail.
And within this mix, sometimes the content has logic, and most of the time, it seems not to have it. But equally, your mind is cleaning.
Why are nightmares generated?
If during a whole day you were with negative thoughts of fear, with a feeling of anguish towards those thoughts, worried and tense, then, it is logical that you have nightmares.
Let’s say it would be challenging to have a stressed, complicated, or anxious day, and to dream of seagulls flying over the sea. Sometimes this happens but to be able to dream that, you would have to think about it or have had some emotion of well-being during the day, feel light, and have talked perhaps about how beautiful the birds fly.
If you are having nightmares, it is probably because you are saturated with both external stimulation and emotions and thoughts. Maybe you go very fast in the day, and you don’t have time to process your mind what is going on, and then you have to process it all together during the night, and that’s where it mixes and generates images that can take out everything that was repressed in the day.
Discover what mental repression is
I tell you that oppression is a defense mechanism that we have at the psychological level, in which we protect ourselves from not paying attention to the things that disturb us, or to the things that are forbidden to think, which would be inappropriate to think too, everything that would not go with you.
We also repress everything that worries us, that impacts us, and that confronts us with realities that hurt that move.
Everything that generates a strong emotion, whether you are aware of it or not, is repressed in your mind and as our mind and brain are so wise, take advantage of the night to bring to light everything that worries you, that scares you, which impacted you or that you repress. And it makes use of images sometimes that you take of the day, of your past or as Jung discovered, of the collective unconscious, to shape those complex and upset emotions that you bring within.
We also repress genuine desires and desires to feel that we cannot go after what we want or to reproach ourselves, blame ourselves or demand to be perfect, so perhaps later, you dream that you finish the refrigerator in a single sitting if you are under a rigorous diet. Everything you consider forbidden, sinful or wrong for you, sometimes comes out in dreams because you usually avoid thinking about it but not because you want it, but because you are afraid to think about it and eventually want it.
That is, sometimes you don’t even want to, for example, .eat the full refrigerator. Still, you enter as in a mental state of “don’t think about the refrigerator, don’t think about the refrigerator” as if you doubted yourself and thought that you just with thinking about him, you would eat everything that he has inside. And at the same time, you might be hungry and wanting to eat a little more.
But being in the day forbidding us to think of something, or afraid to think of something by thinking that by thinking we are going to do it, then we generate some emotional and psychological tension that is released in dreams.
If the repressed already came out. How good!
That is why my proposal for you is not to pay so much attention to the contents of your dreams, because if it already came out, how good! This suggests that it is no longer being repressed, generating feelings or emotions because of that. Remember that psychological stress is what turns into somatization, so in a way, having nightmares is good because you are getting everything you need.
After releasing the repressed, ask yourself what emotion prevailed?
Only when you have ugly dreams, strangers, or nightmares. Ask yourself what the emotion behind all that men judge of strange images. What prevailed was? What did you feel in the middle of all that?
And then ask yourself if throughout the day you feel that emotion of fear, anguish, helplessness, frustration. Ask yourself, in what situations of your daily life do you think that.
For example, I repeatedly dreamed that I had to run and could not, that I had to escape from something dangerous, but my feet did not respond to me, and what was the emotion that prevailed there? Impotence and feeling of incapacity. Then I wondered what I feel unable to do? What danger am I feeling to whom I am not acting, or I think I cannot perform?
I didn’t think about it .how about it means I’m running out of feet? That I might likely not be able to walk tomorrow? No, not at all, it means that in the mental and emotional area, today or recently, I was feeling incapable and helpless to resolve. The solution? Throwing myself to do what I knew, I had to do even if I didn’t feel able to do it to prove that I could do it. And here I am.
So don’t turn around in regards to “Will it mean this is true? Is it going to happen?” Feel the emotion behind all that you felt, and take action to resolve the situation or situations that are generating that emotion in your present.
Now, what can you do to have fewer nightmares?
write before bed to release emotions and not have nightmares
Help your mind to two things:
- stop repressing your feelings or thoughts that worry you already
- let go of accumulated emotions and ideas that disturb you
That is, throughout the day, be aware of yourself, what impacts you, and acknowledge it. For example, if I see a movie with an awkward scene for me, instead of pretending that I did not see it and repress it. I face it mentally and recognize the emotion that generated me, relaxed my stomach. I breathe and tell myself, “Ok, it hit you, but this is not happening to you now.” Or, “Ok, I recognize that there is something that impacts me in this reality, and I accept it as part of reality. But I generate other things for myself.”
The idea is to stop repressing and face the difficult things of the day, giving you time, this is very important, times to process things, to stop and feel. To vent or speak what you think.
And on the other hand, before bedtime. You can write and narrate your day, as if you were telling someone who you have a lot of confidence, and write about everything, of what you felt before the different situations of your day. In this way, you help your mind to let go and let off steam so you can rest a little more at night.
Although remember, your brain is still quite active at night, because it does need to generate dreams for its well-being.
It also helps a lot to surround you with friendly and helpful things
That is your day. You have moments of stillness, of calm, of observing something that seems beautiful to you. Sometimes we think that the whole reality is complicated, cumbersome, or “nightmare.” Still, it is not like that, the truth has all the nuances of colors, and it is about that you open yourself to see the truth as it is so that you stop feeling that you are on the edge of the precipice.
And what to do when you wake up in the middle or after the nightmare?
It would be a bit inevitable that you would not wake up in anguish or fright after a nightmare because your emotions react to what goes on in your mind. You were immersed in it, but you can wake up and gradually go away, saying, “it was a nightmare, it is not real.” While you relax your stomach and begin to feel your breath.
Avoid jumping to conclusions of “if I dreamed this is sure to happen” or “if I dreamed this is that I am a bad person” and instead, try to find that emotion that prevailed behind all the ugly images and actions, and ask yourself If that emotion is something you need to work or release.
Gradually, feel your body, place yourself in the reality of the present moment describing the place where you are and listening to the sounds around you … and very important, feel sure that you are there with you, and that you have many things inside that You can activate to feel safe with yourself.
As long as you feel stronger than all those possible ugly things that the mind then thinks there is, there is no danger, because you can trust yourself and that you have everything to face.
Nightmares are the product of various internal factors at the mental, memory, and emotional levels, so help your mind to locate itself in what is real: the emotion behind and the present moment.