I’m not going to mince words here. Some dreams and nightmares can be terrifying. I recently had a nightmare where a client had kidnapped me. I managed to escape but the client and a stranger were chasing me in the dark. In this nightmare, I realized that I was dreaming and I kept willing myself to wake up as my pursuers got closer and closer. Finally, I was able to wake myself up, but my heart was racing and I was drenched in sweat. What I didn’t realize at the moment was that I was having a breakthrough in my career journey.
What do my dreams mean?
This is one of the most important questions to ask yourself if you want to understand the messages of your subconscious. While you may be tempted to forget about a nightmare as soon as possible, nightmares can be opportunities to have breakthroughs in your life.
In the case of my nightmare, I realized it was telling me that some of my clients were stressing me out and I was feeling like I wasn’t as in control of my career as I wanted to be. Subconsciously, I felt like these clients were kidnapping me and forcing me to do work that was no longer in alignment with what I want to do. When I realized what the nightmare meant, it no longer seemed so scary but while it was happening it was absolutely horrible.
In order to turn your nightmares into breakthroughs, face them and figure out what they are trying to tell you.
Causes of nightmares
Dreams and nightmares give us a wealth of information. Nightmares often indicate areas in our lives where we have a lot of anxiety. From a healing perspective, these may be areas that really need our attention — areas where we are ready to have a breakthrough. Think of the nightmare as an opportunity to provide that attention to that area of our lives.
For example, if we are having money troubles and are subconsciously worried about our ability to make ends meet, we may have a nightmare that highlights our lack of security. Maybe we have a nightmare in which we are homeless.
If we are worried about losing control in a relationship, we may have a nightmare in which we are on a terrifying rollercoaster and can’t get off.
Some dreams and nightmares may tell us that we are worried about an aspect of ourselves, such as our shadow self. For example, there may be a part of yourself that you are suppressing, such as your desire to quit your job and follow a dream. In this case, you may dream that someone is chasing you. The person in the dream chasing you may, in fact, be the subconscious part of you that you have been trying to suppress.
How to analyze your dreams and nightmares
One of the first things you should do is write your nightmare down. I know, I know. You don’t want to think about it, let alone write it down, but trust me, you’ll be grateful later. When you write your dreams down you remember more details. And when analyzing a dream, the more details you have about the dream the better. You’d be surprised how soon you can forget details of your dreams. If you plan to analyze your dreams regularly, consider purchasing a dream journal.
When you have a nightmare, it’s a good idea to think of areas of your life that are causing you anxiety or stress. Ask yourself if the nightmare means something to you when you apply the message to that area of your life.
Who is in your nightmare? Are there people you know in the nightmare? Do the people represent an aspect of your life? In my case, since one of my clients was in the nightmare, I figured it pertained to my professional life.
What are you doing in the nightmare? Are you observing? Are you playing a role in the action? Are you being chased? How does your action in the dream compare to the action or inaction you are currently taking in your life? I was kidnapped in my nightmare, or taken against my will. So I thought about areas in my professional life where I felt like I was being forced to do things I didn’t really want to do.
If you’re stumped about the nightmare’s meeting, you can always ask the Universe for more information. Meditate and ask for signs of what your nightmare meant. Then be on the lookout for synchronicity in your life. Maybe you’ll be led to a certain book or a certain course to take. Another way to ask the Universe for help is to set the intention before going to sleep that you get another dream that can help to explain things to you. Sometimes a nightmare won’t be understood immediately, but in time, if you set the intention to do so, you may discover what you are meant to know.