(see also Feelings)
Emotions in dreams are not symbolic; they are just themselves. However, you need to be aware that emotions come from the unconscious, from what Jung calls ‘the Shadow5 - the ‘inferior5, undeveloped functions of your psyche. They may therefore be very disturbing, and often you will not acknowledge them as your own: instead, you may project them on to someone else. Therefore you need to be open to the possibility - or even the probability - that other people (or animals) in dreams represent parts of yourself, and that any emotion that is driving them in the dream is driving you in real life. (For inferior functions, shadow and projection).
The expression or release of emotions are very typical and healthy in dreams. Often, because of the lack of inhibitions in the dream state, you might experience extremes that your ego does not allow you to explore in your waking state. Emotions release psychological pressure and allows you to awaken in the morning feeling refreshed, invigorated, with a clean clear slate. See Angry, Afraid, Sad, Happy, Ecstasy, Jealousy and Emotions of Shadow and Light (Introduction).
2. Not acknowledging feelings. ... emotionless dream meaning
2- Occasionally in order to understand a dream it is easier to ignore the symbols and simply work with the moods, feelings and emotions that have surfaced. Doing this will yen,- often give us a clearer interpretation of what is going on inside us, rather than confusing ourselves by trying to interpret myriad symbols.
3- Our emotional requirement, particularly responsiveness, to something which is a more subtle energy permits us to begin the process of development.... emotions dream meaning
1: EXAMINING EMOTIONS IS STEP ONE OF THE FIVE-STEP DREAM TECHNIQUE
EMOTIONS AND DREAM MESSAGES. According to step one of the five-step technique, what you feel during the dream or what you feel about the dream after you wake up are the first clues to its meaning. If you see a huge lion enter your yard, yet it lies down, looks friendly, and you feel content at the sight instead of terrified, the positive feelings indicate that the message is not about being in danger. Or suppose you dream of your spouse in the kitchen losing their temper and smashing a plate in anger, but in the dream you remain calm and continue to wash the dishes. The dream may speak of the angry sparks that flew during an actual disagreement between you and your spouse, yet your serene attitude in the dream hints that the real-life situation can be resolved by staying calm.
STRONG DREAM EMOTIONS GET YOUR ATTENTION. A dream scene can pack an emotional punch and it does so to get a point across about an issue that needs your attention. A scene of almost drowning can be a metaphor for feeling overwhelmed, a child having a tantrum may indicate someone acting childish or a circumstance veering out of control, and an explosion may relate to an explosive relationship or situation. When a dream creates supercharged metaphors that affect your emotions, the strong reaction you feel to the images is a red flag that tells you the message is important.
YOUR REACTION TO A DREAM CAN JUMPSTART CHANGE. Suppose you have a dream that creates feelings of emotional upheaval in you for hours or even days. Though that sounds bad, sometimes a dream deliberately “creates” turmoil in you to stimulate a change in you. Intense reactions that leave you reeling, emotionally, can invite a change in attitude or push you into a new perspective. For example, a senior in college who is slacking off from his studies dreams that he has failed a final exam and will not graduate. The dream feels so real that it scares him into studying. Or, a man in a dead-end job dreams that everyone around him gets promoted, except him. The anguish the dream evokes in him spurs him to investigate ways to move forward in his career.
EXAMPLE 1 OF DREAMS THAT JUMPSTART YOUR FEELINGS: HAVING SEX WITH SOMEONE YOU DESPISE. Dreams of having sex with someone you cannot stand are common. A woman dreams that she has sex with a boss she despises, yet to her surprise, the passion in the dream feels real and magnificent. She wakes up confused, aware that she hates her boss but finding it hard to dislike someone with whom she has just had great sex. Because of the dream, her feelings of hate for him are now in flux; the dream softens and changes her attitude to her boss, allowing her to make a fresh start in the relationship.
When people dream about having sex with someone they dislike, their first thought is that the dream points to a secret attraction to that person. Usually, that is not the case. Instead, because prolonged animosity toward another is unhealthy (emotionally and psychologically), the psyche manufactures an intense, pleasant experience to jumpstart a change in attitude about that person. A wise man once stated that the best way to deal with an enemy is to turn him into a friend. A dream of having sex with someone you hate arrives as a peacemaker, initiated by your psyche.
EXAMPLE 2 OF DREAMS THAT JUMPSTART YOUR FEELINGS: BLESSINGS FROM A DECEASED LOVED ONE. A depressed man dreams of his dead father, the only person who truly understood him. The father hugs his son, tells him how proud he is of him, smiles, and then disappears. The dreamer wakes up elated; his depression has lifted.
Dreams that jumpstart a change can at times accomplish more than hours of encouragement by a friend or therapist, and can have an ongoing impact on the dreamer.
DREAMS AS A THERMOMETER OF YOUR FEELINGS. In life’s daily rush, it is easy to get out of touch with your emotions. When riding a roller-coaster of ups and downs, dreams can help you notice your feelings and cope with the problems behind those jangled emotions.
At times you may ignore your feelings or feel overwhelmed by them. Dreams help you notice your feelings and label them, so that you can begin to deal with them. Watching yourself in a dream where you are riding a merry-go-round that will not stop can feel terrifying, and can be a metaphor for feeling emotionally out of control. Or, seeing yourself parachute out of an airplane, gliding joyfully through the sky, may put you in touch with the pride you feel about a successful accomplishment.
Suppose you are trying to be patient with an annoying work associate but they still drive you crazy. One night you dream that you punched out the co-worker. The dream is not suggesting that you hit your associate. Instead, the dream mirrors your frustration and invites you to fix your reactions to that associate, reactions that are creating knots in your feelings.
A dream can also indicate whether your emotions are surging or sinking. If a shy man dreams of giving orders at work as if he were a drill sergeant, the dream may hint that he needs to speak up and is capable of doing so; it invites him to come out of his shell. If a confident businesswoman dreams that her staff hide under their desks when she walks by, the dream is hinting that her confidence has veered into overbearing. It invites her to soften her stance with her employees.
EMOTIONS AS A MESSAGE TO SELF. Counselors often view emotions as “messages to yourself.” For example, a scene of depression in a dream can point to a hidden hurt that needs to be expressed. Anger can point to strong feelings that need to be channeled into leadership. Arrogance may mask a lack of confidence or indicate a desire to be appreciated. When the emotional impact is strong or leaves you puzzled, see whether the emotions are a message to yourself.... emotions as dream flags dream meaning
If we take away the images and events occurring in a dream and simply look to see what feelings or emotions are evident, the dream is often more understandable than if we try to interpret the symbols. Feelings in dreams are nearly always undistoned. We therefore do not need to interpret them, simply to acknowledge them and see if we can recognise where they occur in waking life.
The images in a dream may be the way we unconsciously pictorialise our flux of feelings and the play of internal energy flows.
For instance love or sexual drive can give rise to physical movement—as in sexual intercourse. Repression of sex or love also represses such physical movements, leading to tension and conflict, which might be presented in the drama of a dream.
Example: ‘I was with my wife, walking along a street, on holiday with her. But I felt awful tension. It was the son of stress I feel when I have turned off my sexual flow—as I have at the moment’ (Brian V). Brian can easily see the connection between the dream feelings and his everyday life, although sometimes we need to practise this. But the situation could as easily be expressed as a dream image of a blocked river.
The underlying feelings would then be less easy to grasp.
Example: ‘I was in a very ancient crumbling building, confronted by a large stone door, deeply engraved with many designs and creatures. I began to open the door and felt high feelings of anxiety. I realised this was an initiation and I must calm my feelings in order to pass beyond the door, i.e. if I were controlled by my feelings I would run away’ (Derek F). How we meet the emotions in our dreams illustrates our habitual method of dealing with them.
The feelings of anxiety in Derek’s dream were met and moved beyond, but this is unusual. This is because most of us change our direction as soon as there is a hint of fear.
The amount of nicotine and alcohol human beings consume suggests how poorly we meet anxiety. Going beyond fear or pain is an initiation which opens doors for us. We might now apply for the job, ask for the date, raise the issue, express the creativity, make the journey abroad, which anxiety previously kept us from. We see this in the next example: I had a ring on my marriage finger. It was a thin band of gold. I woke up frightened’ (Angela). Angela is not married and feels anxiety about the commitment.
Dreams give us a safe area to express emotions which might be difficult or dangerous to release socially. Anger in a dream may be expressing what we failed to express in a waking encounter, or it might be our habitual response. It may also be directed against ourself. Dreams also contain many positive emotions. Sometimes they present a new aspect of feeling which is life enhancing.
A person who habitually felt at odds with her father and relatives experienced a dream in which she felt forgiveness for the first time. This was entirely new for her and led to a reconciliation with her family.
Some feeling states in a dream are subtle, and may be more evident in terms of the symbols than the feelings.
A grey drear environment suggests depression and lack of pleasure.
A sunny light environment with flowers and colour shows pleasure and good feelings.
A country landscape depicts quite a different feeling state to a smoky busy city street. We can define these for ourself using the techniques described under dream processing.
Whatever feelings or emotions we meet in our dreams, many of them are bound to be habitual responses we have to life. Where these habits are negative we can begin to change them by working with the dream images as described in the last question under dream processing. See love; hostility. ... emotions, mood dream meaning
Similarly, if you experience inappropriate happiness or elation at a dream funeral or death, this might point to your being in a state of denial in order to protect yourself from the reality of a personal loss.... incongruous emotions dream meaning
The emotion may be symbolically represented or experienced in the dream or later on in the form of the emotions you experience after awakening. Most dream analysts believe that the emotional atmosphere and feeling of a dream are important clues for its interpretation. This is because when a symbol or dream scenario arouses a particular emotion, your dreaming mind is suggesting to you that this is an emotion that you need to either suppress or, more typically, release in waking life. According to Jung, dreams are a wonderful way of identifying repressed emotions and feelings, and, by so doing, they can encourage emotional and spiritual wholeness and healing.
Negative emotions, such as fear, anger and sadness, tend to occur more often in dreams than pleasant emotions. Fear and anxiety are the most commonly expressed emotions in dreams. Anger ranks next. As the language of dreams is symbolic, you might have trouble identifying what triggered your negative dream in some cases.
If this is the case, consulting CHANGE AND CONFLICT, DISASTERS, NIGHTMARES, LOSS AND FRUSTRATION, SPIRITS AND GHOSTS and STAGES OF LIFE or other dream entries that inspire negative emotions or situations may help. See also POSITIVE EMOTIONS.... negative emotions dream meaning
Perhaps you have woken up from a dream with feelings of euphoria or unexplained happiness, or found yourself laughing without knowing why. Every now and again your dreaming mind may give you an emotional and psychological boost by creating images in which you feel deeply secure, happy and loved. It may also conjure up images of freedom, adventure, success and excitement to spur you on. Dreams that leave you with such lingering feelings of joy and exhilaration are less common than those that leave you with feelings of dread and uncertainty. This may be because there are always constant challenges and responsibilities to face in the real world and your dreams tend to reflect your anxieties about meeting these challenges. Even though they are relatively rare, feelings of immense happiness in dreams are just as important to understand as feelings of sadness according to Jung and most other dream analysts. Joyful, uplifting dreams allow you to focus on the real-life experiences and situations that evoked them, as well as the way you feel about yourself and your life.
See also AMBITION AND SUCCESS; NEGATIVE EMOTIONS; RELATIONSHIPS; SEX.... positive emotions dream meaning