But, as parents, we need to take care of ourselves too. Like they say on airplanes: Put your own oxygen mask on first.
Why? Because if you pass out, you can’t help anyone else. Translation for this blog: If you don’t care for your own problems, how can you expect to effectively teach children to care for theirs?
That brings us to this article’s troubling topic: nightmares.
Nightmares reflect strong emotions and they often focus attention on thoughts and problems in the dreamer’s mind that are so frightening they’re reluctant to bring them out into the open.
Most Common Nightmares
The most common nightmares include:
- being chased by something evil or by monsters
- being injured or attacked
- losing something precious
- being ill or dying
- loss or damage to home or property
- being naked in a public place
- poor performance in tests or interviews
- falling or drowning
- mechanical and technical problems
- being lost or trapped
During your lifetime you’ve likely had some (or all) of the above types of nightmare. Each is terrifying in its own right, and depending on context, can shake you to your core.
Why do we suffer from nightmares?
Some Explanations for Nightmares
There are a number of explanations for nightmares and it has been found that more women than men tend to suffer from these horrific dreams. Sometimes nightmares draw the sleeper’s attention to emotional issues or problems which are not being resolved during the day.
Other explanations discuss the possibility of people receiving negative influences from outside, during their sleep. Even perhaps the dark thoughts of someone wishing a person harm, invading their dreams and causing nightmares.
In order to ward off such attacks, the following simple relaxation/visualization exercise might help:
As you relax, ready for sleep, imagine a bright white or blue light around you. Start with your head and see this light gently work its way around your whole body until there are no gaps. You are completely safe, within this protective cloak of energy and tell yourself that while you sleep, nothing from outside will be able to pierce it. If you suffer from recurring nightmares, do this every night.
Dealing with Nightmares
Another way of dealing with such dreams is to confront each aspect of the dream slowly, analysing what it might mean to the dreamer. This may help the dreamer face up to certain problems or emotional issues and as these are confronted by the waking mind, the nightmares will slowly decline. If what is causing the dreams can be identified the dreamer may be able to change their waking life so as to try to allay those terrifying images in their dreaming world.
After a nightmare, if you can’t get it out of your mind, it might help to control any negative feelings left as a residue from the dream by writing it all down. Describe the nightmare. Describe all emotions felt and vent out all that anger, upset and confusion on paper. Then, tear the paper up into small pieces and in a safe place, set it alight. Reduce your nightmare to ashes and in your waking life, you are the one who is taking control.