I woke this morning and remembered pieces of my dreams which is unusual, I usually remember nothing. We all know how familiar and yet unrecognizable our dreams can be; familiar people but the surroundings are foreign. Long ago, when I was a teenager, I was interested in dream ‘interpretation’ so this morning I Googled the “science behind dreams.” Thankfully science has moved beyond Freud and Jung, I always thought that their philosophies seemed like a witch-hunt, too fantastical. Neuroscientists have now “discovered” that the purpose of dreaming is to funnel (my word) our emotions through a ‘dream story’ and therefore the emotion is ‘no longer active’ or, in other words, it minimizes the amount of anxiety and worry accumulation that we experience by shelving it in a make-believe story in our memories.
If this theory is correct it indicates the emotions, especially the negative ones, that we experience during the day are filtered through our dreaming activity to relieve some stress in preparation for the next day — to put it simply. So my dreams’ stories that were about alienation and physical threats elicited the emotion of fear and anxiety. The dream-story is not the subject or the point of the dream but the emotion that resulted from those scenes and now that my brain has exorcized those emotions I, in theory, can approach today with all it’s fears and anxiety with a cleaner slate (or a lower cortisol level.) 🙂