Thursday, October 16, 2014

Can Dreams Resolve Conflict?

Scene from My Week With Marilyn

         Can dreams resolve conflict?

         This question came to me in the early morning hours after a night of many dreams and awakenings.   Before going to bed that prior night I had read an email that led me to sense that a friend of mine had apparently taken offense to something I had said.   I felt uncomfortable with what had been suggested to me and consequently was thinking on this matter as I fell into sleep and throughout the night.   The topic floated in and out of my dreams.

         In this particular case there was no revelation that I would call conflict resolution, but I began to wonder if in some instances dreamers might come to terms with a matter in dispute or come up with an appropriate solution that might fix things later.

         Why not?  Problems are indeed sometimes solved while the mind is in the dream state.  There might not be an actual meeting of the minds that are at odds, but a dream can clarify issues better to show the dreamer that things are either not as bad as previously discerned or begin to develop a rational approach to finding a solution or a state of mind that is more receptive to listening to the different sides of the argument at hand.

         In a state of worry dreams can focus on a problem, looking at it from various angles and dissecting that problem into ways one might not consider when in a state of stress stemming from doubt, fear, and even sadness.    The solutions might evolve into an idea that is symbolic thus requiring interpretation and unraveling.   Then again, the answers might be delivered clearly and directly.

         The key to finding solutions based on dream data is to think on that information and consider the ramifications of all that is presented.   This might be time-consuming and in the end even unproductive, but still attempts are not in vain if the dream data is recorded for future reference.   One never can tell when dream messages can be used in future similar situations.

           My recent occurrence and the restless dream night that accompanied it turned out okay.   The dreams didn't seem to actually solve any problems, but they ameliorated the tension and worry that I had upon going to bed the night before.   Then again, maybe the solutions did appear furtively to me in case I would have to resort to them.

        In any case, the next morning I had an email waiting for me that made the situation better.   For those who might now be considering the possibly of any telepathic communication between minds I will merely claim that I don't think so.

          I do however strongly believe that disputes we may have with others can be analyzed by our subconscious mind via the vehicle of dreaming.   When something such as conflict weighs so heavily upon us the expected consequence would be that these thoughts would enter into our dreams.

           Have you ever had a conflict that was resolved by dreaming?    Do you tend to have restless night when you have experienced some sort of negative encounter with another person?    Would you trust a dream solution that seemed outlandish if there seemed to be no other way to come to terms with someone?


  1. I don't recall ever having a conflict resolution dream. Conflict and stress keep me awake with anxiety and the inability to shut off my brain and the running conversations I have in my head. It is very exhausting.

  2. Yes to all three. Dreams do serve a purpose in awake life.

  3. Saw something interesting on YouTube. A scientist was talking about dreams, and he said that dreaming takes place in the amygdala, while the prefrontal cortex and orbital cortex are shut down. Have a look:

    Based on what he was saying, I think dreams can lead you to an answer while dealing with the emotion behind whatever confrontation led to the dream. I definitely believe that sleep and dreaming (which happens whether you are aware of it or not) help the brain resolve whatever missing connections the day brought, and as such help you see things more clearly. So the answer to the first question is "yes."

    Re question #2: I have a hard time getting to sleep on nights where I've had a confrontation with someone, either in real life or (especially) on social media. I've learned to sleep despite it, though, and usually wake up in the morning feeling at least some form of resolution. My nights tend to be restless anyway, as I have lymphedema in one leg and am getting up several times in the night to use the bathroom, but after I've had a chance to sleep on something, it doesn't keep me from getting back to sleep. I guess that the answer is "sorta."

    I'd trust a dream situation even when there was a way to come to terms with someone, so I guess the answer to #3 is "yes."

  4. I definitely have had restless dreams if I have had a conflict with someone, especially in the evening hours. I have never had a dream provide answers for a conflict. Maybe if I could remove myself from the conflict a dream resolution may happen.

  5. JoJo -- You may continue the issues that cause the stress and conflict in dreams without realizing it.

    Susan Kane-- I agree to that.

    John-- Interesting video. I wonder how they know that stuff for sure.

    Donna-- Sometimes I think we are receiving answers that we don't recognize.



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