Disturbing dreams and nightmares
There seem to be two types of nightmares. The type which looks backwards to recent events and particularly the previous day. These merely record gloomy circumstances in our our lives. In essence such dreams are saying "things are getting really bad".
The other type of nightmare can link to risks that we have just taken or which we were thinking of taking. These dreams are especially scary. They feature situations where we feel real danger. Here is an example.
THE DREAM - There is a snake. I am with some people. I feel that I can keep this snake under control. I am using a kind of toy snake which I am controlling. I feel that I can definitely keep this snake under control. Yet it moves forward and continues to edge forward. I am unable to react in time. I wake up as it is about to get within striking distance. As I wake up the dream continues on. When I wake up I am desperately trying to get the snake off me - its in my duvet.
THE REALITY The previous day the dreamer had been thinking about a bad situation which was building up at work. One thought to cross his mind the night before was to try to get at some of the people who had been very devious. This was supposed to be a very subtle and clever way at getting back at people who were causing trouble. So controlling the snake was a symbol for controlling and manipulating a situation in real life.
So his dream was reminding him not to play with fire next time. His attempts to manipulate a situation had back fired.
But why do we have dreams like this. Often dreams which seem to have nightmare type symbols - death and destruction. Yet they are not so scary. Yet a dream like this frightens the living daylights out of us! Why?
Why are nightmares like this not literal? Why do we dream of snakes when we could dream of the same situation as in real life? Why do we not dream of manipulating people and things suddenly go wrong rather than of snakes. That would make more sense.
Dreams like this must be linked to how the brain works. We feel the emotions and live out things going totally wrong. Its a worst possible scenario. This must be part of how dreams help us imprint certain new ideas on our minds. They reinforce certain thoughts in our minds. We obviously do not need to know that there is a connection between the snake dream and the real life situation which has caused it. We merely live out the worst possible outcome.
Try the following link. It deals with Nightmares.
This article pulls together a great deal of research into hundreds of dreams. It summarises the types of issues and situations which in practice could have triggered a dream.