Each night, we close our eyes and enter a majestic world of imagery generated by thoughts we carry in our minds. Dreams are a formation of stories and images reflecting our lives and the ones around us. They represent how we perceive the world, others, and even ourselves through an exaggerated perspective. Enigmatic, terrifying, absurd, realistic, threatening, beautiful- our dreams offer endless feelings and emotions difficult to accurately describe.
Rene Magritte, an artist and painter stated, “If the dream is a translation of waking life, waking life is also a translation of the dream.” All that goes on in our mind is interconnected and influenced by our daily exposures and interactions. Negative thoughts stemming from emotional stress or conflict may result in nightmares, as worries and anxieties come to surface. The mind may never be able to relax due to consciousness and awareness of the issues present in life, thus when dreaming a scary reality appears.
According to neuroimaging studies, the amygdala- which is an emotional component of the brain, – makes dreaming a vastly emotional procedure due to its extensive activity. Therefore, information that is kept suppressed in the brain automatically awakens during dreaming, bringing to life personal emotions and feelings.
Sleeping with a clear mind is a tough task to accomplish, especially living in a society which drowns in anxiety from day to night due to growing responsibilities. Meditation often helps in easing the process, as the body enters a mindset of focusing on the breath instead of the thought. Consciousness, therefore, is a significant variable when discussing dreaming, as it is up to the individual to control what circulates in their brain before falling asleep.