You may be wondering: what do dreams have to do with healing a disease like cancer? Well, a lot actually.
While there are many unknowns around purpose of dreams and dreaming, we know that there are great benefits as well. During sleep we process and integrate all of our cognitive thoughts and experiences, all of the non-verbal learning via all five senses, we have all those receptors, plus all of the feelings related to verbal and non-verbal experiences throughout the day.
It turns out, we are very productive and effective while we sleep.
Unfortunately, we only remember around 5% of our dreams. Did you know that we dream every single night? It’s just that often we don’t remember any dreams at all, or we just remember a fraction of a dream.
There are so many insights we can get from our dreams, and those of you who know me or have worked with me in the past, know how big I am on applying the insights we get from our dreams to our lives.
While there are many unknowns around purpose of dreams and dreaming, we know that there are great benefits as well. There are numerous ways to organize different types of dreams, but for purposes of this writing, I’ll simplify and group them in three main categories:
Precognitive Dreams: studies show that close to 30% of all dreams are precognitive in nature and that we are more likely to have premonitions about those to whom we are emotionally attached. So this category is about dreams that actually happen in the future. For me, my cancer journey actually started with a dream that I needed to see a gynecologist. Which I did, and six weeks later I was diagnosed with Uterine cancer.
Problem-solving dreams: dreaming is essential for integration of all cognitive, sensory, and emotional inputs we receive during the waking hours. When we set an intention or ask for a solution before sleeping, in addition to our thoughts about it from the waking hours, our brain processes inputs from all five senses along with related emotions, and often derives a solid solution. The trick is to actually remember that dream. These kind of dreams are helpful when you are looking to make a decision about which specialist to work with, what kind of treatment is best for you, etc. It’s super important to integrate all the information, and come to answers from that deeper more comprehensive knowledge.
Emotion-processing dreams: it has been proven that dreams help us process emotions. One of the functions of dream stories is try to strip the emotion out of experience by creating a memory of it, so that memory is no longer active (with the emotion). This is important because when we don’t process our negative emotions, we experience increased fear, worry and anxiety.
The most important next step in working with dreams is to start remembering more of your dreams.
Here are three tips for you to improve the memory of your dreams:
Tip #1: Keep a dreams journal next to your bed that’s dedicated to writing down your dreams every morning
Tip #2: Go to bed at approximately same time every night, and no later than 10:30 pm.
Tip #3: Set clear intention for your dream before you go to sleep: these are usually not yes-no question but rather how-to questions: how to solve something, how to approach a situation, how to deal with someone. Intention can also be to receive: ask to receive a healing, to receive wisdom, to receive a guidance.
Use receiving intention when you are not focused on what you want, but rather on receiving what you need.
So the next time you are asked to make a decision do “sleep on it.”