I have several recurring dreams that have followed me for the past 10 years.
1) I’m driving a car. Suddenly, I’m no longer in the car, yet somehow I’m still driving it (kind of like a remote control). Inevitably, the car leaves my field of vision and I’m driving through roads that I can no longer see. Serious control issues, eh?
2) I’m in Las Vegas. The reasons why change, but the one constant is that I wind up standing next to a bank of slot machines. I never play, yet I always recall drifting from casino to casino. Weird.
3) I’m at work. It’s just a regular day. There’s office small talk and random meetings and all of those little mundane things that drive me nuts. And that’s it! I wake up after nothing substantial happens and have to do it all over again. It’s like being at work without getting paid.
While I’m not really fan of any of the above dreams, I’m particularly determined to get the work ones to stop. If I’m gonna spend one-third of my life dreaming, I’ll be damned if it’s about work! Here are five ways to control your dreams:
Finish Up! Dreams often project your unfinished business. The less loose ends you have, physical or emotional, the better the odds that you will NOT dream about that item. Anxiety that you might "push aside" during the day always has a way of finding you at night. Deal with your fears while you are awake (no matter how uncomfortable it might be) so it doesn’t hunt you down at night.
When you start to have a dream less frequently, you are going through the healing process. For example, the work dream I illustrated above used to happen about once a week. Now I only have it about once a month. Hopefully, with a little more work, I can eliminate it entirely.
Blabbermouth. Communicate your dream/nightmare to someone you trust, or simply write it down. Sometimes this is enough to squeeze the information out of your subconscious and eliminate these dreams for good.
Re-Write the End. This is YOUR dream in YOUR head – why not articulate the ending YOU want? You can re-train your brain to connect positive items to a recurring dream. So maybe next time I dream of the office,I’ll be doing a lot more then typing!
Chill. I imagine work dreams are common because our careers are an important part of our lives, with the potential to yield traumatic events (getting fired, demoted, embarrassed, etc.). Because of this, it is important not to get angry at yourself for having these dreams. The more chill you are – the sooner they’ll go away!
Au Natural. Wake up naturally. This one is tough for everyone over the age of six! But if you can get yourself out of bed without a screaming clock radio, you’ll be better off. Your body anticipates the sound of the alarm, and that in itself can create tension. Plus, all radio morning shows are lame.
Alright, I shared my work nightmares – now let’s hear yours! Whether you’re being chased by the copy machine or berated by your boss – please tell us about your work dreams below. Sweet dreams!