What is Dream Interpretation

What is Dream Interpretation

By definition, dreams are a series of images, events, sensations, and ideas that come into mind when one is asleep. Different kinds of dreams come to people when they are in different stages and levels of sleep. The purpose of dreams is yet to be proven scientifically, even though they have attracted a lot of religious, scientific and philosophical interest over the years. There are dreams that are more vivid than others and the main difference between these two is the stage of sleep they occur in. In the rapid eye movement stage of sleep, the dreams that occur tend to be more vivid and memorable compared to the dreams that occur in others stages of sleep. In most cases, dreams tend to last longer when the night gets darker and in most cases, people have an average of 3-5 dreams every night, with an exception of few that have up to 7 dreams. Dreams are mysterious to many people and this is the reason why more and more people are venturing into the study of dreams. This way, they are in a better position to explain more about dreams. The scientific study of dreams is referred to as oneirology.

What is dream interpretation?

Even though science and religion have not been fully able to give an accurate interpretation of dreams, people over the years have developed methods to give meanings to dreams. In many societies, dreams have considered being communication between supernatural beings and humans. Dreams have therefore been considered to involve supernatural forces and the people interpretation was therefore done by people considered to have supernatural powers. This was however in the past. Today, several schools of thought, neurobiology, and psychology have come up with theories on the meaning of dreams and how to interpret dreams. Most of the theories used to interpret dreams today are based on the Freudian Theory of dreams in countries.

History of dream interpretation

People have been interpreting dreams since civilization. Due to the great diversity and isolation of human civilizations in the early years, different people in different regions interpreted dreams differently. According to ancient Egyptians, for instance, dreams were considered to be messages from the gods. Records recovered 1300BC from a Dream Book contained 200+ messages delivered by the gods to ancient Egyptians. The dream interpreters in Ancient Egypt translated dreams to be opposites of real dreams. For instance, a dream on drought, hunger, and starvation, would be translated to mean that there will be plenty and productivity. Another theory used by ancient Egyptian dreams interpreters were that dreams were a record of the adventures undertaken by the soul when the body fell asleep. In other African societies, dreams were and are still considered to be important and part of day-to-day life. For instance, the Zulus believed that battles in dreams really took place in real life and used this theory to explain why warriors woke up sore muscles.

Midsummer Nights Dream Interpretation
By Edwin Henry Landseer

Ancient Greeks and Romans also shared some beliefs with the ancient Egyptians. They also believed that dreams were important and messages from superior creatures. This belief was shared by almost all schools in human civilization that aimed at accurately interpreting dreams in the early years of civilization. However, the ancient Greeks and Romans deviated a little from the other beliefs of the Egyptians concerning dreams. They believed that dreams were divine messages and they even set up sacred places where people would go to dream. These people were administered with concoctions and herbs to induce sleep and the dreams they had were considered prophecies. In the later years of civilization, another theory was also developed by the Greeks on dreams and dream interpretation. Plato wrote in an article that dreams occur when the soul is party asleep and the voice of reason has been silenced. When this happens, the subdued beast in human beings awakens and it only seeks to fulfill its instincts without prudence and shame. This explains why some dreams are very wild and unrealistic in real life.

Modern interpretation of dreams

In modern times, interpretation of dreams is very derivative of the ancient Roman and Greek theories. In addition to these theories, modern dream interpretation reasons that dreams are not only prophesied events and predictions of the future. According to an article written by Jung on the modern interpretation of dreams, dreams and the people experiencing them are not mutually exclusive. In addition to being impossible to separate the dream from the dreamer, there is also no accurate and straightforward way to interpret any dream. This, therefore, means that every dream is unique to the dreamer and even though two people experienced the exact same dream, there may be a different translation to the same dream.

Why people have dreams interpreted

Generally, most people think that dreams have a very important role in human life. There are people that take dreams very seriously and they believe that all dreams have a deeper meaning. In most cases, dreams that people have tend to affect their real-life decisions. For instance, some people may end up canceling their trips, flights and other activities because they had dreams in which bad things happened to them during these activities. In most cases, these people cancel their previously planned activities due to the dreams even without formal warning from the authorities on the possibility of risk.

Common methods of interpreting dreams

As mentioned above, dreams are complex and mysterious and it is very difficult to accurately interpret dreams, leave alone understand them. Dreams tend to be very volatile and the contents of the dream can change very rapidly so that it may be impossible to find the pattern of dreams. The contents can also be very vivid and frightening with bizarre features and occurrences, which leads many people to strongly be convinced that there is a deeper meaning to dreams. Even though science has not been quite able to give a demonstration on the purpose of dreams, researchers and experts have proven otherwise; dreams have a meaning. There are different schools of thought that are used as methods of interpreting dreams and some of them are listed below.


Bill Domhoff on dream interpretation

This school of thought states that dreams are a reflection of the real life of the individual. According to Domhoff, an expert in dreams and dream interpretation, dreams are as a result of neurological processes in the brain, and the content of dreams, therefore, reflect the concerns and thoughts the individual in real life. An average of 70-100 of the dream content of an individual can be used to give a rough psychological picture of the individual in real life. This can be translated to about 1,000 dreams to give a very accurate picture of a person’s mental state. The accuracy of this picture can be as accurate as of the individual’s fingerprints.


Calvin S Hall on Dream Interpretation

Calvin S. Hall documented that dreams are just part of a cognitive process and that the brain viewed dreams are conceptions of the elements we interact with in real life. According to this theory, the main aim of dream interpretation is not only to understand the dream but to also get to know more about the individual involved. In order to get an accurate picture of the two, it is important to consider the actions the individual was involved in during the dream and the figures and objects in the dream. It is also important to understand and get a clear picture of the actual interactions between the individual and these objects in their dream and also the setting of the dream.

Carey Morewedge and Michael Norton

These two are researchers and they set up an experiment that involved 1,000 people from South Korea, USA, and India. A few of these people, mostly the college and university students, believed that dreams are simple responses by the brain to random and normal stimulations. A larger population of the people involved in the study, however, said that dreams are a reflection of the individual’s desires and urge. From the study, it was also discovered that the weight attached to dreams by many people depends on their individual biases. For example, people tend to remember and take seriously the bad dreams they had about people they hate and dislike and good dreams of the people they love and are fond of. The interpretation of the dreams by individuals is also influenced by the current situations of the individuals, beliefs they have about themselves and other people around them, and also how they perceive the world around them. All these factors determine how different people respond differently to different kinds of dreams they have.


Dreams have been and remain to be mysterious for the human brain to contemplate and all that is left is speculation of what dreams are and what they mean. While there may not be any significance in dreams, they greatly determine the future of many people. Depending on the seriousness attached to dreams, they may end up being a self-fulfilling prophecy. People interpret dreams differently and the reality of the dream to the real life of the individual greatly varies depending on their belief about dreams.

Why Do I Dream About My Ex Years Later?

Why Do I Dream About My Ex Years Later?

Have you woken up in the middle of the night because you suddenly dreamed about your ex? Were there any instances where you are perfectly happy with your current relationship, but your ex unexpectedly shows up in your dreams?

Ex Partners

Absurd right? Why would you suddenly think, let alone dream about your ex after how many years?

Whether you ended the relationship well or not, thinking or even dreaming about an old love can bring back myriads of emotions due to a previous heartache. There’s a reason they are called ex in the first place because they might be old memories you wish to bury with time. Or, it can be the other way around, where you want to bring back the past times.

Crazy as it may sound, but this is something that happens a lot whether you are in a relationship or not. The following day, you find yourself wondering why such a thing would happen in the first place. Odd enough that you even dreamed about this person, and even harsher when your partner asked you why you seem to be preoccupied. Rather than telling them you dreamt about your ex and started a “war,” let’s try to unravel some of the mysteries behind this dream.

What your dreams mean

Dreams deals with our subconscious mind. They can either serve as a warning or reminder of important events or circumstances in your life. Dreams have their meanings. Let’s take a closer look at each situation.

Involves having sex with your ex. Such a dream signifies some uncertainties or reservations you have in your life. This denotes that your hesitation on your current status or situation, lack of confidence in revealing your genuine emotions or entering into a new relationship.

When you are kissing your ex-partner doesn’t suggest that you still “want” your previous partner. The dream shows that your subconscious is alerting you of the same behavioral patterns from your last relationship. That there are certain circumstances in your current relationship that has happened before. Reminding you to learn from your old mistake and never to run into the same reason for heartache all over again. Time to reflect on your action to alter the result.

On the other hand, it can also mean you are reminiscing of the good old days in your relationship.

A dream where you got back together with your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend or ex-husband/wife. This dream doesn’t mean you are indeed getting back together. It is a reflection of how far you have gone with your current relationship.

Dream that your ex is missing means that something is lacking in your current relationship that you wish to get back.

On the other hand, it can also mean you have moved on from your past love and is ready for a new desire to come your way.

Couple Enjoying the Outdoors

When dream shows that your ex is dead is a metaphor that you have entirely buried your feelings for your past love. Finding a new love is the next step after relinquishing yourself of an old passion.

For women, if you dreamed about your old ex-boyfriend from childhood, this means that you need to rekindle the fire between you and your partner. You need to look beyond your responsibilities as adults or married couples, but to find the excitement behind the spontaneous romance. Find ways to bring the spark back, surprise each other if you have. Deviate from the usual routine and be like a young couple again who fell in love for the first time.

To dream that your ex hurts or ignores you means it’s time to make bygones be bygones. Stop going back memory lane and start moving forward to new and exciting destinations.

Alternatively, it can also mean your desire to be involved in a relationship.

When your ex is giving you advice is alarming or telling you not to fall in the same manhole all over again. It is time to take a different route to create a different story.

When your ex is giving you a massage suggests that you have to tear down the walls around you. Perhaps because of past hurts or trauma, you have created a wall or armor around you to stop people from getting through. A defense mechanism not to fall in love just to be hurt again. Now is the time to let go and fall in love all over again.

To dream that your ex is proposing signifies that you are longing for a relationship that completes you. Perhaps your past relationship made you feel complete or whole that you wanted the same in your current status. It does imply going back with your ex but indicates instead that decision lies in you.

If your ex brings you a stuffed toy means you are looking for a relationship that gives you comfort and security. The same feeling that a stuffed toy evokes.

On the other hand, it can also reflect the immaturity in your past relationship.

When you dream that your ex kidnapped you, it could mean that your ex feels that there is no closure between you. There is something that is holding him back from letting you go.

If your ex moves into your house signifies you have moved on and now, can be civil with him/her.

If your ex is admitted to the hospital means you have not yet moved forward. You are still waiting for closure on some unresolved issues between you.

If he gets released from the hospital, this means you have fully resolved the conflict and are ready to move forward.

For men, if you dreamt of impregnating your ex-girlfriend, the meaning varies if the baby is yours or not.

If you are the father, this means you are still hoping to get back with your ex. If not, it signifies that you have come into terms with your relationship.

How to deal with your dreams

Understanding the psychological meaning behind the dreams is very interesting as it helps you to reconsider and reflect on your current relationship. Besides these meanings, other reasons could have triggered you dreaming of your ex. Dissecting these reasons and looking for a plausible solution could help you get over it.

Man Sitting Alone

  1. You have not moved on yet. This reason is by far the most apparent reason why you would still dream of your ex. Especially when the other party went ghosting after falling head over heels with this person, it can leave unresolved feelings and unanswered questions that haunt you still. End the case. There is nothing wrong with putting closure to an uncertain relationship. Especially if the person ghosted you, they have their reasons and letting go would be the best option. Stop thinking about the what-ifs in your relationship. Feel the emotions for a while but don’t stay there. Closed that door and open the window for a new love to flow.
  2. You saw something or heard something that reminds you of your ex. Whether it be his picture on social media or your favorite place or even theme song, this can trigger your subconscious mind and bring his existence into your dreams. Especially when you share fond memories of a particular movie or song, just hearing it in passing can bring back the feelings hidden in the deepest part of your heart. While it is nice to reminisce once in a while, make sure you don’t stay there and be dragged by your past.
  3. Your ex tried to get in touch with you. With the advent of technology, especially social media, it is easy to get in touch with an old love. Even if it’s a simple like, comment or private message, such action can bring back flashes of memories taught at the back of your mind. These memories resurfaced after many years triggering an old memory to play in your dreams. You fight a lot with your current partner. Often, when you are in a difficult situation, it makes you reminisce about the good ole’ days. Perhaps there are certain traits or characteristics that your previous partner has that the current one doesn’t make you think about him. Instead of wishing things from your past, it is better to resolve it with your current partner. There is no use comparing two different individuals and quite unfair for either party. Talk it out and learn from your previous mistakes.
  4. Your ex wanted to get back with you. Even if you reject the idea, if your ex is persistent in getting you back, it can result in you dreaming about him. To resolve this, it would be best to wrap things up with him. Whether you choose to accept him or not, giving him the ultimatum should help you ease the tension. Telling them exactly what you feel should ease the burden from your shoulder. Give them time to accept what is and move on with their lives.