DREAM STUDIES

Dream symbols - nervous

Most dreams represent recent thoughts especially from the day before as we think over feelings and events which have just occurred. Your dreams that night will represent how your mind has made sense of the days events. So your dreams represent your thoughts! Nowadays it is widely accepted that dreams link to conscious feelings rather than unconscious feelings. So we will be much more aware of what our dreams mean. They will represent the conclusions that are forming in our minds. They will be written in the language of dream symbolism. Take for instance the following dream.

THE DREAM - I am fighting with this man. We are struggling hard. Then I think I am watching the fight. At one stage one of the men points a gun at the others horse. This wins the fight because the man does not want to have his horse shot. His horse even realises that it is going to be shot and appears very nervous.

The most likely trigger of a dream is new feelings and thoughts connected to your moods and events that have just occurred. How could we link this dream to the events and feelings of the previous day? Well, first the dreamers mind was fixed onto an argument that a friend had just had and was now telling him all about. Certainly the dream depicts violence and the types of symbols which we might associate with arguments. That's a good start and hints that the dream depicts this situation. But what does the horse standing nervously mean? In real life the dreamer was a bit worried that his friend was so caught up in her argument with someone else that he may get drawn into it. He saw her overwhelming passion and felt that he should be careful not to say anything out of turn. He did not want to be like the horse and get drawn into an argument where he was totally innocent.

So by studying in depth a dream we know is likely to link to something big which just happened we can start to understand how dreams work. We can pinpoint what each symbol mean. In this case the predominant feeling was that the dreamer was worried about his friends temper - she was so passionately wound up that anything might happen. The situation was very volatile and the dreamer might become an innocent party and get drawn into the argument. He knew he had to totally side with his friend or she would turn her temper on him. Like the horse he was in danger of being the totally innocent party. We can even reduce this 'nervous' dreams meaning. Nervous translates into two or three key phrases - "volatile situation", and "anything could happen". That's because the horse in the dream was nervous because the situation was volatile and anything could happen. Reducing a dreams meaning to these keywords for each symbol helps us to really pinpoint their meaning and is very useful in interpretng other dreams which feature nervousness.

THE DREAM I was walking up my road, and the Rasta man/hippy who has his guts ripped out in "Live Organ Transplants" in The Meaning of Life (played by Terry Gilliam) was having his house raided by the police and they were carrying his computer out, and he was like "no man, that's got my Terry Jones photos on it! and the police were like "yes, that's why we're taking it away - its illegal" and as I was walking up my street, practically everyone was having their computers confiscated for having Terry Jones photos on it! The police got to my house and I got really nervous that they were going to search me.

The dreamer had recently become very interested in Terry Gilliam off the Monty Python films. She was due to meet Terry Gilliam who was about to present a talk on Chaucer.She thought he was a great writer and she was interested in him for his wider talents. The night before she was looking on the Internet with her best friend. She was looking for pictures so she could make a Terry Gilliam T-shirt. However, her boyfriend hated Terry Gilliam and the Monty Python films and they recently had a big fight about it. The dreamer lied about the talk with Terry Jones and merely said that she was going to a talk about Chaucer. The dream is clearly about this situation and her boyfriend who was making her feel like it was a "crime" to be a Monty Python fan. So the nervousness in the dream was linked to her worries about this whole issue and the fear that her boyfriend might find out she had lied. So if we are trying to analyse this nervous dream it probably links to these types of keywords - "fears", "worries", and "volatile situation". So the dream uses some of the keywords from the first dream but also adds some more. Now try this next dream. THE DREAM I was high up on the top floor of a talling building. I was on the stairs (it was like one of these huge tower blocks were people walk down stairs which are open to the air. I was walking along these stairs and realised that one section of these stairs had virtually no fencing. You could just fall down. I started to feel really nervous - I hate heights. I was completely petrified and felt paralysed.

Again we look at the background info from the day before. The dreamer was a generally nervous person who suffered from fears and phobias. He found it difficult to mix with people generally and often had panic attacks when getting into difficult situations. The previous day he had overreached himself and did have a panic attack.

So we are starting to build up a picture of what nerves in dreams mean. In this case its more of a "worry dream" which was linked to the dreamers terrible phobias. Its actually not a difficult symbol to understand. It may represent fears and phobias within the dreamer as they suffer from nervousness generally. It may also link to conventional worries and fears. Think especially of something which is highly volatile where you fear the consequences of things going wrong or you being found out.

A good way to interpret dreams is to use the keywords that we have built up here - "fears", "phobia", "volatile situation", "worries", and "anything could happen". Now try to write down some quotes that capture your feelings. Then if any of these quotes use any of these key words and phrases then its possible that the "nervousness" in the dream is linked to this exact situation.

In this way we can interpret dreams quite easily. Here are some examples. A woman who had been raped in real life had a dream where she was "nervous" in the Playboy mansion. Clearly the fears and phobias that she had built up made it difficult for her to dress up sexily (just like the girls in the Playboy mansion). So the keywords "fears","phobias" and "worries" obviously all have relevance here. The dream could easily link to this situation.

In another dream the dreamer also felt nervous. In this case he was making a decision in real life which involved a lot of risk. The nerves in the dream symbolised the risk involved in this decision. Quite clearly several keywords which we have linked to nervous dreams feature here. The dreamer was "worried" and "fearful" obviously. The main problem was the risk involved and the fear that "anything could happen". Indeed we may add another keyword here - "risk".

Another dream involving nerves linked to the dreamers nerves around her crush. In the dream she was getting married to him. So we could guess that several words are of relevance here. The dream was suffering from "phobias" - she felt nervous in front of her crush. But we also may venture to suggest a new keyphase - "something very important which we want to make sure goes just right". This captures the dreamers wish not to make a mistake - she doesn't want things to go wrong with her crush because she totally loves him. Notice that this situation also involves "risk" and "volatile situation".

Another dream about nerves featured the dreamer feeling nervous about a man in her house. In real life she was thinking about her mother constantly monitoring her. She had recently gone off the rails and was now paying the price - her mother was picking up on the slightest thing. So we can add some new keywords which add to our understanding. The dreamer felt "watched", "monitored", and "under suspicion".

In another dream where the dreamer felt nervous he linked this to being stuck in a situation. He was not wanting to take risks so clearly this was related to one keyword - "risk". But actually underlying the dream was his wish to avoid risk at all costs. The dream was about his phobias and his tendency to never do anything because it all involved risk. So actually the dream was deeply linked to the dreamers phobias and his personality.

Try not to make snap judgements about dreams. A "nervous" dream can link to "risk" in general. One dreamer had a dream about feeling nervous on a mountain highway which was highly dangerous. So maybe this dream was about the risks that the dreamer was taking. But in this case it was related to him taking too many risks. He needed to pull himself back. Dreams are often about balance - taking "risks" but also reminding yourself of

DREAM STUDIES