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How to Interpret Your Dreams: The “I Am and I Need” Technique
Interpreting your dreams is not something you can become an expert at overnight. It will take time and practice.
To start, open your dream journal, and take out a scrap sheet of paper (or use an Excel sheet). On the scrap paper, create two columns, one for “I am” and one for “I need”. Go through your dream journal, and write all negative words or phrases under the “I am” column. Write all positive words or phrases under the “I Need” column.
Next, pay attention to the subject matter (ex. location) in the dream. For each keyword, create a sentence “When it comes to (subject matter), I need / I am (negative/positive keyword).”
Example Dream Interpretation
Dream Title: On vacation near the ocean
Dream Details: I am on vacation with my wife near the ocean. It is very beautiful scenery, but another tourist sitting near us keeps talking on their cell phone. The tourist is a workaholic, trying to close a business deal. We are very annoyed and want to get away from him.
- Very annoyed: When it comes to my workaholic personality
- Workaholic: When it comes to my job
- Vacation: When it comes to work
- Beautiful scenery: When it comes to a vacation
You could interpret this dream as “When it comes to work, I need a vacation with beautiful scenery”, or “When it comes to my workaholic personality, I need to change/get away from this.”
As you interpret your dreams, you will want to pay special attention to types of dreams and recurring dream themes. Below are the main types of dreams you may experience.
Physical dreams: Dreams about food/eating, sex, negative habits, confrontation, stress, realization, and performance/rehearsal.
Spiritual dreams: Visitations from deceased loved ones, premonition/prophetic, message dreams.
Nightmares: Cause you to wake up feeling anxious and frightened. May be a response to real life trauma and situations, or occur when you ignore or refuse to accept a particular life situation.
Recurring Dreams: Can repeat over a short period of time or years, with little variation in story or theme. May be connected to a deep message, and will repeat until that message is recognized.
Lucid Dreams: These occur when you realize you are dreaming, and become an active participant in your dreams. Many dreamers wake themselves up when they realize they are dreaming.
The #1 Reason People Fail to Interpret Their Dreams Correctly
The #1 reason people fail at dream interpretation: They use the one-size-fits-all approach of a Dream Dictionary to understanding a very personal subject- their dreams.
Dream Dictionary: A tool used for interpreting images in a dream.
Only you can interpret your dreams, and you will not be an expert right away. But if you rely on a Dream Dictionary to describe what each part of your dream symbolizes, you are setting yourself up for failure. Dreams are highly personal, and the same dream could have infinite meanings, depending on who dreams it. Dream dictionaries are generally not considered scientifically viable by those within the psychology community.
To interpret your own dreams, you must discover your personal Dream Symbols. How does the dream make you feel? What real life situations does the dream remind you of? What is the dream telling you that you might not already know? Think metaphorically about your dreams, and then test your interpretations.
Additional Tips For Interpreting Your Dreams
- Dreams are a reaction to daytime activity, and often show a way out of a dilemma. Relate your dreams to a current activity. Dreams may be directed to your past activities as well as your future activities.
- Recurring dreams often illustrate progress or failure. If the dream remains unchanged throughout several year, it may indicate your resistance to change.
- Do not let the people and places in your dream obscure its meaning. Instead, think about them metaphorically, and ask yourself what emotions you felt during the dream.
This post is part of the Dream Evolver Series
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