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What Do Our Dreams Mean? Psychologists Have Different Answers

What Do Our Dreams Mean? Psychologists Have Different Answers

Are dreams pathways of realms into the ‘beyond’?

Are dreams the subconscious mind relaying special messages?

Are dreams an artifact of the brain on ‘night shift’ duty?

For a long time, dream has been under the radar of many scientists. It has been such a mythical phenomenon that many would like to know more about. More importantly, many of us are curious about the answer to the question “Why do we dream?”.

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There is no certainty about the actual function of sleep or dreams. And everybody dreams, yet memories of dreams remembered varies.

What do dreams do to us? Do they serve any purposes at all?

This is a question that remains unanswered. The speculations and theories continue.

A common theory is that sleep and dreams work as a team, helping the brain to refresh and restore after capturing millions of inputs each day. The inputs are sensory details that may be minor like colours and major mind boggling details like those in seminars or presentations. While sleeping, the brain sifts through the information and refines it, keeping what is needed and disposing content into the recycle and trash compartments. Researchers have speculated that dreams are a tool in this process.

Dreaming is the protoconscious state. This occurs during the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep. It also occurs at other stages including the fourth stage of sleep ( Slow Wave Sleep-SWS). This is the deepest stage of sleep. Studies shown dreams vary according to sleep stage they occur in. Most dreams are reported during the REM stage. [1]

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    Emerging neuroscience views insinuate that dreams are linked to memory consolidation that occurs during sleep. These many include recording and organising memories according to emotional drives as well as transferring memories between regions in the brain.

    Daytime episodic memories are stored in the hippocampus region. This is the long term memory section of the brain that is for quick learning. At night they get transferred to the processing, knowledge and cognition section, the cerebral cortex. [2]

    Studies have revealed that hippocampus neural activity replays day events. This is faster than real time and happens in a reverse motion. The replay activity correlates with neutral patterns of activity in the prefrontal (goals planning and strategy) and the visual cortex (visual experiences).[3]

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    This memory replay occurs during the REM sleep stage where dreaming occurs. [4]

    Is there Association between dreams and the Subconscious?

    About the subconscious and dreams…..let us look into the bizarre realm of dreams. Question is, is it the brain attempting to make sense of signals that are generated in the memory consolidation phase, the model of activation-synthesis as Alan Hobson (Harvard) suggests?

    Do dreams mean anything at all?

    Searching for the meaning of dreams has been an ongoing venture through many ages. A random cacophony of memory fragmentation is not satisfying and unlikely for many.

    Interpretations of dreams are usually coded in terms of beliefs, motivations and symbols that have to mean to the dreamer. Imagine that the process of memory consolidation is not actually random, it is focused on experiences in the past and then goals that are biologically determined. Motivational tensions then surface content of dreams [5]

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    “People who hold dream experiences in great esteem may be correctly affirming the importance of affective information that is encoded through our ancient emotional urges for the proper conduct of our waking activities… the REM system may now allow ancient emotional impulses to be integrated with the newer cognitive skills of the more recently evolved brain waking systems. This could help explain many striking attributes of REM sleep, ranging from its heavy emotional content to its apparent functions of enhancing learning and solidifying memory consolidation.” [6]

    So dream content may not be our subconscious relaying messages to us. Dream analysis may reveal an underlying structure of motivational forces that drive our vision of choices and life strategy.

    “reflect an attempt, on the part of the brain, to identify and evaluate novel cortical associations in the light of emotions mediated by limbic structures activated during REM.” In other words, the brain is trying to interlink our experiences of the world with our emotional drives”. [7]

    Dreams may be a tool for the brain to explore situations that are hypothetical in an abstract way to refine strategies for future action. The images in dreams could be a result of the sense making program that processes signals that are generated by internal systems of motivation that are not constrained by any sensory input.

    In simple terms, the imagery of dreams could the brain making sense of the ” test patterns” generated by the brain.

    Reference

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    Nena Tenacity

    Nena is passionate about writing. She shares her everyday health and lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

    Here Are 30+ Easy High Fibre Breakfast Ideas You Can Try At Home A Wholesome Diet Is What You Need to Gain Happiness: 30 Natural Low-Carb Foods 10 Best Healthy Snacks That Even Gym People Eat When They’re Hungry! Want A Quick Yet Healthy Breakfast? Avocado Toast Is Your New Breakfast Idea Want To Look Younger And Be Healthier? Acai Berry Is Your New Breakfast Idea!

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    Last Updated on March 17, 2020

    4 Simple Ways to Make Boring Work Become Interesting

    4 Simple Ways to Make Boring Work Become Interesting

    Are you bored at work right now?

    Sitting at your desk, wishing you could be anywhere other than here, doing anything else…?

    You’re not alone.

    Even when you have a job you love, it’s easy to get bored. And if your job isn’t something you’re passionate about, it’s even easier for boredom to creep in.

    Did you know it’s actually possible to make any job more interesting?

    That’s right.

    Whether it’s data entry or shelf stacking, even the most mind-numbing of jobs can be made more fun.

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    Understanding the science behind boredom is the first step to beating it.

    Read on to learn the truth about boredom, and what you can do to stop feeling bored at work for good.

    VIDEO SUMMARY

    I’m bored – as you’re watching the same film over and over again, even though it’s your favorite one

    When you experience something new, your brain releases opioids – chemicals which make you feel good. [1]

    It’s the feeling you might get when you taste a new food for the first time, watch a cool new film, or meet a new person.

    However, the next time you have the same experience, the brain processes it in a different way, without releasing so many feel-good chemicals.

    That’s why you won’t get the same thrill when you eat that delicious meal for the tenth time, rewatch that film again, or spend time with the same friend.

    So, in a nutshell, we get bored when we aren’t having any new experiences.

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    Now, new experiences don’t have to be huge life changes – they could be as simple as taking a different route to work, or picking a different sandwich shop for lunch.

    We’re going to apply this theory to your boring job.

    Keep reading find out how to make subtle changes to the way you work to defeat boredom and have more fun.

    Your work can be much more interesting if you learn these little tricks.

    Ready to learn how to stop feeling so bored at work?

    We’ve listed some simple suggestions below – you can start implementing these right now.

    Let’s do this.

    Make routine tasks more interesting by adding something new

    Sometimes one new element is all it takes to turn routine tasks from dull to interesting.

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    Maybe there’s a long drive you have to make every single week. You get so bored, going the same old route to make the same old deliveries.

    Why not make it a routine to create a playlist of new music each Sunday, to listen to on your boring drive during the week?

    Just like that, something you dread can be turned into the highlight of your day.

    For other routine tasks, you could try setting a timer and trying to beat your record, moving to a new location to complete the task, or trying out a new technique for getting the work done – you might even improve your productivity, too.

    Combine repetitive tasks to get them out of the way

    Certain tasks are difficult to make interesting, no matter how hard you try.

    Get these yawn-inducing chores out of the way ASAP by combining them into one quick, focused batch.

    For example, if you hate listening to meeting recordings, and dislike tidying your desk, do them both at the same time. You’ll halve the time you spend bored out of your mind, and can move onto more interesting tasks as soon as you’re done.

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    Break large tasks into small pieces and plan breaks between them

    Feeling overwhelmed can lead you to procrastinate and get bored. Try breaking up large tasks into lots of small pieces to keep things manageable and fun.

    Try breaking up a 10,000 word report into 1000-word sections. Reward yourself at the end of each section, and you’ll get 10 mini mood boosts, instead of just one at the end.

    You can also plan short breaks between each section, which will help to prevent boredom and keep you focused.

    Give yourself regular rewards, it can be anything that makes you feel good

    Make sure you reward yourself for achievements, even if they feel small.

    Rewards could include:

    • Eating your favourite snack.
    • Taking a walk in a natural area.
    • Spending a few minutes on a fun online game.
    • Buying yourself a small treat.
    • Visiting a new place.
    • Spending time on a favourite hobby.

    Your brain will come to associate work with fun rewards, and you’ll soon feel less bored and more motivated.

    Boredom doesn’t have to be a fact of life.

    Make your working life feel a thousand times more fun by following the simple tips above.

    Reference

    [1] Psychology Today: Why People Get Bored

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