Using Dreams To Solve Problems
Are you struggling with a problem? Does the solution elude you like a slippery fish? Is the problem complicated? If the answer is yes, you may want to consult your dreams. That’s because dreams have a way of providing solutions.
If that sounds silly or even a little Wu-Wu, that’s OK. What I am suggesting here is unconventional and not the traditional pathway to problem resolution. But sometimes, we need to call on something different, mainly when there is no clear answer and we aren’t sure what to do.
Dreams and Problem Solving
For centuries, dreams have been used as a tool for insight (Moss, 2009). The ancients believed that when a person dreams, the individual taps into divine energy. New agers refer to this energy as karmic wisdom. Shaman sometimes call it spiritual messaging. Mental health professionals, such as psychologists and counselors, refer to it as the subconscious.
Regardless of the label, it is fair to say that when we dream, we access parts of the brain connected to creativity and new possibilities (Schredl & Erlacher, 2007). My hope in penning this piece is to help you with that “access” part as you stimulate the imagination.
Now before we dive too deep, I want to encourage you to have an open mind. This means putting aside rigid belief systems and granting yourself permission to try something new.
Are you ready? Let’s jump right in.
1. Be Specific About Problem
The more specific you are about your problem, the more likely you are to receive guidance. Examples include: Should I accept a new job offer or Should I give my ex a second chance? Avoid generalizations, such as: What is the meaning of my life or How can I become self-actualized?
2. Write It Down
Once you have identified the problem, it is time to write it down. Doing so will help provide clarity while stimulating the subconscious. If you believe in the law of attraction, you already know that whatever intention you put out into the universe will come back to you in some form. The idea here is to attract an answer.
Some people write a short note about their problem to their dreams, kind of like contacting an old friend. Once written, they tuck the note under their pillow at night.
3. Consult Your Inner Advisor
After focusing on your problem, you will want to set aside a few minutes for mindful meditation. A very powerful way to do this is to consult your inner advisor.
Simply bring your problem to your inner guide and be open to whatever wisdom that may be offered. To help make this activity easier, a video has been embedded below.
4. Start a Journal
Dream imagery often comes to us in fragments. When unlocking what their meaning, you will be looking for symbols and themes. An example of this can be found in this post about the meaning of rats in dreams.
By keeping a journal, you will be able to assess any present patterns, particularly if they are reoccurring. The journal acts as a bridge to your dreamworld and keeps the imagery at the top of the pre-conscious mind.
6. Tap Into Spiritual Guidance
At its core, spiritual guidance is a way of connecting with a higher power. Firmly rooted in eastern and western religious beliefs, spiritual guidance can be thought of as meditation or prayer.
Using this step can yield powerful results. It is critical to keep in mind that wisdom, whatever the source, comes to us while we are awake and while we are asleep. Read this post to learn more about spiritual guidance.
6. Be Patient
Receiving the answer to your problem doesn’t happen according to a schedule. Some people go to bed and immediately wake up with a “knowing” about how to proceed.
Others, however, find that getting to the answer takes time. Don’t get frustrated. As you become more skilled at dreamwork, the responses will come quicker.
7. Trust It Will Happen
The final step in using your dreams to get answers to your problems is simply trusting in the process. This is easier said than done. Some people find that repeating an affirmation, like – The answer will soon be revealed – to be helpful.
Is this a form of auto-suggestion? Perhaps. Or maybe it is a way of projecting your intention outward and being open to whatever wisdom is returned.
Some of the most creative people on the planet use dreams to tap into creativity, logic, and problem-solving. When we focus too much on an issue in our waking states, it can cause us to feel paralyzed and gripped with indecision.
But when we trust in ourselves and our ability to lean into the subconscious, new beginnings are possible. What are your dreams trying to tell you? Have you tried to make meaning out of what they mean?
Read more about what dreams mean here.
Moss, R. (2009). The secret history of dreaming. Novato, CA: New World Library .
Schredl, M., & Erlacher, D. (2007). Self-Reported Effects of Dreams on Waking-Life Creativity: An Empirical Study. The Journal of Psychology, 35-46.