Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, Emotional Health, living with chronic illness

Dreaming for Health

Dreaming is something we all do several times a night.  It’s the body’s way of releasing stress and the unconscious’ way of conveying important messages in a non-threatening manner.  Do you pay attention to your dreams?  I had the joy of studying with Jeremy Taylor who has been studying dreams and conducting dream research for over 40 years.  There are two things he repeats in his courses that I think is so pertinent to everyone with a health challenge regarding their dreams.  He states that the goal of dreams is health and wholeness and dreams don’t present information already in your consciousness. 

If the later is true, then what are your dreams trying to tell you?  Have your dreams changed in their intensity, your ability to recall, or in their poignancy since your diagnosis?  Many will say that they don’t dream and we know that’s not true.  The truth is that we dream many times throughout the night.  We dream on average, if you sleep 8 hours a night, four to five times a night.  That’s a lot of dreams that are sending you information, the question is how do you capture that information?

Becoming more cognizant of your dreams can help you unlock your own personal mysteries.  They can answer questions you’re posing about what’s happening within your body, your treatment, or personal and professional relationships (as an example).  Developing your recall skills takes practice.  There are many ways to train yourself to begin remembering your dreams, but the most common is to keep a pad and paper by your bedside and write the dreams or fragments of your dream just as your emerging from sleep.  Being in that state of limbo, that state of awakening keeps the dream fresh in your mind and gives you time to get the dream paper.

If you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness and you’ ve been reluctant to join a support group, consider joining a dream group.  Dream groups can unlock a dream’s potential.  They can provide you with insights you wouldn’t be able to arouse on your own.  It’s a way of sharing your experience without sharing your experience.  The dream group is one more way to open yourself to health and healing and when facing a health challenge isn’t that the number one priority?


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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