This article will explain to you the meaning of recurring dreams and why we get such dreams. Later, we’ll look at how to stop having recurring dreams.
Suppose you wanted to send an important email to someone but as soon as you hit the send button, your screen displays, ‘Message not sent. Check your network connection’. You check the connection but it’s fine and so you hit send again.
The same message displays again. In your frustration, you hit send again and again, and again. You desperately want the message delivered.
The same thing happens when you get a recurring dream. There’s something important that your subconscious mind is desperately trying to convey to you but you haven’t got the message yet.
What exactly are recurring dreams?
Recurring dreams are simply dreams that occur again and again. The dream content of recurring dreams includes typical themes such as failing a test, teeth falling out, being chased, missing a ride, etc. A recurring dream can also be specific to a person containing their own unique dream symbols.
This is consistent with the fact that these dreams serve to remind us of some important concern in our life.
What triggers recurring dreams?
Any unresolved issue that you might be having in your psyche, any emotion that you might be suppressing again and again or any future concerns that you may have can translate into a recurring dream.
Recurring dreams and nightmares are common in people who’ve had a traumatic experience in the past.
According to psychologist Carl Jung, the traumatic experience has not yet been ‘integrated’ into their psyche. A recurring dream is just a means to achieve this integration.
Another major reason behind getting a recurring dream is un-interpreted dreams.
Recurring dreams are common because many people don’t know how to interpret their dreams. So their subconscious mind sends them the dream again and again, till the dream is understood or the underlying issue has been resolved, knowingly or unknowingly.
How to stop recurring dreams and nightmares
The best way to end recurring dreams and nightmares is to learn dream interpretation. Once you understand the message your recurring dreams are trying to send you, they’ll end on their own.
However, it’s important that you act on the message and resolve the issue as soon as you can. Even if you understand the message but don’t act on it the recurring dream may resurface.
Stopping recurring dreams examples
If a recurring dream is currently bothering you, the following examples will give you insights to help you understand them and get rid of them:
Stacy had this recurring dream of being lost on a desolate island. On careful examination, she noticed that this dream had started about a year ago when she broke up with her boyfriend.
She understood that this dream was nothing but a reflection of her fear of being single and lonely. When she found a new relationship partner a couple of weeks ago, her recurring dream ended.
Kevin had this recurring dream in which he was falling off the edge of a huge cliff. He had recently quit his job and started a business. He had doubts about this new business and didn’t know where it was going to take him.
The recurring dream represented his anxiety about the future of this new business. As soon as he started seeing success in the business, his recurring dream disappeared.
Hamid, a medical student, had a crush on this girl who was her classmate. He never expressed his feelings to her and didn’t tell anyone about it, including his closest friends. He saw the girl repeatedly in his dreams.
This recurring dream enabled him to express the emotions that he had toward the girl. The recurring dream ended when he left medical school and his emotions for her faded away.
Same problem, different causes
Sometimes, even if we have knowingly or unknowingly eliminated the root cause behind a recurrent dream, it can still resurface. It’s because the same problem appears again in our life but with a different cause.
For instance, there’s this famous case of a guy who had a recurrent dream in which he was unable to speak. He had this recurrent dream throughout his adolescence and right up to his college.
The reason behind the dream was that he was very shy and so found difficulty in communicating with others.
When he joined college he overcame his shyness and the recurring dream stopped.
After graduating, he moved to a new country and found difficulty in communicating with people there because they spoke a different language. At this point, the recurring dream of not being able to speak resurfaced.
The problem was the same- difficulty in communicating with others- but this time the cause was not shyness but an inability to speak a foreign language.
Now, what do you think would’ve happened if this guy learned that foreign language or got himself a translator or moved back and found a job in his native country?
Of course, his recurring dream would end.
Hi, I’m Hanan Parvez (MBA, MA Psychology), founder and author of PsychMechanics. I’ve written 280+ articles and published one book about human behavior on this blog that has garnered over 3 million views. PsychMechanics has been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, Reader’s Digest, and Entrepreneur.