How I Cope When Vivid Dreams Affect My Anxiety
Have you ever had a really vivid dream that affected your anxiety? Maybe you found yourself overanalyzing the dream the next day. Perhaps it was just a nice dream that you wish would exist in real life, or maybe it was a nightmare that increased anxiety. Whatever the case, vivid dreams can cause us to behave or think differently after we wake up. Read on to learn about how my vivid dreams affect my anxiety and what I am doing to cope.
Vivid Dreams Affect My Anxiety for Various Reasons
While many people forget their dreams after they wake up, I usually remember mine. Part of it might have to do with stress from school and/or work as well as my nighttime rituals. For instance, I often watch Netflix late at night when I should be asleep. Recently, I had a very vivid dream that affected my anxiety after I played a meditation video for sleep. The weird thing about my dreams is that they can be really bad after a good day or even after I watch a pleasant show.
For some reason, there usually seems to be at least one angry person in my dreams. Often times, it is a former boss or coworker. In these dreams, I am either doing something wrong or not working fast enough. When I wake up, I feel guilty or sad. It's possible that some of my vivid dreams create anxiety subconsciously during my work shifts.
Not too long ago, I had a dream that I was back in high school eating lunch with classmates from my past. These people were classmates I had not seen or talked to in years. They were not even part of my actual group of friends. After I woke up from one of these dreams, I went on Facebook. Then I realized that social media must have had something to do with the vivid dream and the way it affected my anxiety. I stumbled upon so many friends' names so many times. Even if I had not looked at their profiles, I remembered them from my past.
How I Cope with Anxiety from Vivid Dreams
I Spend 10 Minutes Recording My Dreams in a Journal
By writing in my journal to record my dreams, I can see if there are any recurring themes. If there are, I can figure out how they might be related to real life. Although this can be helpful for me to learn more about how my subconscious brain works, I do not allow myself to focus on the journal for more than 10 minutes. Setting a 10-minute time limit gives me enough time to learn something and then release anxiety.
I Talk to Someone About my Dreams
Sometimes I tell a friend or family member about my dreams. Often times, I find out that they have had dreams that were just as weird. Even though I feel bad that they have experienced the same thing, I feel less alone. Also, I do not feel so crazy. So I feel less paranoid that something must be wrong with me.
I Write a Story Based on a Good Dream
After a bad dream, the best way for me to distract myself is to think about something pleasant, even if it is just a dream (How to Cope with Nightmares). Thinking about a good dream leads to good ideas for stories. If I remember every detail from a dream, I might just relive it in my head and write it down exactly as it happened. If I forget parts of the dream or just want to be creative, I include details that I do remember and add to them as I write.
If dreams have affected your anxiety and you have tips on how to cope with it, please share in the comments.
Lueck, M. (2017, November 12). How I Cope When Vivid Dreams Affect My Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, July 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/toughtimes/2017/11/how-i-cope-when-vivid-dreams-increase-my-anxiety