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Many of us have had recurring and disturbing nightmares that are difficult to comprehend. Now, research has discovered these dreams are a reflection of our daily struggles. In particular, feeling of lack independence, incompetence or being misunderstood can trigger nightmares, scientists claim.
These feelings suggest that a person's 'basic psychological needs' are not being met, and nightmares occur when we haven't processed these emotions properly.
A number of recurring themes seem to crop up during disturbing dreams. These may include being trapped, chased or attacked, or failing at an important task.
Previous research has identified what some of these dreams might mean. For instance, people who are frustrated with their daily lives tend to have recurring dreams in which they were falling, failing or being attacked. Those who feel under pressure in real life are more likely to experience a dream in which they are unprepared for something important like an exam.
Falling from a height 梦见从高处坠落
In their latest study on nightmares, Cardiff University found a recurring dream about falling from a height could mean someone feels frustrated in their daily lives.
'We found that people whose recurring dreams were felt to have more negative emotions in them also felt more incompetent, isolated, or pressured by others in their daily life,' Dr Netta Weinstein told MailOnline.
Dr Weinstein said that finding help for challenges in life could help to alleviate recurring dreams.
Dr Weinstein said that recurring dreams in which people experience failure were also common among those who frequently felt frustrated.
Research has previously shown that those who feel under pressure in real life are more likely to experience a dream in which they are unprepared for something important like an exam or a meeting.
'I used to be a teacher, so my typical stress dream was about the whole classroom getting out of control. I would be feeling powerless or helpless to manage a situation,' Margaret Bowater, president of the Dream Network Aotearoa New Zealand, told Stuff.
She said the dream is a metaphor for falling short, possibly falling out of favour, or maybe not living up to the expectations of yourself or others.
Feeling trapped 梦见被困住
Those who feel trapped in their dreams likely feel trapped in real life, Ms Bowater told Stuff.
'A dream is trying to show, or repeat, something back to you,' she said. 'It's usually using concrete imagery for something that is not necessarily a concrete thing to say.'
Being chased or attacked 梦见被追赶或被攻击
Dr Weinstein said frequently being attacked in your dreams may show you are frustrated in your day to day activities.
According to UK dream expert Ian Wallace, being chased or attacked is the most common dream from all around the world, regardless of country, creed or culture.
Being chased by an animal indicates there is an instinctive impulse that you are finding hard to contain in waking life.
When a monster is pursuing you, it reflects that you have a raw and powerful talent but are finding it challenging to evolve and refine it.
If a man, woman or a gang is chasing you, then you have the opportunity to assert a particular talent but may be running away from some of the responsibilities involved in displaying your abilities.
Dreams with negative emotions 带有负面情绪的梦
In Dr Weinstein's new study, she found that people who are frustrated with their lives have dreams with more negative themes that made them frightened, angry or sad.
When asked to interpret their own dreams, they tended to do so using more negative words. Participants whose psychological needs were met were more likely to describe their dreams positively.