Dream Interpretation: Why Do We Dream?

The brain receives stimuli from many different sources
all day long. There are far too many stimuli for it to
process. The mind prioritizes the stimuli and makes you
aware of those that need immediate attention (the crying
baby, the out-of-control car, your boss’ request) so that you
may act accordingly.

The stimuli that you are not consciously aware of are
nevertheless noted by the brain, but on a subconscious level
(the drip of the bathroom water faucet, the remark by a
coworker at the water cooler while you were on the

Furthermore, you feel emotions all day. Some you
acknowledge and act on (you say thank you and smile when
you are complimented.) Some you repress or do not allow
yourself to act on (you don’t punch your boss in the nose
when he tells you the report you worked on for a week is no
longer needed.)

Traumatic experiences occur that you face (you call the
police) or if it too painful, you deny them happening and
send them deep into your subconscious (repression.)

In addition to all these emotions and stimuli the brain
must process daily, it also keeps your body functioning; it
remembers names and faces; it allows you to talk and walk
and chew gum (sometimes all at the same time); and
performs numerous other activities that you take for

You must admit — that’s a lot to do. At night, when
your body must rest, the mind continues working. When no
longer called upon to type letters and do the grocery
shopping, the brain concentrates on processing all of those
subconscious stimuli and emotions (while still maintaining
body temperature and breathing, etc.)

This is why we dream. Only you are not awake to
receive the signals at a conscious level — you can not hear
or see or touch (at a conscious level) while you are sleeping.
The brain must resort to other means to get the signals
through to your conscious mind. This is why we dream the
way we do.

The mind uses everything at its disposal (which is
everything it has ever been exposed to) to get the message
across. Simply put, dreaming is the minds way of
processing all of the stimuli and emotions it has received
during the day or repressed over time, so that you may act
on them.

All in all, it’s a pretty neat system. But unless you are
remembering and making sense of your dreams, you are
missing out on countless opportunities to learn about
yourself and experience life to its fullest.

Even though we’ve addressed it before, it bears
repeating. Why should you try and remember your dreams?

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