Dream Theories: Group Your Dream Emotions and Learn…

Ever wake, overwhelmed by the emotion of what you’re dreaming? We’ve talked about feelings being the link between your sleeping and waking world. But how, exactly, does that happen, and what are we supposed learn from the residue of our fantasies, once we leave them behind?

Sheila English asked those very questions last week when, she interviewed me about Secret Legacy’s release for Blog Talk Radio. She LOVES talking about dream theory and lucid dreaming technique. So, naturally, we spent more time than we should have in the interview sharing our personal experiences. We just couldn’t help ourselves.


We both believe there’s something there, when we close our eyes and escape this reality. We both have experienced the power of that “something” crossing back into our everyday lives. And when you connect with someone who’s felt and believed the unbelievable things that have impacted your life, you don’t pass up the chance to revel ;o)

But where, exactly, does this energy come from? How is it that a dream can be so emotionally consuming and meaningful that it impacts your waking life?

Understanding the details of how some scientists believe this emotional connection works can help you better remember and process your dream work. And the more you know about how your mind’s working for you when you sleep, the more you can do with the wealth of information and emotion it’s helping you deal with.

An important start is to recognize the categories of emotional dreams we tend to have. This gives us a frame of reference for the  powerful places we’re transported to when we sleep. And these places, remember, tell us a lot about the things in our waking lives, and within in us, which inspire them.

Don Kuiken, a Canadian researcher, found peoples’ emotionally intense dreams could impact their lives for days afterwards.


He categorized the emotional content of dreams in five distinct ways:

  • Existential dreams, we’re told, are those where we’re dealing with feelings with separation and loss. These are emotionally distressing experiences that feel very real to the dreamer. They tend to contain strong sensations of sensory awareness (vision, touch and sound), as well as detailed references to the body, as you process the vividness of the emotions that you feel–feelings which often continue into waking, along with the knowledge for many that they were self-aware while they were dreaming. These are the dreams about dying or nearly dying, about losing something important and searching for it (a purse or a wallet), about giving birth or being born, etc.
  • In anxiety dreams, we face what we fear most, and tend to not be able to move while we confront the intense emotions that result. The terror of what we confront can awake us from these visions. Here’s where you’re taking and/or failing an exam, missing a life or death appointment, being chased or falling, etc.
  • Transcendental dreams bring us strong, joyful emotions. These are the magical, thrilling, dreams where we tend to have supernatural powers or can do things we’d never be able to accomplish while awake. The excitement and energy and magnificence of these experiences leave us feeling elevated when we wake. These are fantastical experiences where we often find ourselves flying, these are our “hero” dreams, and these are our sexual dreams ;o)
  • When we have alienation dreams, we’re processing feelings of being rejected. Sad, downhearted emotions fill these visions. But if we’re lucky, we’ll sense these feelings begin to shift while we dream. In fact, you’ll tend to experience a very clear sensation of “movement,” when there are few of any other sensory cues. Anything that makes us feel lost belongs in this category.
  • And, finally, mundane dreams are the once that DON’T  contain these strong cues–and, therefore, don’t offer much emotional benefit for the dreamer. We remember these dreams, but little or no emotions return with the images.

The idea is that once you recognize the type of dream you’ve had, you’re in a better place to deal with not just the emotions that return with you to the waking world, but also the daily challenges that inspired the sleeping world you mind created. We’ll talk more about dream interpretation, but before we get into what you remember seeing in your dreams, the key for understanding their meaning is to first grasp the feelings that your sleeping fantasies bring to you.

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3 Responses to “Dream Theories: Group Your Dream Emotions and Learn…”

  1. A few months ago, I had a dream that was so profound that I woke up in a sweat, heart pounding absolutely terrified. Upon examination of the dream in the light of day, I discovered what it meant – that my kids represented parts of myself and it was about letting go and seeing a situation for what it really was.

    Haven’t had one like that since and they’re few and far between!

  2. Melba says:

    Interesting topic. Will enjoy reading more about this on your website. Currently reading Dark Legacy and looking forward to Secret Legacy.


  3. M.E. Anders says:

    Thanks for the link to your interview. I downloaded it to my iPod for future listening.

    This subject matter brings up various emotions and types of dreams that I typically experience, as a result. I look forward to more on this topic, Anna.

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