Is Life Better than Dreams?

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Perhaps it’s simply the impact of being sleep deprived. And feeling like I never get enough shut eye. But there are times when my dreams are so vivid and feel so familiar that I don’t want to wake up. When I do, I feel a keen sense of loss at what I’m leaving behind. Usually it’s not the actual environment or what has happened in the dream that I regret leaving. It’s the emotions I’m feeling before I’m wrenched awake. When this happens, I’m not only left with the dissatisfaction of those feelings disappearing. But also wondering what it means for my life. Are my dreams better than my reality? And what does that mean?

For 10 Tips to Unlock a Good Night’s Sleep read here.

For Your 6 Stage Sleep Routine to Maximize Sleep Quality read here.

What Do These Dreams Mean?

You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams

Dr Seuss

This quote always comes to mind. If I don’t want to leave my dreams behind. What does that say about my life? Is this something that I should be worried about? Because, when I awake and that feeling of dissatisfaction and loss sets in, there seems to be one simple solution. Daydreaming. Cling on to whatever remnants of the dream remain. And try to recreate it whilst I’m awake. Whilst this may seem like a solution on paper. I know it’s not for two reasons.

Firstly, living in dreams does know one any good. We can sustain living in a fantasy world. It’s not healthy for us long term. Although I am an advocate for a short term daydream. It’s a wonderful form of escapism. But we do need to live in the real world. Secondly, it’s almost impossible to authentically recreate emotions. They’re either there or they’re not. Real or false. So, as a coping strategy trying to prolong the dream in waking hours doesn’t work.

But, going back to my original question, is my life so awful I need to escape into dreams? What exactly is going on here?

Dream Your Reality

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

It has occurred to me that these dreams are a litmus test for how my life is going. They’re not an indicator that my life is awful. It’s not. I’m am exceedingly lucky for my lot in life. Rather, they’re throwing into stark relief what I feel my life is missing. These emotions I so wish to cling to, are, perhaps, ones that are lacking in my own life. Whilst this hypothesis started as a kernel of a thought. It has blossomed the more I noticed that the dreams I never wanted to wake up from had a common theme. Those emotions which I so desired and enjoyed experiencing.

With this in mind, it occurs to me that the solution is not daydreaming. But in fact the opposite. I shouldn’t try and synthetically recreate these emotions in my mind. But rather try and seek them out in my reality. My dreams are a roadmap for what I want more of in my life. The goals that I should be working towards. Rather than settling for second best in my dreams.

For 4 Ways to Check In with Your Mental Health read here.

Of course, to achieve this I have had to think critically about what these exact emotions are. And where I will find them. For me, I think it lies in the quality, rather than quantity, of my relationships. As well as hinting at unresolved difficult relationships in my past. For you, if you agree with my hypothesis, it may be completely different. But I think our dreams point us in the direction of the life we only ever dreamed of has traction. And after all, in the words of Theodore Herzl “if you will it, it is no dream”.

What are your thoughts on dreams? Can we authentically recreate them? Do they tell us something about our lives? Are dreams, in fact, a teachable moment? Let us know below!

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2 thoughts on “Is Life Better than Dreams?

  1. I think dreams are just a way for our subconscious mind to sort through out day/thoughts/worries, etc. I often find mine are linked to something I experienced, saw or have been thinking about so, for me, dreams are there to help us learn something or reveal something to us. I don’t want to live in them as sometimes they can be stress/worry related and those are vivid and often quite frightening. No matter the content though, they are trying to guide, highlight or teach or just help me figure out my own feelings about something.

    1. Thanks Molly. I also find that often my dreams have links to something that’s on my mind or has happened that day. I think it’s fascinating!

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