In today’s Dear Chris column, the question is asked: How can I stop my nightmares? Is there some way to avoid them, or make them less frightening?
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I am a freshman at a respected university in the northeast. However, I’m having trouble with my coursework and lectures, since I’m always so exhausted and tired.
The reason I’m so drained of energy is that I’m having nightmares, night after night. Maybe it’s not every single night, but I would say it’s at least four or five times a week. So it really affects my schoolwork and also my life in general.
As for my Law of Attraction practices, I have been trying to do the typical Abraham-Hicks type of meditation, in order to avoid all thoughts, and thereby also avoiding all negative thoughts. But I can’t get that to work either.
You see, in the morning I am so shaken up by my nightmares (which I can remember after I have woken up), that I really cannot do my meditations in the morning. I’m too emotional at that time. So I am now doing them in the early evening instead. But then I am tired from all the schoolwork, so that’s not working either.
So how shall I deal with all of this? Is there a way to stop my nightmares? Or at least make them less frightening?
“Brenda” (Providence, Rhode Island)
Thank you for your question.
First, before we begin, I do want to remind you that every person’s situation in life is unique. So since your description of your situation is very concise, I may not be fully aware of all the details of your life, or of the complete extent of your “practices and processes”, whether suggested by Abraham-Hicks, or some other school of thought.
That means that my evaluation might be somewhat less than ideal, since it cannot be fully “complete”. Nevertheless, I still hope that some of my “philosophical ideas” and “practical points” below will be of some assistance to you.
Note especially that these “philosophical ideas” and “practical points” do not constitute professional counseling advice. You yourself have to make sure to evaluate my ideas, according your own complete situation and circumstances. And you yourself also have to decide, on your own, what to do about these “philosophical ideas” and “practical points” that I am offering here.
Start by Relaxing
I do understand the kind of stress that you are in. Being in your first year of university studies is certainly not “easy” in terms of course load and homework, etc. I know, from my own experience, that it can be a “rough ride” to get everything done in time.
Another thing that is involved in this issue is the idea of “competition” and “excellence”. So it’s not just “coursework” and the time and effort it takes to complete it. It is also the “need to succeed” in terms of getting the best grades possible (“Demand” from parents? Competition from fellow students?).
However, let’s give such thoughts a rest, for now.
So the first thing we are going to do is to relax. Everything is okay, right here, right now. We are where we are, and that’s perfectly fine. And from here, we can now start reversing our negative thoughts gradually, until we reach a more positive state of affairs.
And, yes, you have seen new contrast at school (Step 1), and you have experienced new contrast in your dreams (Step 1), but that’s all right. For now you are clearer about what you do want. So let’s move on!
What are Dreams?
The first question we can ask is this: What are dreams, exactly?
Well, dreams are manifestations that originate from our “thought-climate” when we are not dreaming. Thus, Abraham-Hicks say (in their Ask and It is Given, p. 196):
“Your dream is a manifestation of what you have been thinking during your awake state.”
So the idea is this. If your average emotional “mood” during the day is positive, then you will typically not have nightmares; instead you will have good-feeling dreams.
But if your average emotional “mood” during the day is negative, then it is likely that you may have nightmares.
So the only reason that you are having nightmares is that you, during the daytime, are thinking too negatively, about one or several topic areas (or subject areas). That is all.
The Good Thing About Nightmares
Now the good thing about nightmares is that they are relatively quick to manifest, compared to ordinary gross physical manifestations.
Why is it good that nightmares are quick to manifest? Because then we can use our dreams as a way to “see” where we are at, in terms of future gross physical manifestations.
In other words, since our dreams constitute a perfect litmus test of our future manifestations, we know that we must change our own vibration before it manifests in “real life”.
And the good news is also that it is much easier to change our vibration as long as it is not manifested in “real life”. Thus, Abraham-Hicks say (in The Law of Attraction, p. 53):
“It is much easier to correct the direction of your thoughts when your dream is your indication than it is when a real-life manifestation is your indication.”
And because dreams are quicker to manifest than gross physical manifestations, we do have some time (a week or two? a month or two?) to correct our vibration before it appears before our five senses.
What Not to Do
In order to succeed with changing your negative vibration into a more positive one, there are two things we need to look at: the first thing is that we have to (drastically) lessen our focus on the negative side of things; and the second thing is that we have to increase our focus on the positive side of things.
In the category “what not to do” is therefore any activity that focuses on the negative side of things.
A first thing to bear in mind is that you must stop investigating the concept of “nightmares” (Is there any way to stop nightmares? Are there any pills that work? Can I avoid my nightmares if I eat some special fruits or herbs, or something?).
So all research about that topic must end: you have to stop talking about it, and stop blogging about it, and stop thinking about it, etc.
The more you think about that concept (as well as your own dream experiences), or discuss it, or otherwise focus on it, the likelier it is that you will continue having them.
So one thing you may start doing already now is to never think, or talk, about them as “nightmares”. For the word “nightmares” is such a negatively loaded word (for most people). Just call them “dreams”, instead.
For “dreams” can be either bad or good (while nightmares are mostly bad). So it’s easier to refer to dreams and then gradually “slide” from the thought of a “bad” dream to the thought of a “good” dream.
Thus, when you are doing your self-talk, you can “downplay” or “soften” it:
“Ooops! Did I think about “nightmares”? I just forgot that I don’t use that word anymore. No big deal. But I now just think of them as “dreams” instead. For there are bad dreams, and there are good dreams. And even if I currently experience some bad dreams, dreams come and go. And I do have full control over my dreams, after all. For the better thoughts I think, and the better I feel, during the day, the better my dreams will be. And that is SO wonderful to know!”
What to Do
The general procedure of what to do is two-fold: first try to understand what your dream is telling you; and then, use Abraham-Hicks’s Process #22, Moving Up the Emotional Scale (in Ask and It Is Given, pp. 293-303).
There is much to be said about dreams and how to interpret them, so I cannot do it here in this text. But much of it can be found in Ask and It Is Given, pp. 193-198.
The short version is simply that you have to try to remember the dream as soon as you wake up. And at that time you want to identify the overall feeling you felt, and what your situation was all about.
The situation in the dream may not be identical to the situation that you are fearful of, or feel bad about. But the idea is still to try to interpret what the dream tries to tell you, in terms of your insecurities, fears, and worries.
For example, maybe you are afraid of not “performing” well in school? For if you would not succeed with your studies, the fear might be that you also would be disappointing your parents (who perhaps are paying that ridiculously expensive tuition).
Another fear might be that your potential future lackluster performance might lead to that some of your friends “abandon” you, since you are no longer “good enough” to be with them. Etc.
Now, when you have identified what that negative emotion is mostly about, then it is time for Process 22, which is the process of Moving Up the Emotional Scale.
By applying this process, you can gradually move up your average emotional state from, say, a “medium negative” P2 (anger, blame, etc.), up to a “slightly negative” N1 (irritation, overwhelment, etc.), and then over to a “slightly positive” P1 (hopefulness. optimism, etc.).
So when you have brought yourself up to the N1 level, you should typically get fewer bad dreams than you are experiencing now. And when you have reached the P1 level, you would typically not get any bad dreams at all. Problem solved.
Mastering the art of using the Law of Attraction in a deliberate way may not always be easy. We always have to remember that our success comes gradually, and that an increased joy and happiness always accompany it.
I am hoping that some of these points have been helpful to you, and that you now see some “light in the tunnel” in relation to your dream experiences.
Good luck in your journey towards more pleasing experiences, both in your dream state and in your “normal” life!
Hicks, Esther and Jerry Hicks (2004), Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, Inc. [Link to book]
Hicks, Esther and Jerry Hicks (2006), The Law of Attraction: The Basis of the Teachings of Abraham. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, Inc. [Link to book]
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