At one time or another we find ourselves having the same dream that we’ve had before. Recurring dreams can be both good dreams as well as nightmares, and we are often puzzled by why we keep dreaming of the same things. Here are three main reasons why we have recurring dreams:
1. Information not processed. Dreams are our minds way of processing information that we are unable to do while we are awake. Our minds work through a variety of subconscious emotions while we sleep, in the form of our dreams. Recurring dreams often happen when this processing of information and emotions is incomplete. Going back to the same dream or dream theme over and over is our minds way of re-visiting a piece of information and continuing to work through it. Sometimes this happens over a short period and other times we can be processing emotions for years.
2. Similar experience from the past. Dreams are a ways that our minds process changes and experiences that are happening in our lives. Major changes such as a breakup, starting a new job, moving cities, etc. are often processed consciously throughout the day as well as subconsciously through our dreams. If we are going through a change or experience in our lives that is similar to an experience that we had in the past, our mind may re-visit the old dream that it had when it was originally processing the experience. Even if we haven’t experienced the same situation in the past, we may be experiencing the same emotions that have been connected to another past situation. The dream may not seem like it has anything to do with the experience, but it could relate back to a time in the past when we were going through similar emotions or changes in our lives.
3. Anxiety not dealt with. When we don’t properly deal with our emotions when we are awake, we leave work for our minds to do as we sleep. If we have stress or anxiety bottled up over a period of time, it can take several dream sessions for our minds to deal with the information. Just as we can’t always solve a problem or deal with an emotion in one sitting while awake, our minds often need multiple dreams to work through anxiety and stress, particularly when those emotions are very strong or we are going through something especially tough.