Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Why We Dream

This makes sense to me;

Dreams seem to help us process emotions by encoding and constructing memories of them. What we see and experience in our dreams might not necessarily be real, but the emotions attached to these experiences certainly are. Our dream stories essentially try to strip the emotion out of a certain experience by creating a memory of it. This way, the emotion itself is no longer active. This mechanism fulfils an important role because when we don’t process our emotions, especially negative ones, this increases personal worry and anxiety. In fact, severe REM sleep-deprivation is increasingly correlated to the development of mental disorders. In short, dreams help regulate traffic on that fragile bridge which connects our experiences with our emotions and memories.

I tend to have more stressful dreams when "real life" is more stressful. I didn't think there was anything out of the ordinary about that, but human beings are designed to be resilient. I think the brain does things that help us stay sane when insane things happen.. especially when somebody close dies.

I guess the phrase "time heals all wounds" is just a poetic way of recognizing the things our own brains do to help keep us sane.

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