A terrifying nightmare wakes you up paralyzed. Your eyes snap open, your heart keeps pounding, and you don’t even notice the sweat on your body. You extend your awareness outward, scanning the room for threats.
Slowly, gradually, you relax. It was just a dream. Let me get a glass of water. Bad dreams force us to focus forward.
On the other hand, a pleasant dream wakes you up yawning and restless for more sleep. Eyes tightly shut against the sunlight, you snuggle curl burrow on your side under the blankets.
Concentrating on those last fleeting images, you will yourself back to bed, hopeful.
Which of these do you prefer?
I actually like the bad dream scenario. I like it because we took action after being dealt a poor hand. Since childhood, we’ve trained ourselves to deal with bad dreams. We’ve improved.
Of course, if you frequently get night terrors, this can be seriously disruptive to your sleep. It’s nothing to clap about.
But it’s also disruptive if your dreams are too good every night. Waking to reality might become a disappointment. You might want to go bury yourself in the previous night. In yesterday.
Be careful of this insidious trap. Set safeguards for yourself. We usually can’t choose our dreams. We can choose how we respond.