Posted by: Jenny Davidow | December 12, 2013

First-Aid for Nightmares

Fortunately, you can influence your dreams, and even your nightmares, to be more positive and satisfying. Your subconscious is receptive to new solutions and ‘re-do’s’ that you can visualize for any dream. Here are some of my favorites.

1. Imagine that you can view your nightmare like a movie, separate from you, on a TV screen. See it in black and white with the sound turned down. Use the remote control to “freeze” the action.  

2. See and feel yourself in the most peaceful, safe, quiet place you can imagine. Experience the comfort of this place with all of your senses. Breathe in the freshness of the air. Notice how the ground feels under your feet. Look around and notice details of this comfortable place.

3. In this safe place, make a drawing of the nightmare “movie” or imagine it on a TV screen again. You see it over there, separate from you. See or sense it in black and white, with no sound. You *don’t* have to feel it again.

4. Write a short description of the “story” that was told on the TV screen and in your nightmare. Instead of writing from your own point of view, write it as if you are just one of the characters in the story. Use your own name, rather than “I.” For example: “Sally” (the dreamer) is …”

5. If you are ready to try, imagine that you can ‘re-do’ your nightmare. This time, exert your own power to fight off dream adversaries, speak out your truth, or invite in helpers and allies who can help you defend yourself. Imagine yourself victorious at the end of the dream.

6. Be a gentle witness to your dream story or movie. Consider that this story may offer some kind of hidden value or message. Regard the emotions you and the other dream characters experience as important clues. Later, these clues will help you to explore the symbols in your dream using Inner Dialogue.*

Translating a Nightmare

Dreams are vital to our well-being – and our sanity – because they help us to learn and evolve. Every night, we can “dream our way forward,” using the deeper part of our intelligence that isn’t available to our conscious mind. Our dream mind puts together creative and brilliant stories every night, to help us discover valuable parts of ourselves. Our deeper wisdom wants us to turn toward parts of us that maybe we’ve forgotten or ignored.

Disturbing dreams and symbols are also valuable parts of our energy – but they’ve been shut away for too long and their energy has become dark and polarized. When we peel away the symbol’s scary wrapping with dreamwork,* underneath it is only energy – our energy – which we can claim and use to bring more balance and awareness into our lives. (See my post, ‘Tidal Wave Dreams, Revisited’ for more)

Dreamwork helps you to translate the metaphor or symbolism of these nightmare themes. Symbol books only give you general interpretations, missing the rich and creative associations and choices present in your unique dreams. Your dream’s message has many layers and is very personalized, drawing from the emotions, responses and varying details of your symbols and dreams.

*Read an excerpt of my book, Embracing Your Subconscious, on my website,

Visit to buy the book or Dream Visualizations CD.

Copyright 2013 by Jenny Davidow.
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