The Ultimate Déjà Vu
A recurring dream can be disturbing no matter how many times you have one. Each time a recurring dream takes place it feels as if you’re doing it for the very first time, even though you know you’ve seen, done, and heard the same things before. The reason why recurring dreams behave this way is that they are trying to be helpful, even though that may not be immediately apparent.
In books and movies, there are multiple instances where a character is forced to wake up from a particularly unpleasant or disturbing dream. Their only concern when that happens is when the dream will happen again.
Dreams don’t usually become repetitious, so why do some dreams always seem to invoke the expectation that they’ll eventually come back? The reason is that, even though recurring dreams may be few and far between, they nevertheless leave behind a strong impression.
A recurring dream allows a dreamer to view a problem and its possible solution not just once, but as many times as necessary for the dreamer to solve what’s bothering them. As the dream progresses, you’re able to work through all of your possible options as well as whatever facts about the problem your subconscious was able to file away.
This way a dreamer can work methodically through whatever is bothering them each time the dream decides to make an appearance. Most of our dreams are so disjointed, brief, or confusing that having a recurring dream is often anxiety-inducing.
A recurring dream unfolds like a movie. It has a plot that you can follow easily, interesting characters, and vivid scenery. During the dream you will most often experience extreme fear, anxiety, or sadness. Any emotion like that is sure to carry over after the experience is over and you are out of REM sleep.
We can wake up from a recurring dream with every detail still in place and never realize that we’ve found solutions to some of our more complicated problems. It’s only when a solution isn’t reached or when we continue to ignore the hints given by the dream that the dream becomes recurring. A recurring dream ensures that you can’t just avoid what’s important, proving that recurring dreams happen to be relatively painless ways to face your demons.