Emotions in dreams: Anger

 

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A dream image of anger from one of my own dreams: Bull with lightning emanating from his eyes.

 

Emotions in dreams can be a way for the dreamer to act out the feelings that they normally would not express if they were awake. The dream provides a “safe” outlet for these emotions.

However, if the dreamer feels a mix of emotions in their dream, especially if the emotions are contradictory, then it may mean that the conscious and subconscious are in emotional conflict.

Emotions in dreams are integral to the way the brain works i.e. there seems to be a primitive network that links both dreams and emotions. This is why one must focus on the prevalent emotion(s) of a dream in order to derive broader meaning.

Other than reflecting a current way of being emotions can also signal the need for new ways of being. For example, anger can be about the need to stand up for yourself, fear can be about being more assertive, happiness can be about being more serious, or anxiety could suggest the need to be more cautious.

Probably one of the most prevalent emotions in dreams is some form of anger.

Anger in a dream can represent that you are repressing your anger about something or that your unacknowledged anger is causing health problems.

Sometimes in your waking life, you may have the belief that it is not appropriate or safe to express anger. In dreams, you can allow its expression. This can help make it possible for you to be more assertive in your waking life. Perhaps the anger in the dream is suggesting that one stand their ground and become more confident. It can also provide relief for pent-up feelings.

Anger can also show up in a dream when people are shooting at each other or when people or animals are fighting. Another image might include an angry face or many angry faces as in a mob.

C.G. Jung looked at people as though they had two distinctly different spirits: Spirit of the Times (that which you live in culturally and sub-culturally) and the Spirit of the Depths (the soul, or essence of who you are).

Both the sleeping dream and the waking dream present emotional data that speaks to an imbalance in one’s life. For example, it is often said that anger that has not been transcended and dealt with appropriately in one’s waking life can become turned inward and create a feeling of depression. And sometimes this feeling of depression is a call from the Spirit of the Depths that one is becoming too dependent on the Spirit of the Times.

 

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” –Buddha

One may need to trust more in the quietness of their soul than the sound and fury of the outer world.

 

“Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind. Anger will disappear just as soon as thoughts of resentment are forgotten.” –Buddha

The first step when you find that anger has reared its ugly head is to not respond to the provocation i.e. do not respond to anger with anger. Try delaying your response for several seconds (this is like the old “count to ten” method). This will train self-control and give some time to engage the brain. Note that your anger may be an appropriate response to some stimulus but having it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to express it by dumping it on the object of your anger.

Another important step in reducing anger is to treat others with kindness and compassion. This includes those who are not like you or don’t believe what you believe. This also includes those from a different ‘tribe’ i.e. family, neighborhood, village, gang, school, team, city, state, or country.

We are all humans who are trying to survive, feel safe, love and be happy. With few exceptions, mostly by those who have psychological, spiritual, brain, or psycho-social damage, we all make mistakes, want to make a difference and want to feel and be seen as being a good person.

We also share another common trait i.e. we don’t always know the right way to go about it. This is probably due to the fact that none of us came with an instruction manual although many have written down a number of rules and laws designed to give us guidance in this area often with limited success. The why of that limited success is also interesting e.g. the Ten Commandments seem to be a rational behavioral system to follow but how often do people actually follow them and what is it that gets in the way of doing so? That I believe is a discussion for another time.

 

Hint:

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3 thoughts on “Emotions in dreams: Anger

  1. It’s the second time this week I have had the same experience/dream. Or did it happen twice in one night….I can’t distinguish.

    In reality our lights are out as a result of technical issues with the power company. Even though the above, last night we forget to switch the light switches off.

    As such when the lights were restored our bedroom light came on.

    During this time we were asleep.
    However in “my dream” I opened my eyes and there was a pretty smiling lady leaning over me taking a up close pick of me sleeping. When she saw me “awake” she moved back and smiled. Before dissipating…not disappearing. It was like she was “gently vacuumed” back….still smiling

    I was upset and freaked out even though she was smiling and unthreatening. Her “energy” didn’t feel as open as her smile and I felt scared

    It happened twice as though she didn’t finish the first time

    Like

  2. She may represent a part of you that is “dissipating” a part of you that you’ve been ignoring or have not given ‘energy’ to. Any time that affect doesn’t correspond to action e.g. the openness of the smile versus the more closed off of the energy it can represent inner conflict. Also when you notice an incongruency in a dream you might be receiving a message that something in your life is anomalous or discordant. Perhaps you are not telling the truth about something. You might be at variance or in disagreement with some aspect of yourself or the prevailing beliefs of those around you. The dream might also indicate a need on your part to “awaken” to something e.g. to bring something into consciousness that you haven’t been paying enough attention to. Also being ‘asleep’ in a dream suggests that you are not paying attention to some aspect of your life.

    I hope that helps, Bob

    Like

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