That feeling of waking up in a sweat because you just dreamed that you or someone you love died. We’ve all been there. The dread that washes over you in your waking state, wondering if that was a bad omen or just a reminder that you probably shouldn’t drink a bottle of wine before bed. Whatever it is, death dreams can’t be a good thing, right?
If you ask experts, they would say that death dreams can actually be beneficial, explaining that they’re simply our brain’s way of working through daily stressors.
Dream analyst and former scientist Jane Teresa Anderson tells News Corp that death dreams are common during the holidays because people have more time to sleep and, thus, dream. It’s also a time when people feel pressure to better themselves.
We all get to new year and we say “oh, my New Year’s resolution is to stop this … I’m going to put an end to this …” Sometimes our dreams can be our unconscious response to what we’ve decided to kill off or put an end to in our life.
For some, the holidays are also a time of conflict, grief, anxiety, relationship breakdowns or change, which can also lead to some wonky subconscious thoughts that manifest in our dreams.
When it comes to seeing your own self dead in a dream, Anderson said it’s usually symbolic of a positive major life change.
“Death dreams have a theme of what is ending, what’s changing in your life … This ending is the start of a new beginning,” she told News Corp.
It’s really important to say that most deaths we might dream of are probably positive, in order to move onto new things we have to let go of old things.
Psychotherapist Jeffrey Sumber said that dreams are a “safe place” for us to deal with emotions and/or resolve anxieties. “Dreams also allow us to process information or events that may be painful or confusing in an environment that is at once emotionally real but physically unreal,” he said.
But while you may have the urge to tell the person you saw die in a dream about your experience, it’s probably best to hold off. Anderson says it’s best to give them the “logical explanation” of your dream instead of the morbid details.
“Share it with friends and people who are skilled in understanding or share it with a dream therapist,” she said. “I wouldn’t go straight to the person as it does freak them out.”