Saturday, May 21, 2011

Scary Hair Dreams: What They Mean and What You Can Do To Change Them

It's 4 a.m. and you just awoke with a start. You had that dream again - the one where you went to run your fingers through your hair but the length seemed to have vanished. You hurried over to a mirror only to see that every last strand had been mysteriously shorn off. All those years of caring for and growing your beautiful long hair were stripped away. Your reaction was one of panic, remorse, even anger. Then you woke up and felt relief wash over you. It was only a dream.

If you've ever had a similar dream, you may have been left wondering if it really meant something. Something deep down in your subconscious that reflected your personality, your relationships, or your future. Perhaps the hair itself represented something important in your life. Could suddenly having it cut off might mean you'll be abruptly cutting off a relationship or leaving your job?

According to dream expert Craig Webb, dreams do have meanings and they're usually shaped by cultural and personal beliefs. A dream about having your hair cut may be scary to you because you work hard taking care of it. But to someone else with different goals or values, the same dream might not be scary at all.

"On one level, hair can represent the physical body aspect of one's personal past. On the mental level, the nature of our hair often speaks of the type of thoughts or ideas that we have, as in the metaphor of what comes out of our head. On a mythical level, hair can be a source of strength and especially for men, as in the tale of Samson and Delilah. Another myth, Rapunzel, suggests a connection between hair, beauty, and sexuality, especially for women. Native cultures around the planet generally have different myths entirely and this will definitely affect the nature and meaning of their hair-related dreams," Webb says.

And long hair? "Long hair is viewed by some to represent a certain creative freedom and artistry in our culture, and this will influence what the dream might be speaking about, but people will have individual differences in beliefs."

Hair may represent one of these things to you, or something completely different. Regardless, Webb says that the feelings you had at the time of the dream have a direct link to your feelings when you're awake.

"If your dream is stressful and leaves you feeling panicked, look at where you have the same feelings of stress and panic in your life," Webb says.

It makes sense, then, that if you feel dread and worry during a recurring dream about a hair cutting disaster and you have the same feelings of dread and worry about a relationship ending, the two are most likely related.

The good news for recurring dreams or recurring themes in dreams is that you don't have to continue to experience the same upsetting dream night after night. According to Webb, you can actually "re-script" your dream to have a more positive outcome and your waking life will likely follow suit. In an article about resolving recurring dreams and nightmares, Webb recommends completely relaxing your body, then employing a visualization exercise.

"...Once you’re calm and quiet, mentally visualize or remember the dream... running through as though you were watching a video, except at the point where things begin to turn unpleasant, replace the old ending with the new empowering one you created...and imagine it as vividly as you can."

Make a special point to experience "the new feelings of confidence, freedom and empowerment that your new ending gives you."

Then clearly suggest to yourself that the next time you have the dream it will include your new positive outcome. Making this suggestion over and over to yourself should help you to alter your dreaming experience.

Instead of dreading bad dreams, Webb says you should welcome them as important outlets for your true emotions. You can then use these dreams as opportunities for personal healing.
In other words, once we recognize what our dreams mean to us, we can begin to turn our lives around.

"Our physical senses are turned off while we sleep, putting us on an absolutely different channel," Webb says. "We're free from the physical world when we dream, and that's when we can really achieve personal empowerment."