How To Make the Most of Your Healing Dream

It’s not at all widely talked about, but did you know your dreams can help heal you?

Whether or not you remember them, they can help heal you mentally and emotionally.

That ties into actual physical healing as detailed in books like The Body Keeps the Score

If you remember dreams and work with them, they can do a lot for you.

The phrase “healing dreams” sounds soft, arbitrary, and woo-woo.

Don’t be fooled. There’s a lot of power in them.

What a healing dream can do for you

Stress is a killer and complicator.

Sometimes it’s worse than others.

Death of your husband or wife.

Getting fired from your job or changes at the job resulting in some additional pressure.


Or, if you’re a young person, an unplanned pregnancy or abortion, developing a physical deformity, having your parents die or get divorced, or even separate.

When these and other life events happen, it’s easy to get lost in the details of the situations and not even realize how stressed you are. You can be too busy to even think about how stressed you are.

What is a healing dream?

Definition: A healing dream is any dream that improves your mental state and promotes resiliency to face troubles and problems.

The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale assigns a numerical value to each event. If you reach a score of 300 from a combination of circumstances, there’s an 80 percent chance that you’ll have an emotional breakdown within two years. Your life can spiral out of control.

You don’t have to be anywhere near 300 points on the scale to feel stress. We all have some ability to cope with stress; the scale is good at measuring the intensity and its propensity for overwhelming. Christmas, for example, is worth 12 points on the scale. Deciding what to buy your friends and family for Christmas can cause some consternation, and that adds up, but it’s simply not as potentially overwhelming as facing losing your job, an inability to pay your rent, and subsequent homelessness.

Resiliency is vital at certain times, especially when pressures can overwhelm you.

One thing that can help someone be more resilient is to tap into the power of their healing dreams. Such dreams can come about naturally from your subconscious or be intentional. A healing dream can heighten your resiliency.

Types of healing dreams

Healing dreams can be intricate or simple.

An intricate healing dream will be detailed. It will involve many objects, many people, with lots of things going on. It will try to communicate a message, but it will be wrapped up in a dream with events and several characters (representative of people you know or have known personally in your life, or even whom you’ve encountered in your reading or on TV. Your subconscious will use whatever raw material it can to process thoughts and communicate).

Just because the dream is intricate doesn’t mean that the message isn’t simple.

For example, the point may be made that you need to forgive others more readily to not let your emotions get the best of you. Ostensibly, that point might be easy to grasp; acting on the point isn’t easy to do. One may have to work for years on being more easygoing and more forgiving.

(Use the SOM framework for getting at the root of an intricate healing dream)

The simple healing dream, on the other hand, might be bland—it can be so bland that it’s challenging to remember even if you follow the whole system to a “T.”

Often, there are a few details for your memory to hang on to and file away. For example, in a simple healing dream, you might find yourself in a room where the walls, doors, and windows are blurry and resting within the dream. Or you’ll be in the presence of a force field of light or be in darkness, focusing on some pleasant music, smell, or a feeling of peace and tranquility.

The simple healing dream is giving you a reprieve from the stress and tension. It’s as if you were on a grueling hike, and you put your pack down for a few minutes to drink water and sit down under a shade tree. You rest. Later you can keep going on, completing the hike.

Whether intricate or simple, realize the healing dream is there to help you mentally and emotionally heal. Being aware of the memory of the dream allows you to do heal even more. By becoming aware of the healing potential of your dreamscape, you can gain a new perspective on the events of your life, allowing you to embrace a fresh and positive outlook.

New outlook, fresh perspective

So what? What’s the big deal about a new outlook and a fresh perspective?


How many times have you written something, gone away only to come back and see all of the mistakes you made or several ways to improve it? You see those flaws due to a fresh perspective.

How many times have you been mulling a problem and then been struck by inspiration?

That’s fresh insight.

In the moment, it can be challenging to remember to examine a problem from a different direction or way. When you’re resting or sleeping, you’ve got the time. An ah-ha moment seems to come naturally.

There’s a lot of power in healing dreams, all hidden behind a concept that many people regard as a bit soft and woo-woo sounding. Don’t be fooled by first impressions.

For further reading:

The subtle joy of the strategic dream

The people in your dream represent something—what?

Work with your subconscious to have a guided dream

The guide to finding and listening to sleep music


James Cobb, RN, MSN, is an emergency department nurse and the founder of the Dream Recovery System. His goal is to provide his readers with simple, actionable ways to improve their health and maximize their quality of life. 


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