8 Things To Do When You Wake Up From Bad Dreams And Feel Horrible

There will be some days that you wake up upset solely because you had bad dreams. These dreams can make you feel bad, angry, hurt, and worried, even if there’s nothing to feel negative about in your waking life. These dreams can feel so real and be so upsetting, that you can’t shake them when you wake up and they can actually start to affect your waking life in a negative way.

For example, if you dream about your partner cheating on you, this can set up the stage for a really bad day with your partner where you mistrust them or feel angry towards them. And they’ve done nothing wrong!

Other examples include:

  • Dreaming about failing an important exam can make you feel anxious and nervous as you take an exam.
  • Dreaming about losing your job can make you feel worried and stressed in real life, and you can act out at work because of it.
  • Dreaming about a loved one passing away can leave you feeling sad and depressed when you wake up.

The fact is that sometimes you are going to wake up and be affected by your dreams, even if they are completely untrue. But you don’t want to let these dreams affect your waking life negatively.

When you wake up feeling upset because of bad dreams, use one of the following tricks to help yourself shake off your bad dream and get back to enjoying your day.

7 Ways To Shake Off Bad Dreams And Feel Better

bad dreams

1. Focus On Gratitude

Usually when you wake up from a bad dream, you are focused on what went wrong and are applying that to your waking life.

For instance, if you wake up from a dream where you were being bullied at work, you may wake up feeling anxious and stressed about going to work.

Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of the dream or how it made you feel, try to focus on the positive things about work and shift how you are feeling about work. There are probably a few things you like about work, so focus on being grateful for those things until you start to release the anxiety from the dream.

Don’t knock this until you try it. Focusing on gratitude can bring you out of the lowest emotion, and it can completely shift your mindset.

2. Write It Out

Writing out your bad dream in your dream journal can help you process it and let go of any lingering emotions.

Start by writing down what happened in the dream and then write out how it made you feel both in the dream and after you woke up.

Then ask yourself why it’s affected you so negatively. This can help you understand why the dream affected you so much and find ways to allow yourself to let go of any negative emotions attached to it.

You may want to counteract any negative beliefs that come from the dreams with more positive beliefs.

For instance, if you had a dream that your partner cheated on you and you can’t shake the anger from it, counteract it with more positive beliefs, such as ‘My partner has always been good to me’ or ‘My partner has never given me a reason not to trust them’. You can expand on these ideas as you write and soon you will feel better because this writing activity will help you shift from negative to positive thinking.

3. Practice Mindfulness

When you wake up feeling upset from a bad dream, your mind may still be racing with thoughts about the dream. In other words, you may be stuck in that dream with those deep emotions.

Practicing mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing or meditation can help to calm your mind and bring you back to the present moment. This will allow you to detach from any negative emotions you experienced in the dream and get on to better emotions.

4. Talk About It

If you feel comfortable, discussing your bad dreams with someone else can help you process them and understand why they may be affecting you so much. This could be a trusted friend, family member, or therapist.

Talking about your dreams can also help you gain a different perspective and realize that they may not be as significant as they seemed when you woke up.

5. Engage In An Activity That Requires Your Focus

Sometimes, a busy mind can help you shift your focus from your bad dreams and get unstuck from the fear, hurt, or anger that they cause.

Engaging in an activity that requires a lot of your attention, such as exercising, reading, or cooking can help redirect your thoughts and focus on something positive. This can also help to release any tension or emotions built up from the bad dream.

6. Prove Your Dream Wrong

If your bad dream involved a scenario that made you upset or angry, prove it wrong in your waking life.

For example, if you had a dream that your partner cheated on you, and it left you feeling hurt and insecure, remind yourself of the love and trust in your real-life relationship by interacting with them in a positive way.

You may even want to back through your calendar and prove to yourself that your partner never has time away that’s unaccounted for where they could cheat. This can help to alleviate any residual negative emotions from the dream.

7. Learn The Lesson

Sometime we have really bad dreams because we really need to learn a lesson, and the bad dreams ensure that we pay attention to the problem and what we need to learn.

For instance, if you have a bad dream where you end up working at an old job that you hate, you can wake up feeling worried about what you are currently doing and whether or not it is going to work out. You may worry that you are going to have to go back to your old job eventually and spend the rest of your life doing something you absolutely dread doing.

This dream can leave you feeling hopeless about your current work and worried that things are all going to fall apart.

However, there may be a lesson in this dream that is worth noting.

For instance, maybe you ARE worrying too much about not succeeding in your current job and need to work on your beliefs around your abilities in it. Or maybe you need to improve a skill. Or maybe this dream is telling you to stop slacking off at work before it’s too late.

In short, quite often there is a lesson to be learned from a bad dream that you can’t shake off. Usually, it’s about your current beliefs, mindset, or behaviors.

Don’t Live In The State That Your Bad Dreams Cause

Bad dreams are not fun to wake up from, but they don’t have to ruin your entire day. By using one of the above 7 tips, you can feel better after a night of bad dreams and move on with your day in a positive way.

Remember that bad dreams often serve as indicators of our inner thoughts and emotions, so take the time to reflect on what your dream may be trying to tell you. Don’t live in the negative state that your bad dreams may cause, but instead use them as a learning opportunity to improve and grow.

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