Peace of mind induces more positive dreams
27 Aug 2018, 01:01 ( 2 Months ago) | updated: 27 Aug 2018, 10:57 ( 2 Months ago)
People with more peace of mind in the waking state have more positive dreams, whereas those with more anxiety in the waking state have more negative dreams, found a study conducted by researchers from the University of Turku, Finland and the University of Skövde, Sweden.
This means dream experiences, as revealed in recalled and reported dreams, may reflect a person’s mental health, said a press release issued by Turku University.
It has long been assumed that the content of dreams can tell something about the person’s wellbeing.
However, so far dream researchers have mostly studied the dreams of people suffering from various disorders and very little is known about the positive side of wellbeing.
Wellbeing researchers, on the other hand, have specifically studied happiness, but have neglected an important aspect of wellbeing – peace of mind.
“We wanted to address these important gaps in both dream and wellbeing research and to study how dream emotions are related to not only different aspects of waking ill-being, but also to different aspects of waking wellbeing, including peace of mind. In fact, this is the first study to look at how peace of mind relates to dream content,” said Pilleriin Sikka, a doctoral candidate in psychology at the University of Turku and a lecturer in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Skövde. Sikka is the lead author of the research article published in the Nature group’s journal Scientific Reports.
“Peace of mind is a state of inner peace and harmony, a more complex and durable state of wellbeing traditionally associated with happiness in the Eastern cultures,” Sikka added.
“Even though it has rarely been directly measured in studies of wellbeing, in several philosophical traditions and spiritual approaches, peace of mind has always been regarded as central to human flourishing,” said co-author Antti Revonsuo, professor of psychology at the University of Turku and professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University of Skövde.
The researchers asked healthy participants to fill in a questionnaire that measured their waking ill-being and wellbeing. Then, during the following three weeks the participants kept a daily dream diary in which, every morning upon awakening, they reported all their dreams and rated the emotions they experienced in those dreams.
Results showed that individuals with higher levels of peace of mind reported more positive dream emotions, whereas those with higher levels of anxiety reported more negative dream emotions.