Our fears are a main source of influence in the content of our dreams. One main example of this is the fear of death. We may fear the death of our mother, for example, as she is gravely ill and hasn’t been doing so well. We may go to bed and dream she has died. This is a perfectly normal thing. We could dream the death with her in hospital, on a bed with doctors surrounding her and someone apologizing that she had passed away. Our memory of this dream can be very good, extremely vivid and unnerving. Then we encounter this situation in reality and find it “eerily” similar to our dream. This is not because we are prophetic, we find it similar because we are very memory driven animals and thus we will remember as we like (also the areas of the brain that deals with memory are very close and often the same as the ones that do our dreaming). Although many people get quite upset at the thought of death, the fact is that we know its going to happen. Thus it is easy for us to imagine it happening. Therefor as we can imagine it, we can just as easily dream it. We can just as easily come to believe we somehow cause the death to happen, simply by dreaming it. Irrational this may be it is a perfectly normal thought to have, just as thinking we may have predicted our mothers death.
The basic reason for we have the fear dream is our psychology is set up to “prepare” us for things we know will one day happen. We have, to a certain extent, evolved this ability as a side effect of both our intelligence and our need to practice our life’s events. In our dreams we can practice for events without generally coming to physical harm or any real-life consequences. Thus everything we can fear, we can have “Fear dreams” about. We fear all sorts of both rational and non rational things and these things will appear in our dreams in situations we are both likely and unlikely to encounter them.
We are most likely to have fear dreams when we are thinking, or are preoccupied with our fear for a significant proportion of the day, or when our mind remembers an event involving the fear induced situation before or during sleep.
Fearing something does not make it bad. That is a vital step in getting to know why your dreams contain your worst fears. Fear is a relatively healthy thing, without it we would make rash decisions, do things that could kill us more easily and probably die as a consequence (at some point anyway). It is when a fear becomes controlling or irrational that we need to seek help with this sort of dream. If you find your fear controlling, that it interrupts your life, that you try your hardest to avoid it then you should seek profession psychological help. Dreamwork may be a way of working with this fear but it should on no account be the only means to concur fear.
One easy ways of doing dreamwork with a fear is to: Create the fear as a dream sign. If you are already a Lucid Dreamer, you know how to create a dream sign, if you are not the process is realtivly easy.
a) Write five situations you encounter this fear
b) Write five situations were it would be non-logical to encounter this fear
c) When you see either, say “I am in reality” and do a dream check (i.e. pinch yourself, block your nose or check your watch or a clock twice, choose only one).
d) Continue this for as long as it takes for the dream sign to appear in your dream, when you are in your dream do your dream check you should notice you are dreaming. Then you can use this time to “practice” getting over your fear. You can’t get physically hurt in this dream and thus you can do anything you can imagine to your fear. Make it shrink, erase it with a magic word, or even just talk to it and ask it to leave you. If you are unsuccessful you can try again as often as you can.
Of course with more irrational fears and even some rational fears its very hard to deal with in this simplistic way. Fears that almost everyone has, like not being able to find a toilet, are commonplace and its difficult to be rid of. Another fear, of not being able to deal with your fears in your dreamwork can even develop, and this is something one can easily see getting very introspective. This is why seeking professional psychological help with major fears is essential. A dreamwork method is one that can help, but you need to deal with your fears in other ways as eventually you have to stop practicing and start actualizing.