There has been a surprisingly small amount of research conducted on whether or not pleasant dreams have an effect on our day to day life, however there has been recent study in Scandinavia that has shown a relation between a peaceful mind state and peaceful dreams. The study took a close look at how the emotions that we feel in our dreams are derived from emotions that we feel while we are awake, meaning that people who experience bad emotions in their waking life are more prone to bad dreams and vice versa.
This study gave extra attention to a particular aspect of happiness; a peace of mind, a state of mental and spiritual peace and harmony that is considered to be an important component of happiness in many Eastern cultures. Peace of mind has received very little scientific scrutiny as many people tend to associate it with philosophical and spiritual schools of thought, however, this study about well-being listed peace of mind as an important variable.
The study had its participants fill in a questionnaire to measure their waking well-being and ill-being, after filling out their questionnaires, they were instructed to maintain a dream diary for three weeks in which they would write down their dreams the moment they woke up and rate the emotions that they experienced will in a dream state. After analysis, it became clear that people who had achieved higher well-being scores in the questionnaire had reported generally happy emotions as compared to those who had higher ill-being scores.
The study also revealed that the opposite of peace of mind, anxiety, was one of the leading factors that resulted in people having bad dreams. Another interesting thing that was noted was that many aspects that are usually factored in well-being studies did not show any relation with the content that one experiences in their dreams. This goes to show that peace of mind and anxiety both have some special characteristics that effect one’s dream state.
It was proposed that people who have a better peace of mind tend to have a better grasp on their emotions, not only while they are awake, but also while they are asleep. This allows them to regulate their emotions better while asleep, and the opposite holds true for people who have higher levels of anxiety, they are unable to regulate their emotions while awake and also while asleep.
This study shed light on a number of questions that so far had vague answers, and the researchers are hoping that they would be able to take what they learned and apply it to future studies to find out even more about our ability to control our emotions. Further studies could help us get a better understanding of how self-control works and what factors affect each person’s ability to control themselves. With enough research, we might eventually be able to figure out what practices can lead to an improvement in one’s self-control.