UNITED STATES—As of late, I have been encountering some nightmares that have been a bit triggering for me and not in the best way people. I spent plenty of time as an undergraduate heavily studying the impact and power of nightmares as a psychology student. I was always fascinated by the mind and how it operates. I’m a big proponent that there is a complete difference between a nightmare and a dream. To me dreams tend to be signs of things we want to have happen. They are positive and bring a smile or bit of joy to our lives.

On the flipside you have nightmares, and those are the things that tend to be negative, unnerve us and tend to be the result of something that is heavily on our mind. That is the one thing I learned as a psychology student, just the mere thinking about a particular topic or issue for a few seconds can trigger a dream or nightmare that night or in the coming days.

The brain is a complicated organ people, as much as it has been studied we still don’t fully understand how it functions fully, especially when it comes to the world of sleep. We know while the body may be at rest, the brain, not so much people. So have you had any nightmares as of late? If so you’re probably thinking to yourself, why now. That is something that I have been thinking because the past week I have had some triggering nightmares when it comes to my creative energy.

Cinema is so potent and important to me that there doesn’t go a day that I don’t think about it. Ideas seep in and seep out in my brain of ways that I can tell a story, where certain elements of that story should reach its peak, what I should eliminate and what I shouldn’t eliminate. You might say these nightmares are good ideas because they are triggering ideas, but the ideas come at the expense of me being stuck in this weird labyrinth where no matter what I do I cannot escape, that is NOT a fun feeling at all people, it really is concerning that I feel trapped and I’m trying to figure out how to escape.

Perhaps the nightmares I’m encountering are saying something bigger like I feel trapped at work, and I’m trying to find a way to escape, but nothing seems to be working. I hadn’t thought about that, but it crept up while I was writing this column letting me know that there may be more forces in play than I expected. Your real life tends to bleed into your sleep, which ultimately impacts your dreams and nightmares. Some for the better, some for the worst, but the key is you don’t always put the puzzle pieces together where they all make sense.

So what can one do to fix that people: the mind! You have to focus on positive things. That may not be as easy as people think, but if you focus your energy on the good and not the bad that will help ensure that negativity stays away from the time your body is sleeping and rejuvenating. A bad night of sleep is not just bad for the psyche, but your overall physical health as it impacts your start of the day. What you do, where you do it, how you do it and who you do it with? Just remember if you’re having the SAME nightmare, night after night, that is a sign that something bigger may be in play and you need to think about WHY it is happening and WHAT can be done to change it.