It seems to me that everyone suffers from anxiety nowadays.
Think you don’t? You should probably take some time and wonder about that.
I had a dream the other night about going back to school.
Being in school and having to take a big test you didn’t study for, or being at school at the end of the semester and having no idea where your classroom is, or the one about standing up in the classroom only to discover you’re naked, are very common dreams.
Supposedly, they indicate anxiety over a situation you need to change. A need to mature or a fear you need to address.
My back to school dream was not like that.
We had rented an apartment across the street from the bus stop. I was petrified I’d miss the bus, be late for school, not find my classroom, and fail. (Sounds like a typical school dream, right? Stay with me here…) My rational brain was telling me, look out the window. You’ll see the bus coming. You can cross the street in time to board. And, my very smart and logical mind continued, even if you miss one, the stop is right there! You will catch the next one. But, if you’re truly concerned, it continued, cross the street now and wait.
So I did. Because not only do I suffer from anxiety, I’m also chronically prompt.
At the bus stop with a bunch of other students, all much younger than me (of course), the sense of nervousness was palpable. Because, you know, back to school.
The bus comes, we all board. The bus in the dream is huge. Double wide with rows of seats up both sides and center seating, too. Plenty of room. And the best part? Bus puppies.
Yes, that’s right–soft, fluffy, adoring dogs. In my dream, there were five or six strays riding with us. Mutts of mixed breeds in various sizes wandered the aisles receiving passing pampering. They plopped down at our feet for easy access stroking. Or hopped onto a seat between us to share the love. They let you pet, cuddle, and hold them on your lap. It was pretty darn cool.
Most everyone with a pet understands the power of puppy love. Even if it’s for a cat. Sometimes getting home to your fur ball is the only thing that gets you through the day.
I think the dream stems from a friend telling me about a Florida State University Psychology Department study that focused on improving relationships through positive associations. They showed married couples a stream of photos of positive things and slipped pictures of their spouse into the scroll. It’s an interesting study, you can read about it here. Looking at cute animals makes you happy. How awesome is that? 😀 There’s a Pavlovian conditioning to other things that are connected with that sense of happiness. Wonder why cat videos are so popular? They make dreary work days palatable, lol, and may actually improve productivity.
In my dream, I never made it to school, but with the help of bus puppies, I woke up relaxed and content. I’m not sure what triggered the school dream in the first place…but that’s an anxiety for another day.
My therapy dogs, Miskey and Jackson. ❤