Nightmares and anxiety dreams can be a useful tool of self discovery if you are open to them and willing to interpret them. Our usual approach with bad dreams is to focus on the fear and anxiety caused rather than to take a step back and observe. Some of us suffer from chronic nightmares and anxiety dreams that affect our quality of life. We tend to brush them off and try to forget them. If you brush them off they will persist or become worse and more intense.
The first step is to realise that a bad dream is not something that is inflected on us by an outsider or just imaginary but a part of our psyche. We have some kind of fear that should be resolved. It is actually our subconscious trying to get our attention. It is like our subconscious saying “Hey!! Look at me! You have this unresolved issue you need to deal with to move forward with your life!” Bad dreams can be an opportunity for anxiety and trauma resolution or warning signs. We should consider bad dreams as trigger to self-reflect and a warning sign that we should do something about our fears and anxiety. In some cases dreams have served as health warnings.
The key is to understand why are we having a bad dream and to face our fears. For example, dreaming of driving a car with no breaks for someone who is unemployed could be considered a sign that one feels that they have no control over their life. It is for sure not a fear of driving cars with no breaks. Reaching this realisation can only be done through self reflection and acceptance of our fears. Facing our fears is the first step to resolving them.