If you were to boil all negative emotions down, you would find fear at the root in nearly every case. If something is unknown or not classified as good, it tends to go hand in hand with fear. We seek stasis, while life leads us to move beyond our tendency to hold to the familiar. Every plant and animal on the earth has outlasted a struggle for existence that is three and a half billion years old. Driven toward survival, overcoming fear is never second nature.
Fear and anxiety fund a large portion of what we dream. Why? Because we spend all of our lives trying to control the outcome. Change is the enemy unless we are the one orchestrating it. Dreams seem to push us beyond our need for control because growth is always easier when we are fearless.
Dreams are a safe environment to explore insecurities and fears. In fact, the vast majority of dreams involve some type of conflict. Dreaming allows difficulties we are facing to be 'acted out' through symbolism. Much inner shifting and growth occurs even while we are not remembering our dreams. When facing crisis, we are told to 'sleep on it.' When we wake up the situation always looks different. This is because much processing goes on in the dream state. Fear too, is diminished in this way.
When you wake up remembering the dream or feel afraid, you carry the strangeness of the dream back into consciousness. Often the bizarre symbols will stay with you as you explore its possible meaning. Dreaming specifically arouses emotion as a wake up call (not necessarily bad) and feeling fear is a strong motivator for change. Even the most frightening dreams are a good sign that something powerful is stirring within and seeking expression. See Evil and also Nightmareand Shadow.