Understanding Your Dreams

What Do Your Dreams Really Mean?

Woman sleeping in bed.  Woman sleeping very peacefully.  Adam Gault/Photodisc/ThinkStock

It’s just a dream, so what does it matter? You might think that your dreams are trivial, but they can actually help you learn more about how you really feel about your life or a particular situation. Dreams can give you some insight into your fears, hopes, and the way you see the world around you. 

Dreams have been studied for hundreds of years by scientists, psychologists and other professionals. Many therapists and researchers believe dreams can be used as a valuable tool to improve your life. 

So whether you’re being chased, attacked, falling off a building, or standing naked in front of everyone you know, start tuning in! Keep a pen and paper near your bed to write down your dreams so you won’t forget them, because they could end up clueing you in on some new information about yourself. Here are some common dream themes and interpretations:

Being Chased. If you dream that you’re being chased by someone or something, it could be a sign that you feel anxious because of some sort of threat in your life. It could also symbolize a strong emotion that you are having difficulty facing. Look at what is chasing you, and pay attention to the way you feel: Are you successfully getting away from it? Do you feel terrified? Where does the dream take place? Now look at your real life. Is there a situation that you feel is threatening to you? Perhaps you’re trying not to think about it, but it may need your attention. 

Falling. Dreaming of falling off a tall building or ledge is a sign that you might be feeling insecure and overwhelmed. Perhaps you’re scared that you are failing in some way, or falling from a certain position or status. There are many other possibilities of what dreaming about falling could mean. Maybe you don’t feel emotionally supported in your life. If you dream that you are tripping on the street, it could be a sign that you are in over your head.  Being Naked In Public. It’s common to dream about showing up to an everyday situation – like work or a social gathering – naked. This could be an indicator that you are afraid of being “found out,” or exposed in some way. For example, your dream might involve going to a family reunion completely in the nude. Maybe your family doesn’t even seem to notice that you’re naked. This dream scenario could mean that you’re afraid of something, but perhaps you don’t need to be. Naked dreams can also be a sign of repressed and unfulfilled sexual desires. On the other hand, if you feel exhilarated, it could represent a feeling of freedom. As with other dream scenarios, the key is to pay attention to how you feel in the dream, and how others are responding. 
Your Car Is Spinning Out Of Control. If you dream that you’re losing control over your car, you may be feeling like you are powerless over the events in your life – you may be afraid you’re about to “crash.” Dreams like this usually come up when you feel there is something in your life that you can’t control. If someone else is driving the car, and you’re a passenger, you may feel like someone else is trying to force you to make decisions you’d rather not make. Either way, see if you can pinpoint similar situations in your life. What do you need to do?  Flying.  Dreams of flying tend to be about freedom and independence. They can indicate that you have overcome feelings of self-doubt and have a greater sense of control. You could be feeling powerful because you have gained a new perspective on things. However, if you're having trouble staying in flight, it may mean you feel doubtful or uncertain about your life course. It could also mean you feel less confident than you’d like, or hesitant. If you feel fearful while flying, you could be afraid of success. Whatever the emotion is, think about how it could apply to your life: Are you feeling newly confident because of an accomplishment? Are you afraid of doing something because you think you might fail at it? What’s your next step?  What are your dreams? Share them here!      
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