Have you ever woken up from a good night’s sleep and remembered your dream vividly? Surely, you have woken several times thinking about what your dreams mean. Sigmund Freud theorized that dreams are linked to wish fulfillment.
Dreams are products of the unconscious mind and reveal a person’s subconscious desires. According to Calvin Hall, dreaming is the brain’s way of making sense of all the elements that comprise people’s waking lives.
Hall is a professional dream analyst and psychologist who focuses on dream analysis. A dream is better interpreted if you look closely into the dreamer’s actions, interactions within the dream, the setting, and the objects or persons it interacts with.
Vivid Dreams and Waking Life
Dreams happen during REM sleep (rapid eye movement). Dreams during REM sleep are intense because the brain is very active.
REM dreams are vivid, complex, and indescribable. You try to make sense of what happened and what your dream could mean. If you had a dream that you lost your phone, the dream is probably implying that you may lose something more important than your phone.
What Is Dream Interpretation?
Dream interpretations may help you to understand the reason behind your puzzling dreams. You want to make a connection between your dream, what happened the previous day, or what might happen in future events. Analyzing dreams and formulating their meanings is not only self-reflecting but also entertaining in popular culture.
If you want to understand the meanings of your dream, you can start by keeping a dream journal and writing your dreams down. If you dreamt of winning a grand prize in a raffle, it is possible that you might get a job promotion or land a high-paying client in the real world.
Common Themes of Dream Interpretations
No one really understands the reason why people dream, their dream meanings, and dream symbols. Still, dream interpreters have come up with a list of common themes:
1. Dream About Being Chased
Chased dreams are common dreams. This kind of dream could be interpreted as your attempt to avoid something in your life. If for instance, in your dream you are being chased by a love interest, this could mean that you don’t want to be in a relationship yet.
If you dream that an animal is chasing you, you can interpret your dream depending on its characteristics. An animal symbolizes a trait or emotion. If you see a lion in your dream, it could mean that you are currently in a strong and powerful state in your life.
2. Falling Dreams
These dreams tend to be interpreted as insecurities you cannot control. It is also believed that when you are falling in your dreams, your real life is not going well. You could be experiencing failure in your work or relationships.
3. Dreams About Being Naked
If you have dreamt about being naked in a public place, this dream could mean that you are very concerned about your public appearance. This could also mean that there is something you want to hide from others. If you constantly dream that you are naked in public, you should consider visiting a therapist, as you might be experiencing impostor syndrome.
4. Flying Dreams
If in your dream you feel like you are on a broomstick flying like Harry Potter, this could mean that you have the desire to escape from your problems. This could also mean that you are free and powerful. If you are flying alone in your dream, this could mean you feel very confident and independent.
5. Dreams About Teeth Falling Out
Teeth falling off completely or having loose teeth are common in dream dictionaries. You could also dream about smiling or talking to someone with no teeth at all. Don’t be afraid of this kind of dream. This dream can be interpreted as your feeling of embarrassment or powerlessness.
6. Death or Dying Dreams
Have you ever had a dream about a loved one dying or even you dying in your dream? This kind of dream is nothing to be afraid of. This just means that you are afraid of change.
When change happens in your life, you don’t know what to expect. This is the same concept as death. Once you die, you don’t know what will happen to you.
Dreams about death are very common for people who are almost done with their life on earth. They find this type of dream comforting.
7. Dreams About Taking a Test
Taking a test, working on an overdue project, or even preparing for a big social gathering is a common dream for people who are not prepared or who fear failure in real life. The brain processes your stress and transforms it into a dream.
8. Pregnancy Dreams
If you dream about pregnancy or giving birth, this could mean that you are about to experience something new. You might be too excited to meet your baby that your brain makes you dream about it. Aside from expecting a baby, these dreams could also mean that you are about to embark on a new career path, move to a new place, or be in a new romantic relationship.
9. Dreams about Water
If your dream is mostly about water, you might be feeling overwhelmed about what you are currently going through. You may also feel unappreciated or unsupported by your loved ones. Water can also have a positive meaning. It could mean freedom or peace of mind.
Since dreaming about water can have two meanings, the interpretation would depend on how you felt about seeing the water in your dreams. If in your dream you had positive feelings about the water, you can probably expect something good. On the other hand, if you feel afraid of the water, you will most likely be expecting something negative.
10. Infidelity Dreams
Dreams about being cheated on in a romantic relationship can be incredibly distressing. A dream like this doesn’t necessarily imply that you are being cheated on in real life. This is just your brain’s way of making you see your reactions when facing “what if” situations.
Dreams about infidelity could also mean problems in communication in the relationship, or even trust issues. If in your dream, you are the one cheating, this could mean that you are unhappy or unsatisfied in your current relationship.
11. Dreams About Food
Who doesn’t like to dream about good food or dining in a wonderful restaurant? In your dream, you could be eating your favorite food and enjoying it so much. If you have this dream, it is possible that you went to bed hungry and this is your body’s way of telling you that it needs food.
12. Dreams Where You Can’t Move
If you find yourself unable to move in your dream despite how much you struggle, this could mean that you are currently struggling to control your life. You could be putting so much effort into your work but you are still unable to progress. If you find yourself dreaming about this, it is time that you set new goals and figure out a way how you can have direction in your life.
13. Dreams Where You Can’t Speak
If you have a scary dream of being unable to speak or scream because you are restrained, this could mean that you have something on your mind that you want to say but you are unable to share. You feel that your opinion is not considered important by others.
14. Recurring Dreams
These are common dreams experienced mostly by women rather than men. This dream is common for people who are unhappy or unsatisfied in their life. If you have repeating dreams for days, this could mean that you have unresolved issues that you need to face in real life. Recurring dreams will cease if the issues you try to avoid are resolved.
Benefits of Dreaming
Dreaming can be your source of information, guidance, and even warning. Dreaming allows you to dig deep into your current issues and behavior. Here are some of the benefits of dreaming:
- Dreaming can give you ideas and aid in creativity. You can get creative inspiration from dreaming.
- Being in situations that you are unfamiliar with will make you understand yourself better. It can help improve your thinking process.
- Using dream work in interpreting dreams is a form of good therapy in mental health.
- Dreaming assists in memory formation and integration.
- It helps in information processing, problem-solving, and mood regulation.
“A dream is a wish your heart makes when you are fast asleep.” This is a line from a song sung by Cinderella (Disney princess). Dreams are captivating. Dreaming makes you human and lets you stay grounded.
Not everyone will agree that a dream interpretation is accurate. Some may disagree and make their own interpretations. Whether you agree or disagree, nothing is wrong when you use your dreams for self-reflection.
Kentucky Counseling Center (KCC) is here to help you make sense of your dreams. KCC will guide you on how you can be successful in attaining self-reflection. With the help of KCC, you can make the most out of your dreams.