Thursday, August 9, 2012

7 Common Dreams and What They Actually Mean

While some people, including medical researchers, believe dreams are a benign, meaningless byproduct of sleep, many medical experts, psychologists, and psychiatrists, not to mention poets, musicians, and visual artists, believe dreams hold the key to our emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. Sometimes, our dreams are complex, weird, and impossible to describe once we’re awake. But then there are common dreams that many people experience, including dreams of being chased, of falling, or of being naked in public. But what exactly is the meaning behind these familiar dreams? Here are seven common dreams with interpretations we sourced from dream analysts, psychotherapists, and self-proclaimed psychics.

Nothing you dream about is meant to be taken literally. So the dream that your teeth are falling out, a dream common among children as well as adults, is a symbolic representation that might mean a few different things. Some believe that this dream indicates you said something that you should have kept to yourself. Others believe this dream expresses a fear of growing old, or becoming a more mature adult and taking on a new level of responsibility.
2.   Being chased:

Who doesn’t love a good chase scene? When we dream we’re being chased, the feeling can be exhilarating or terrifying, depending on who we think is chasing us. Often in such a dream, we have no idea, we just know we’d better bolt or else we’re going to get caught and then who knows what will happen? The basic interpretation of this dream says that in your waking life, you are avoiding something that you need to confront, like a situation at work, for instance, or a heart-to-heart with a friend or family member. Or the dream might mean that you are afraid that something from your past is going to catch up with you. Or maybe you should just quit watching Jason Bourne movies before bed.

The saying goes something like, “Life is just like high school with money.” If you find yourself dreaming that you’re back in high school, only this time, your schoolmates are a combination of co-workers, Jason Bourne, and your mother, take heart; your unconscious mind may be telling you that if you pay attention in real life, you will succeed. At the same time, the dream might indicate that lately, you’ve been feeling uncertain and unprepared, either for the demands of your job or personal life. Now if in the same dream, your teeth fall out, it’s time to call a psychoanalyst.
4.   Flying:

Dreams where you fly like a bird or Superman generally indicate you’re feeling confident and happy in your waking life. Some cultures offer fussier interpretations, depending on whether you’re flying as yourself or have turned into a bird or some kind of mythological winged creature. We should note, however, that people who consume codeine products may dream that they are flying or have left their body and are observing themselves from above, which is a little more unnerving than dreaming that by flapping your arms you can avoid the Monday morning traffic jam.
5.   Naked:

Sigmund Freud wrote in his book On Dreams, “The dream is not senseless, not absurd … it is a psychic phenomenon of full value, and indeed the fulfillment of a wish.” So how would Freud explain the very common dream where the dreamer is in public, at work or at some formal occasion, and is partially or entirely naked? This is one of those dreams where, when you wake up, you are forever grateful it was just a dream! Psychoanalysts believe this is a dream about feeling inadequate and unprepared for an upcoming event, or life in general. However, some cultures believe this dream means you’re going to come into money, through a lottery or some other kind of gambling. Dream you’re naked? When you wake up, check your stock portfolio or go buy a Powerball ticket!
6.   Falling:

The sensation of falling from a great height isn’t pleasant, unless you have a parachute. Dreams where you are falling from the sky or from out of a window can simply mean you feel you’re failing (or “falling”) in your personal or professional life. Feelings of isolation or that you lack emotional support can also inspire this common dream.
7.   Lost:

The psychiatrist Carl Jung wrote, “I know that if we meditate on a dream sufficiently long and thoroughly … something almost always comes of it.” Dreams where you are lost, perhaps within the halls of a school filled with lockers or outside on the streets of a strange city are pretty straightforward in their symbolism and indicate you’ve been feeling confused and insecure. Like all of the dreams we’ve described, the dream of being lost can mean many more things, depending upon what’s going on in your conscious life. If you’re experiencing stress at work or are getting ready to make some life changes, try meditating upon your dreams to see if they are trying to tell you something helpful.

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