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For eons, people have had questions about what a dream is and are curious to find answers about it. You all, at some point, might have had a dream where you find yourself falling or flying. It might have intrigued your interest and might have made you wonder, what do dreams mean? What is the meaning of drowning or seeing a snake?
If you have the same questions, then read on to find out the answers to these questions. Here you’ll explore the meaning of your dreams, along with how to interpret them, where do dreams come from, and more.
Dreams are a universal experience that includes a series of thoughts, emotions, sensations, ideas that usually occur when the person is sleeping.
Although it is hard to say what dreams consist of, it is accepted that dreams represent a collection of emotions, ideas, thoughts, events, places, and symbols that are relevant to the dreamer indirectly.
It is believed that dreams are full of emotional and vivid experiences that connect them with everything happening around them.
Why do we have dreams? Well, dreams are the way your brain communicates with yourself when you are sleeping. Dreaming is more of a thinking process that processes the thoughts, emotions, and changing events that happen from the day.
Once you enter into the REM sleep cycle, that is where your dream takes place, and those thoughts continue to be symbolized in words, pictures, scenarios, etc.
How do dreams work? According to Sigman Freud‘s theory of dreams, these represent our unconscious desires, thoughts, wishes, and motivations. According to him, people are driven by their repressed wishes from childhood or current situations.
When you sleep, some parts of the brain become dormant, and the emotions take over. Through the dreaming process, you continue to explore your thoughts about the day, achievements, mistakes, hopes, or anything that deeply affects you.
Did you know there are 5 types of dreams? Chances are you might have dreamt about these but did not recognize these for sure. Let’s explore the types of dreams.
These are normal dreams where you have a normal conversation with people or visit some amazing place that's probably on your bucket list, like having coffee on the Eiffel tower?
Lucid dreams are when we are aware that we are dreaming while sleeping. Here, we control our dreams better.
False dreams are the ones in which we feel that we have woken up and get back to a normal routine, but instead, we are still dreaming.
We all know what daydreams are, the part where we escape reality and think about past experiences and our desires.
Nightmares are the most disturbing and unrealistic dreams that people like the least. These can be scary and unpleasant.
As mentioned earlier, dreams are the repressed thoughts, feelings, and emotions we collect over time; dreams do have meaning.
Some scientists believe that what happens physiologically affects us in our dreams. For example, if somebody has dealt with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), they are more likely to experience nightmares. So their dreams are highly driven by the stress that has been settled in their unconscious mind, which they feel hard to shake off.
So you see, dreams do have meanings, and they occur because of some of the other rational explanations.
It is a very common dream that everyone at some point in their life has experienced. Being chased in a dream means you have been avoiding something important or not acknowledging something. You could try not to focus on your issues, so it might be time to solve your problem once.
Another meaning could be you do not want to take others’ advice and are a closed-minded person. If you’ve had a daunting experience of being attacked by someone, then it could reflect in your dreams too. If you could understand who is chasing you, then you can fit the pieces.
What does falling in a dream mean? Well, they are a clear expression of stability or security issues in life. You might lack control in your life, basically in your job or relations. This could also mean that your life is going in the wrong direction.
You might be feeling overwhelmed or stressed because of your recent dreams. You can take control of your life and fix what is going wrong in your life.
Having dreams about being naked means you are worried about how you appear or hiding something. Another meaning of being naked in a dream is you might get exposed. The feeling of seeing yourself naked might be uncomfortable, but it could be the pressure of hiding things.
Another possible reason for seeing yourself naked would be the pressure of comparing yourself with your peers. You might want to dial down the pressure of comparison to get rid of such dreams.
Flying in dreams simply means confidence, hope, and freedom. The feeling of flying seems great, but if you wish to break down its meaning, then it could also be the feeling of independence.
Another meaning of it could be you have strong willpower to free yourself from all the obstacles. It also means you are ready to achieve many things in life. It could also mean that you have your life under control and are capable of taking it to the next level.
Dreaming about death could be scary, but in reality, it means you have accepted a change in your life or are ready for self-transformation. It means that you have discovered or are ready to discover yourself. Dreams of dying are usually a positive sign, and there is nothing to worry about.
Sometimes the dying dreams might not be about you. If you see someone else dying in your dream, then it could mean that their lifespan has increased. It could also mean you are reinventing your relationship with that person.
If you see a dead person in your dreams, it could mean that you are having a hard time accepting their loss or want to have a proper closure. According to Hindu psychology, seeing a dead person refers to their unfulfilled wish. If you see someone deceased asking for something, then you should try to complete it for them.
Pregnancy dreams could mean that you are ready to take your relationship to the next level or you are serious about this relationship. It could also mean there are new opportunities around the corner for you.
It could also mean you are thinking about choosing a new job, or it could simply show your desire to get pregnant if that is what you want.
Dreams about water mean enormous success or a disturbed emotional, mental state. There are types of water that can appear in your dreams. If you see clear water, you have found clarity and are really clear about your wants.
If you see muddy or dirty water, it could mean sadness or unclear feelings. Another meaning of seeing water could be that you are feeling unsupported by your loved ones.
Water could be consuming or threatening. It possesses strong emotions such as anger, pain, happiness, or feeling stuck. What you are doing with the water or how it has surrounded you also interprets the meaning.
If you have food dreams, it could simply mean that your stomach is grumbling. If you have slept without eating, you feel hungry and just want to eat something.
Dreaming about food can also mean your desire to eat something nice. If you are longing for eating something fancy or specific, chances are you’ll end up dreaming about it.
If you’ve ever had the same dream over and over, you might think, what do recurring dreams mean? They could mean some unresolved issues in your life. You might not be focusing on something important.
These dreams are not considered positive; there might be something that you need to resolve - the chances of having such dreams increases in people who are unhappy with their life.
Seeing animals in the dream is related to personality traits. It could mean you have similar personality traits to that animal. For example, seeing an owl could mean having an observant behavior. Seeing a dog could mean loyalty, while seeing a snake could mean many things, like good luck, untrustworthy people, or your hidden desires.
Dreaming about taking tests could mean that you are not prepared for things in life. It could be something in your job or an ongoing project, or a deadline approaching. Another meaning of taking the test could be a lack of confidence, or you should face the unexpected events that are about to happen in your life.
Dreams about cheating could mean trust issues with your partner. If you see yourself cheating on your partner, it means you are not getting everything in that relationship. If you see your partner cheating on you, it could mean having trust issues in the relationship.
It means being emotionally trapped or afraid of the future. Another meaning of it can be that you are not in control of your life. You might be making serious attempts to move or walk, but it's because of the emotions, it would be impossible for you to move.
Sometimes, you might dream that you cannot speak or have some food in your mouth that cannot be swallowed. It all leads to the same thing. You might want to share something but are not able to. Another reason you have such dreams would be when you are unheard of or when your opinion doesn’t matter.
It means that you have strong feelings for that celebrity or your inner desire or fantasy to meet or hang out with that celebrity. Another reason would be that you like to absorb some of the personality traits of that particular celebrity.
Showing up late for something could simply mean you are dealing with high stress levels. Anxiety or pressure could also lead you to dreams like this. If you feel pressured about a job or a relationship, you might see yourself being late to timely appointments or events.
Dream interpretation is a way to understand your dreams and know if they are revealing something to you. Dreams have meaning, and they change with time or in situations. There are certain ways to interpret dreams; knowing them can help you understand them better without freaking out.
Every dream has a different meaning. Sometimes you might have dreams of being chased or enjoying a vacation in the Bahamas. But the key point here is that you should know what you are doing in your dreams.
Now that you know the meaning of dreams understanding your actions will indicate the meaning of the dream.
Knowing where you are gives you a kick start of what your dream is going to be about. If you see yourself in a calm place enjoying nature, then it could be a good dream. If you are dreaming about being chased, then you know what that means.
Your feelings in the dream solve half the problems. Focus on your emotions, like fear, love, anxiety, or calmness. How the dream continues and what you feel is what the dream is all about.
Dreams have tiny or blurry details. There might be some things that appear in the dreams repeatedly. You must notice this next time in your dreams. Like if an alarm clock appears in your dream, then it could be a stress-related dream.
If it’s a dream, it can get fictional. In some dreams, you could become someone else or appear differently, like an animal or so. It helps you understand where you stand and whether you are the one experiencing something or inflicting some action on someone.
If you want to dream about something that you want, then there are ways to do that. Before we dive into tips, ‘how you dream’ also matters. Make sure you are comfortable while sleeping and are not going to bed with emotional baggage.
It is really normal for people to forget about what they dreamt of. The events that happen during the dreams are not recorded when we wake up. Almost 95% of dreams are forgotten easily, or even if you remember them, you won’t remember all of them.
How you wake up also matters because you are more likely to experience vivid dreams and even remember them if you wake up during the REM phase. If you wake up in an NREM stage, then chances are you won’t remember any dreams since you had none.
Now that you know what causes dreams are our emotions, we cannot control them all the time. So, if you want to control your dreaming memory, here are a few things you can do. These might help you to catch the minute details of your dreams better.
Yes. The difference between daytime and nighttime dreams is ‘when’ they happen. Also, during the night time you get to enter the REM stage and have more vivid dreams. This might be difficult during the daytime as the nap timings are shorter.
A dream is a dream, even if it happens in a day. Nighttime dreams are very intense, and people rarely dream during the day. If you manage to dream during the day, it means you are getting good sleep, as dreams mostly happen when you get deep sleep.
Now that you know what your dreams say about you, you’ll most likely understand your dreams better. While some of the signs might be daunting, confusing, or scary, at least now you can read the interpretation of dreams by yourself.
Understanding your dreams is easier said than done, but with this guide, you know what figures, locations, actions, and directions mean in your dreams.
The Interpretation of dreams - Freud Museum London
6 Steps to Help You Remember Your Dreams - Michael J. Breus Ph.D.