Humans have been interpreting dreams for centuries, and science continues to uncover exciting research in this field. The study of dreams is called oneirology, which aims to find a correlation between one’s dreams and brain function. You can find many articles online that cite various conclusions about dreams, but a lot of them don’t have science backing them up. Psychologists believe that our dreams can tell us important facts about our lives and what goes on in our subconscious mind, and in this article, we’ll discuss their views on various dreams.
A lot of us have similar dreams that can give us insight into what goes on in our daily lives. You might find that these dreams reoccur frequently or sporadically. These dreams occur due to personal situations in our lives as well as survival instincts. We attempt to work out problems from our lives in our dreams if we don’t solve them while we’re awake. With that said, let’s get to it! What do our dreams mean, exactly?
Here are 10 things psychologists say to never ignore in your dreams:
“When we are asleep in this world, we are awake in another.” – Salvador Dali
According to dream psychologist Ian Wallace, dreams about falling indicate a feeling of losing control in your life. You might feel like you have a lot of responsibilities weighing you down and cannot escape them, or maybe you feel stressed the majority of the time.
However, some scientists explain this dream with simple physiology. As the body transitions into sleep, the nervous system winds down, blood pressure and heart rate decrease, and your brain starts to slow down. All of these factors, as well as your overall mental state during the day, can contribute to what’s known as “hypnic jerks.” These muscle spasms occur during the transition from wakefulness to sleep, and may become exacerbated by stress, anxiety, caffeine, and even sleep deprivation.
Teeth falling out, other injuries, and death
When we have dreams about our teeth falling out or decaying, it indicates a lack of self-esteem, since our smile is one of the first things people notice about us. Ian Wallace says, “You show your teeth when you smile and when you bite, so they reflect how self-assured and assertive you feel. Teeth falling out indicate that a situation is causing you to lose confidence.”
Patricia Garfield, another dream expert, connects dreams about teeth falling out to suppressed anger. Usually, when we have pent up anger, we grind our teeth and clench our jaws unknowingly. This can cause tooth problems, so in our dreams, we might lose them or watch them decay.
As far as dreams about injury or death, these often signal feelings of worry and anxiety about aging loved ones, but it doesn’t have to be that literal. Dreams about death can mean a part of you is dying so that you can be reborn into a better version of yourself. Death and injury dreams might just be our brains’ way of dealing with the future and preparing for changes that we cannot control.
Failing an exam or public performance
A lot of people have dreams about failing an exam at school or embarrassing themselves during a public speech or performance. Maybe they forgot their lines in a school play or stumbled over their words during a speech. These types of dreams occur mostly among school-age kids, but they can also happen to people who graduated a long time ago.
These dreams indicate stress in your life or worrying about something right before you go to sleep. They may also indicate a sense of responsibility about something in your life, but you cannot follow through with the necessary action for some reason. So, the feeling of being caught in between can cause anxiety and worry.
Having very few or no clothes on
These types of dreams point to a feeling of shame or embarrassment about something in your life. Psychologist Ian Wallace notes, “It means that you feel vulnerable at your new job or in your new relationship and are afraid that others will learn about your weaknesses and disadvantages.”
However, if you feel a sense of pride in your dream, it could mean that you don’t feel your talents and accomplishments have been noted or praised enough. You want to show off so that people will notice you.
If you don’t have appropriate clothing on for the event or situation in your dream, it could mean that you have doubts about the event. For example, if you show up at a job interview wearing pajamas, it might mean that you don’t feel ready for the interview or have doubts about your ability to secure that job.
Dreams about being chased can have several meanings. Dream expert Lauri Loewenberg says, “People that tend to avoid conflict, who are afraid of ruffling feathers or causing issues will have the recurring dream of being chased.”
Pay attention to what is chasing you, since it points to whatever you try to avoid in real life. Things like debt, addiction, talking out a problem with your spouse, or applying for jobs might be hidden reasons behind this dream. Or, it could point to an unfulfilled dream that keeps trying to chase you down because you haven’t worked toward achieving your goals.
Some scientists believe that dreams about running away from someone might just be our survival instincts kicking in since we had to run from predators at some point. If you have unresolved issues with someone, it might be your brain’s way of telling you to run to avoid a threat.
A natural disaster or apocalypse
We’ve all dreamed about a natural disaster or even the end of the world at some point. These dreams may mean you feel a loss of control about a personal problem or feel threatened about something. Social media can worsen these types of dreams since stories about the world ending and climate change are abundant. This can lead to a feeling of vulnerability while we’re awake, which means we have to deal with these feelings while we sleep.
A car crash or technical difficulties
Some people dream about their phone or some other gadget breaking when trying to use them. Patricia Garfield says that women experience these dreams more and they indicate a loss of emotional connection with someone or relationship troubles.
Dreams about car crashes fall into the same category. This dream shows that you feel a lack of support in real life and can’t deal with a situation by yourself.
Both men and women can have dreams about being pregnant, surprisingly. Psychologist David Bedrick says, “Pregnancy symbolizes something new growing inside us.” This dream indicates that you’re birthing new ideas and creations into the world. If you’re repainting your house or working on an idea for a book, you might have this dream. Setting goals and sticking to them will help you bring your vision into reality.
Dream expert Michael R. Olsen says that dreams about being late can indicate the fear of missing out on something important in your life, such as your relationships. If you feel overwhelmed in real life and don’t set aside time for loved ones, this might be a signal for you to slow down and set time aside for the people important to you.
An unfamiliar room or house
Dreams about being in an unknown house or room show a need for self-reflection. This dream indicates that you have parts of yourself locked away and undiscovered that are begging to be tapped into. A separate room in the house symbolizes a hidden talent or skill that you don’t utilize.
Psychotherapist Eddie Traversa believes that we subconsciously assign different rooms in a house to internal processes. For example, you combine different ingredients into a finished product in the kitchen. Dreams in this room might mean you’re going through inner changes. If you have a dream of yourself in a bathroom, it might indicate a need to get rid of unnecessary clutter or baggage, or maybe cleanse yourself of anything dirtying your spirit. Bedrooms symbolize our romantic relationships, so a dream in this room may symbolize worries about this aspect of our lives.
People have a lot of different dreams, and this list is not comprehensive by any means. However, we hope you’ve gained insight into the various aspects of your dreams so that you might make changes in your real life. Our dreams can actually help us work through problems throughout our lives, so never ignore or disregard them.
Try to write down any dream you remember as soon as you wake up so that you can read over and decipher them later. If you wish, you can always make an appointment with a dream therapist who can talk things out with you in detail and help you find the true meaning behind your dreams.