What Do Your Dreams Mean? 10 Common Dreams Decoded

I have a dream...

Common Dreams Decoded

by Rebecca Cox |
Published on

Ever had a recurring dream that you just can’t get to the bottom of? Often dream that your teeth are falling out, you’re falling, or being chased? Do you wake up thinking, what does my dream mean!?

Well we might just have the answers you’re looking for.

The most common dreams actually have very simple psychological explanations, so if you’re experiencing the same dream scenarios over and over again, there could be something in your waking life that you need to address to give you a more peaceful night’s sleep…

We spoke to leading psychologist Wendy Dignan about 10 of the most common dream themes, and she’d decoded them all for us so you can sleep easy tonight (or at least wake up understanding your subconscious a little better…).

1. THE DREAM: Your teeth are falling out

What it means “Teeth Falling Out dreams are very common and can be about a negative view of the way we look or of being very conscious about an aspect of our appearance,” says Wendy. “It may be that the dreamer is worried about their attractiveness to others and is suffering from a low sense of self-worth and of how they are being perceived and treated by others.

“This dream can also signify a worry about something we have said that we may regret but be unable to undo.”

2. THE DREAM: You’re being chased

What it means “Dreams about being chased are usually about avoiding or running away from a person or situation rather than confronting them,” says Wendy. “The level of anxiety in chase dreams can often wake us up and make us worry.

“In addition dreams where you are trying to run away but can’t, because your legs won’t move, are a sign that you feel stuck and essentially immobile in the face of whatever it is you fear.

“The same goes for dreams where you scream but no sound comes out. The dreamer may feel they are unable to speak up and defend them self in a particular life situation.”

Common Dreams Decoded

3. THE DREAM: You’re going on a journey

What it means “Dreams about journeys or travelling somewhere are very common, most often indicating that we are seeking or undergoing significant change in our lives,” says Wendy. “The mode of transport is very important to interpretation and signifies how much control we think we have. Travelling in a sports car would indicate we feel in control and moving our life forward quickly, whilst riding a bike with a puncture will mean the opposite.

“Similarly, whatever the mode of transport, if the dreamer is enjoying the scenery, it means they feel they are on the right path, and life is good. If you dream you are in a crash or your vehicle stops and you can’t get started again, you might be headed in the wrong direction, or you are experiencing a major barrier to progress. If you dream you are in the driving seat, you are master of your own destiny.”

4. THE DREAM: You’re locked in a room with no way out

What it means “Dreaming of being trapped is about feeling stuck in your life and unable to free yourself from a person or situation,” says Wendy. “It often signifies that you feel you have only one choice in a situation and it feels like the wrong decision to make. How you are actually trapped represents what you feel is trapping you; a person, finances, lifestyle choices etc.”

Common Dreams Decoded

5. THE DREAM: You’re falling, drowning or sinking into quicksand

What it means “This dream generally represents a loss of control that you maybe currently experiencing in your life,” says Wendy. “You took a big risk, quit your job, left your city, etc. but you don’t know where this is going to take you. So you feel that you've lost control and you dream that you are falling off a cliff or a high-rise building.

“You may also see this dream if you feel that you are going through a bad phase in your life to the extent that you believe you've fallen down. If you are finding it hard to get back on your feet in the dream, then it means you are finding it hard to get back on your feet in real life too!

“This dream can also mean that a trusted friend has let you down or disappointed you in some way. If you believe that you lack social support and mentors, that is also a recipe for this kind of dream.”

6. THE DREAM: You’re dying or dead

What it means “Death and dying dreams are about something coming to an end rather than death itself,” says Wendy. “The biggest fear people have is the dream may come true, however may death related dreams actually relate to the dreamer about to – or already making – big, often positive changes in their life.

“How we dream we are dying, however, is significant. Being buried alive, for example, indicates that we are not in control of the outcome or nature of change; conversely, imagining your funeral as a beautiful thing would indicate you are happy with the life change event occurring.”

7. THE DREAM: You’re naked in a public place

What it means “Dreaming of being naked is a sign of great vulnerability and insecurity,” Wendy explains. “You fear others seeing you for exactly what you are, and you desire to hide some part of yourself which you feel to be shameful or embarrassing. Dreaming of being naked in a crowd also represents social anxiety and the feeling of not fitting in among other people. There may also be some negative body image associated with this dream, especially if you dream specifically of others being able to see particular body flaws. You may need to gain acceptance of your body by spending some significant waking time naked, in order to stop trying to hide from yourself as well

“In many naked dreams others don’t realize in the dream that the dreamer is naked. Often people are going about their business without seeming to notice you standing naked in front of them. When this happens in a naked dream it means that your deep fears and concerns are often unfounded. No one cares about your fear except for you.”

Common Dreams Decoded

8. THE DREAM: You’re dreaming about clothes

What it means “Clothing dreams are significant to how we perceive ourselves and are often linked to self-esteem,” says Wendy. “Dreaming about wearing rags would signify low self-esteem whilst head to toe designer gear would be about feeling good about ourselves. Changing clothes in a dream is about changing who we are, particularly if we dream of wearing clothes we would never wear currently.”

9. THE DREAM: You’re taking an exam but you don’t know any of the answers

What it means “Taking exams and forgetting everything is about people questioning their own ability to achieve what they need to achieve,” explains Wendy. “A similar dream would be about giving a presentation or doing some public speaking and not being able to get any words out. There is usually a link to worrying about what people think of you and feeling that people have a negative view. With this sort of dream there is always a link to low self-esteem and being unfulfilled in life.”

10. THE DREAM: You’re flying

What it means “Sigmund Freud believed that flying dreams are symbolic of the pleasure of sexual release.

“However, dreams of flight can also be associated equally well with other areas of experience, for example 'flying high' in your career or because of some kind of achievement.

“Flying may also represent an escape from something that has been worrying you. These dreams often indicate liberation from a problem in your emotional or material world, or simply a release of tension.”

With 20 years’ experience in the field, Wendy Dignan is a leading psychologist with private practices in Wilmslow, Cheshire and Harley Street, London. For more information on Wendy or to book a consultation, go to: www.wendydignan.co.uk

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