I honestly dream an insane amount. We’re talking multiple dreams a night, and I generally remember at least a few of them. My dreams are crazy vivid and about the most seemingly random things — everything from romance to devastating heartbreak to having a cat daughter to neo-concentration camps (yeah, that last one was not fun). I always attributed my wild dreams to the fact that I often have a crazy thought-stream in general and to being a creative. But what if my dreams are actually telling me about myself, giving me self-insights that I might not otherwise have?
What the Freud is Dream Analysis?
View this post on Instagram
Famous psychologist Sigmund Freud is often associated with dream analysis. He was big on emphasizing the inner workings of our unconscious selves, and spent much of his career studying and theorizing about how we express those unconscious processes. He was especially fascinated by dreams, and considered them to be “the royal road to the unconscious.”
While many specifics of Freud’s dream analysis theories likely aren’t universal, he definitely helped set the stage for our modern fascination with dreams. There are dozens of books on the subject, each of which try to give us a bit more insight into this unconscious process. You may have talked about your dreams if you’ve ever been in therapy. Maybe you’ve woken up feeling particularly affected by a certain dream, or you’ve known right away what your unconscious was trying to tell you through the dream.
While some of your dreams are definitely particular to you and might be just weird dreams, there are some really common dreams: flying, falling, death/dying, romance, or being naked in a room of people, for example. These more common dreams seem to point to common emotions/states of being experienced by all of us at one point or another in our lives. Let’s take a look at what some of these dreams could be telling you about yourself.
Common Dreams and Their Meanings
Before we get too much into this, I just want to emphasize that dream analysis will never be the same for all of us. A good way to get deeper insight into what any of these dreams mean for you is to ask yourself about the overall mood of the dream: was it happy? Sad? Scary? Embarrassing? Think about emotions you experienced in the dreams and note if there are any particular associations between certain events in the dream and your emotions. That can help you figure out what your dreams might be trying to tell you!
View this post on Instagram
I love flying dreams. These dreams are always positive for me, and I feel overwhelmingly free in a flying dream — like I can go anywhere!
This feeling of liberation seems to fall in line with what most dream analysts would say about flying dreams. Flying represents freedom in real life and that can translate to our dream state. Maybe you’ve just accomplished a big life goal, overcome an obstacle, or let go of something that’s had control over you for a while. If so, flying dreams are probably your unconscious’s way of expressing this freedom! Enjoy them!
I haven’t had many of these dreams, but man, the few I have had were terrifying. Like a never-ending chase that I’m definitely not going to win. Ugh.
As you can imagine, these dreams are super anxiety-inducing. So it makes sense that they’d stem from some real-life source of anxiety, right? Dreaming that you’re being chased could indicate that you’re trying to avoid something that will catch up with you in the long run. If you start having these dreams often, you probably know what that big elephant in your bedroom is — it might be time to confront it head-on.
This is honestly one of the most mortifying dreams you could ever have. There’s almost no worse idea than the thought of being naked in a room of people.
Nakedness is a huge vulnerability moment, both in real life and in dreams. Nakedness could represent a circumstance in real life where you feel particularly exposed or vulnerable, or a situation in which you’re unsecured or unprepared. Your waking self is terrified of being exposed, so you dream self takes on the brunt of the burden. Poor dream self.
Teeth Falling Out
This seems like a super weird dream to have in common with other people, but it’s actually said to be one of the most common dreams people have!
Oddly enough, teeth dreams are often thought to be related to our self-confidence. Teeth are hugely related to our appearance and ability to communicate, both of which affect others’ perceptions of us. If you dream of your teeth falling out, it could be a sign of an upcoming event that you’re worried could negatively impact others’ perception of you.
Water can mean lots of different things, and this is where really analyzing the mood of your dream will come in handy. For me, water dreams are generally terrifying, and involve me being in a huge, dark body of water with some giant unnamed sea creature somewhere beneath the surface. Yeah, it’s exactly as not fun as it sounds.
Water in dreams is often associated with our subconscious and emotions, and the character of the water in your dreams can give you valuable insight into what your subconscious is trying to tell you. If the water is calm and peaceful, it can mean you’re at a place of spiritual peace, or that you’re at least in tune with your spirituality. If the water is turbulent, you’re probably going through some emotional turbulence. If it’s dark and frightening (like mine), there may be some emotions or areas in your subconscious that you’re trying to shut out.
Do you ever have dreams of being back in grade school, even years after you’ve graduated? Sometimes I dream I’m back in middle or high school, even though I haven’t taken any kind of classes in years!
Dreams of being back in school are often representative of something in your childhood/adolescence that may not be fully resolved. After all, school pretty much defined your life growing up, so it makes sense that it would play a role in dreams about the past! Again, pay attention to the mood and emotions of the dream. Are you worried about failing a test? That could relate to feelings of inadequacy that were never fully resolved. Are you stuck in school, even though you know you’ve finished a long time ago (this often happens to me)? This could relate to feelings of being “stuck” in the past — maybe there’s a past issue you haven’t let go of yet that needs to be addressed.
Want to dive more into the world of dream analysis? Check out the following:
This book is a handy intro to the world of dreams. It looks at why we dream and why we should use our dreams to find out about ourselves, and is a great beginner’s guide to dream interpretation.
This is another ultra-comprehensive A-Z dream dictionary. I always like to consult different sources when it comes to things like dream interpretation, and this would definitely be a handy book to have in your arsenal!
This illustrated dreamer’s journal is as stunning inside as it is outside, and I’d honestly buy it for the aesthetic alone! The dictionary part is organized alphabetically and categorically, and it has lined pages to record your dreams on.
This crazy comprehensive dream dictionary is sure to have even your most obscure dream symbols in it! It’s organized A-Z so you can easily find what you’re looking for, and is amazingly in-depth.
This dream journal comes with space for 60 dreams, with two pages dedicated to each dream. One page is for you to record the dream and the other has checkboxes to help with dream analysis!
The title says it all! This journal is just a space to record your weird dreams. There’s no guided aspect to it and it’s formatted just like a normal journal, but honestly, I’d buy it for the cover alone!
We hope this was helpful in shedding some light on the workings of your unconscious! Do you have any crazy dreams? Any idea what they might mean? Share with us below!
If You Liked These Insights, You Might Also Like: