A beginners guide to decoding your dreams
How to interpret your dreams
Let’s just state the obvious here — dreams are weird. From falling down a rabbit hole to being chased down a never-ending hallway, our dreams are often nonsensical, obscure, and downright bizarre. But what about recurring dreams? Or the dream you explain to your friend and they reply “I’ve had that too!”
It begs the question, what do dreams actually mean? While there’s no definitive answer, the spectrum of theories ranges from a vague ‘they don’t mean anything’ to a Freudian response of ‘they’re more important than our waking existence.’
Fluke or fact?
The concept of dreaming, the purpose and its meaning will vary between cultures and belief systems, but most psychological theories will tell you that dreams are merely a form of memory consolidation. Consider your dreams to be like a mirror, reflecting how you might be feeling during the day or what you anticipate will happen in the future.
As humans, we’re suckers for symbolism but psychologists suggest that rather than searching for symbols and their meanings, consider what particular dreams evoke emotionally. Try keeping a dream journal next to your bed as a way to decode your dreams and practice self-awareness.
The meaning of dreaming
That being said, the significance of dreams has been questioned since the beginning of time. So here are the top 5 most common dreams and their meanings according to dream experts.
1. Teeth falling out
From crumbling teeth to each tooth falling out one by one, this dream is scary. One theory suggests that teeth resemble your relationship with your appearance and how others perceive you. When you dream of your teeth falling out, this may symbolise a fear of ageing or anxieties and embarrassment about how you look.
2. Something or someone is chasing you
This one is relatively self-explanatory. Something is happening in your life that you’re either avoiding or running away from. Theories suggest that if you have this dream consistently, you may want to consider what you’re really running from and tackle it head-on. You can do it!
3. You’re falling
You know the one. It feels like you’ve been falling forever and just when you reach the bottom, you jolt yourself awake. Though Freud considered this dream to mean you’re on a path to sexual awakening, most theories suggest that the dreamer is lacking control. You might be feeling overwhelmed with school, work, or in your personal life and finding it hard to keep up with the demands of daily life.
4. You’re naked
The interpretation of this dream is entirely dependent on your waking response. If you wake up feeling ashamed or embarrassed, it may signify that you feel insecure about yourself or something in your life. However, if you wake feeling confident and empowered, it may symbolise your unrestricted sense of freedom and a feeling of pride.
5. You’re pregnant
This dream is less likely to be a premonition but thought to represent growth and change. Consider what’s happening in your life. Have you got a big project coming up, turning a new leaf, or starting something new? Pregnancy is about growing and evolving, so an exciting new chapter might be on the way!
Dream a little dream...
Even when we turn to dream dictionaries to determine the interpretations, most of the common theories are answered in regards to what’s going on emotionally. Perhaps rather than asking what dreams mean, we should be asking ourselves why particular dreams feel more important than others and what emotions arise when we wake. Just something to think (or dream) about.