“I had the strangest dream!” Have you ever wondered what that crazy dream you had last night really means? Over the past century researchers have been trying to discover the hidden truths that lie in your subconscious mind when you go to sleep. One of the founding father’s of dream interpretations was the psychologist Carl Jung. Jung believed that dreams were a window into the unconscious mind. While the dreamer is sleeping the unconscious mind is providing solutions to problems faced by the dreamer in their waking state.
Unlike his mentor, Sigmund Freud, Jung didn’t believe that all dreams were sexual in nature. Jung’s method of dream interpretation was placed on the dreamer. While there are common symbols that can have universal meaning, for the most part, it is up to the dreamer to unlock the cryptic images in their dream to understand the true meaning. The use of dream dictionaries can help dreamers unlock these images by giving specific meanings to objects that can help the dreamer put everything in context.
“The dream is a series of images, which are apparently contradictory and nonsensical, but arise in reality from psychological material which yields a clear meaning.” – Carl Jung
The following is an in depth guide to help you piece together the different elements of your dream to find the meaning. This guide is designed to give you the right tools so that you can interpret your dream and find hidden truths within the dreams. Just because two people have the same dream, doesn’t mean they mean the same to each person. In order to unlock the meaning of your dream, you have to put it within the context of your life.
Does Your Dream Have Meaning?
The first step to interpreting a dream is to ask yourself whether the dream has meaning or if it has no significance at all. Dreams that have the most meaning will generally occur during the deepest part of your sleep which will be between the times of 2:00 – 7:00 A.M. However, you can have a meaningful dream at any time of the day.
Sometimes the dreams that are most memorable are the ones that don’t have a significant meaning. For example, a dream involving a physical condition such as a sound or a physical action should be discounted from meaning. Dreams can often interpret physical surroundings or sensations that are occurring when you are asleep. A person that dreams that he is falling off of a sky scraper wakes up and realizes he fell out of bed should discount this dream as part of a physical sensation.
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Similarly if you are dreaming of a specific noise that can be connected to a physical act that occurs in real life. A person might hear ringing bells in a dreams, however, when they wake up they hear the phone ringing beside their bed. Other circumstances such as extreme grief or fear after watching something can have a major impact in dreams. This explains why many people have nightmares after they watch a horror film that has a major impact on them.
There are certain common dreams that often occur to most people at some point in their life that can be recalled easier than others. These are specific dreams that produce different emotions and feelings that should be interpreted and understood. These dreams might fall into a number of different categories.
6 Common Dreams
Falling Dreams: This is a theme that occurs in many memorable dreams.
Nude/Naked Dreams: Many people dream of situations where they are unable to fully cover themselves with clothing.
Floating Dreams: Dreaming of being weightless and drifting throughout the dream world.
Danger Dreams: Seeing something danger approaching and being unable to move or cry for help in face of this danger.
Chase Dreams -These dreams involve the dream being chased by either a known or an unknown pursuer.
Test Dreams - Dream of being tested or taking a test is often a considered a mirror dream or a dream that mirrors your feelings back to you.
Common dreams are extremely fascinating to researches because people of all different background and cultures will experience these dreams. At some point in you life you have probably experienced each one of these dreams at least once. Some psychologists believe that these common dreams are derived from our shared human experiences and interactions and make us essentially human.
4 Categories of Dreams
Precognitive Dreams – Specific details in the dream will foretell an important event that is about to about or will happen in the future.
Warning – As the name suggests, these dreams will often tell of an impending danger that is going to happen to the dream if they don’t change a course of action or choose a specific action.
Factual – These dreams are confirmation to the dreamer of what he or she already knows to be true. It can also emphasize a specific detail in someone’s life.
Inspirational – Any dream that is inspirational to the dream could represent some kind of a step or action one can take to resolve a personal or business problem that may be troubling the dreamer.
When it comes to interpreting any type of dream it is important to understand the importance of patience and practice. Just like learning a new language it can take time and effort to try and comprehend some of the meanings behind your dreams. It takes skill and practice to be able to accurately interpret a dream and the meaning behind it.
Generally, people who are merely an observer in a dream and not actively participating in the action can classify the dream as a warner. However, if the dreamer is participating in the action of the dream it can be interpreted as something that directly affects the dreamer.
Most Common Themes in a Dream
Going up – Generally the process of going up in a dream represents progress and advancement. If you dream of going up an elevator it means that you are going to improve your current status in life.
Successful vs. Unsuccessful efforts – To dream of success is a good omen to the future, but the dream of being unsuccessful might spell a difficult omen in the future.
Dreams of Health – If you dream of an illness it is advisable to get a health checkup
Clean/ Shiny objects – These often occur in dreams as good omens for the future.
Dull/Dirty objects – These objects often symbolize an obstacle or difficult that may be in the future
Nightmares and Anxiety Dreams
Two common dreams that many individuals will have throughout the course of their life are nightmares and anxiety dreams. These dreams both product and intense emotion that is often felt throughout the dream and when the dream awakes from the dream. The emotion can have a lasting effective because dreams often feel very real to the dreamer.
A common characteristic in a nightmare is the need to run away from something or a situation in a dream. The physiological reaction in these dreams is often present with the fight or flight response often triggering a lot of emotion in the body.
Anxiety dreams are less intense than nightmares but still cause us stress in our dreams. Hidden issues that lay deep within our subconscious mind can often surface in the means of an anxiety dream. While the images of the anxiety dream can play an important role in the dream, it is often the emotion that is experienced throughout the dream that needs to be faced and recognized in the dream. Dreams can specifically allow dreams to specifically access and discover hidden anxieties that may be bothering your subconscious mind.
Ex (Boyfriend, Girlfriend, Husband, Wife) and Cheating Dreams
These dreams will require thought and analysis to determine why you are having them. Please read our section on dreams about an ex and cheating dreams to get more insight into the topic. Remember that these dreams are quite common if you have had strong feelings for someone in the past. Don’t be alarmed if you dream about an ex lover that you once had.
It is also very common to have a dream about a boyfriend (husband) or girlfriend (wife) that you are currently with. Because these feelings are often extremely strong during a relationship, it is quite common to dream about a partner while you are with them.
How to Interpret Dreams
When it comes to interpreting dreams you must always take the whole dream into context. If there is specifically one image that stood out then you should start by looking up the meaning of that, but you should also look up the other elements that are present in your dream. The more information you can remember from your dream, the more accurate the interpretation of the dream can be. Never overlook the small details in the dream because it can often have the most significance at times.
Try and make sure you are dreaming something that has meaning rather than a dream that is related to a surrounding noise or action that has occurred. It is important to remember that dreams that occur around specific tragedies in your life are more likely to contain events from those tragedies. This is because your mind will be focused in on it throughout the day, causing your sub conscious to dream about it.
Often dreams that are more vivid and clear have more significance or meaning to the dreamer. If you wake up barely remembering anything that you dreamed of, it is probably something that was a forgettable dream. Dreams that are only half remembered without much detail are hard to interpret because of the lack of facts and details that make interpretations accurate.
The most important factor of interpretation a dream is to write it down when you wake up. Often people will have the fresh image of what happened in a dream immediately after they are awoken. However, later in the day important details may be forgotten that could have an impact on the significance of the dream. Always write down specific details and events that occur in the dream including time, dates, places, people, objects, actions, or anything that could be interpreted. By piecing together the different parts of a dream, you will begin to accurately interpret dreams that you have on a regular basis.
Discovering what do dreams mean is something that anyone can do. Take the time and research the different symbols and themes that are represented in your last dream and bit by bit you can piece together the overall meaning of your dream.