What are your dreams trying to tell you? Find out how to make sense of their messages
Despite dreams being a nearuniversal phenomenon, we still know very little about what they are and why they occur. However, many people believe that dreams are our way of making sense of our world.
“We dream during light sleep and go into a temporary paralysis, so we don’t act out. The body does this in a deliberate way, so dreaming definitely serves a purpose in our lives,” explains Professor Harriet Hiscock from the Sleep Health Foundation.
That purpose is to keep our minds in order, believes dream interpreter Katrena Friel. “The dreams that we remember are the way our unconscious mind talks to us – in symbols.” Because our dreams are personal, you are the best person to interpret what yours mean. “Keep a journal next to the bed,” suggests Katrena. “When you wake up, write down each element of the dream in as much detail as possible.” You can then begin to work out the different meanings of each element and begin to explore the message your dream is sending you.
Dreaming about death is very common and actually has nothing to do with dying. “It usually means the symbolic ending of something, whether that’s a job or a relationship,” says Katrena. Dreaming that you killed someone can offer clues to what you’re tr ying to ‘kill off’ – such as bad habits, relationships or patterns. Consider what the person who dies means to you.
Being Naked In Public
Being naked symbolises one’s inner truth, says Natalie Benhayon, who teaches people how to interpret their dreams. “When you dream about being naked in public, notice what your reaction is, as this says a lot about how comfortable you are to present the real you to the world.” It may also hint at your feeling of being on display – perhaps in a new job or a new relationship. If you felt positive about being naked, then it demonstrates a strong self-image.
Being chased is the most common universal dream, according to Rose. “We tend to have the chase dream when we’re feeling under pressure or overwhelmed. Ask yourself what you are running away from in your waking life,” she says. Chase dreams are often recurring and will continue to haunt you until you make changes. “Who or what does the chase represent? Being chased by an animal is about not trusting your instincts, shadows commonly represent fears, while people you know will have a personal meaning to you,” she explains.
Dreaming about falling is ver y common when you’re feeling a lack of control over a situation in your life. “It’s an indication of insecurities, instabilities and anxieties,” Katrena explains. Consider other symbols within the dream to determine what it is that is making you feel out of control. Who were you with when falling, and what do they represent to you? This dream is a sign you want to take back control of a particular situation.
“Dreaming about running late, perhaps for a significant event or exam, is highlighting your anxiety around not feeling prepared or organised enough to achieve your goals,” says Rose Inserra, author of Dreams. “Do you feel you’re missing out on opportunities? What’s within your reach that you miss out on?” Now’s the time to redefine your goals to a more realistic measure. “On the positive side, your dream is showing you that you are a late bloomer – you will reach your goals at your own pace,” she says.
Being Unprepared For An Exam
Turning up for an exam ill-prepared usually represented an unresolved anxiety, says Natalie. “It might be either when you have put pressure on yourself, or when you haven’t truly been prepared for life’s challenges and know you’re not quite ready to deal with what’s coming.” This could be a wake-up call to get yourself more organised for the future. It may also be a sign that you’re about to face a challenge that you don’t feel qualified to handle.
Dreaming you’re having a baby represents the potential for a new beginning, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be expanding your family. “Being pregnant in a dream shows the potential for a new star t. This is not always guaranteed to be a positive message, as you can be starting something new that will lead you astray,” cautions Natalie. Consider how you felt about being pregnant and your family ’s and friends’ reaction if you’re looking for answers.