Jun 17, 2013

What Does It Mean in a Dream When . . . ?

Have you ever dreamed that you were being chased, or that you were falling, or that you were in a car that had lost control? It would be unusual if you haven’t, for these are among the most common dream themes, says well-known dream expert Patricia Garfield, Ph.D.

Dreams are very personal matter, and you – the dreamer – are by far the most qualified person to interpret your own dreams, says Dr. Garfield. Certain dream themes are so common that one can make some generalities about them. See if any of the following interpretations hit home for you.

You are being chased or attacked. This unpleasant scenario may be the most common dream theme of all. "I've heard of people being chased by all kinds of things . . . wild animals, robbers, sexual perverts, ghosts - one woman even told me she was being chased by a giant poached egg!" says Dr. Garfield. Regardless of whether you're being chased by ugly monsters, killer green slime, or your breakfast, the dream is probably related to a feeling of being threatened, says Dr. Garfield. Typically, animals with big teeth, like wolves or sharks, represent feelings of anger.

You are falling. "Usually this means that you're feeling insecure, that you have no support, or maybe you're feeling like someone let you down," says Dr. Garfield. By the way, in case you've heard that hitting bottom in a falling dream means you will die, "that is absolutely not true!" says Dr. Garfield. "It is nothing but an old wives' tale - I've hit bottom many times," she says.

You are in a car out of control. This common theme has many variations. You may be about to crash into a truck or fly off a cliff, or you've just discovered that your brakes don't work. Whichever version you've had, "it probably relates to some form of loss of control in your waking life," says Dr. Garfield. It's important to note as many details of the dream as you can. For instance, What kind of car ah you in – a Corvette or a Cadillac? "The car usually symbolizes the way we're moving through life," says Dr. Garfield.

You are taking an exam. Finding yourself in a classroom not knowing the right answers is usually symbolic of somehow feeling unprepared. Or perhaps you've been feeling like you're being tested on your job or by one of your friends, says Dr. Garfield. This dream is common for lawyers on the day before a big trial, or salespeople the day before a big presentation. (Boost Your Brain Power, by Ellen Michaud, Russell Wild and the editors of Prevention Magazine)