“Dreams are the royal road to the unconscious.”- Sigmund Freud.
Through analysing our dreams, we can get a “glimpse” into the inner workings of our subconscious. Dreams can often tell us what is going on in our subconscious.
It is the symbols in our dreams that can help us understand and make sense of our unconscious mind. This can better help us to understand our thoughts, feelings and behaviour. Dreaming happens when we enter into a different type of consciousness. By taking the time to examine your dreams can help you tap into unexpressed emotions and better understand issues that you may have been putting off looking at consciously.
Firstly there are many types of dreams:
- Night Terrors
In this type of dream, the dreamer experiences high levels of fear and anxiety. Usually more common in children.
Nightmares are more disturbing. They are also comprised of fear, anxiety or both. Sometimes we can have recurring nightmares, if feeling anxious or stressed about something in our life. For me, as probably many of you reading this, my anxiety dream is that I am back in secondary school, STILL doing the dreaded Leaving Cert, at 32 years old.
- Lucid Dreams
Lucid dreams are my favourite. It is when the dreamer knows they are dreaming and can control what is happening in the dream. So if you don’t like how the dream is ending, you can change it.
- Normal Dreams
In normal dreams we are not aware we are dreaming and the experience of the dream does not provoke fear or anxiety.
Below are 20 of the most common symbols in our dreams and their meanings:
By reading and interpreting our dreams we can discover things about ourselves, such as what our brain is trying to tell us or what we really want in life. The meaning of our dreams is really what we interpret it to be. Some dream experts have views on what certain symbols in our dreams represent. While I find this interesting it is important to state that it open for interpretation and not 100% fact.
- Water: can mean you are feeling overwhelmed or unsupported by your loved ones in your life.
- Vehicles: may mean you’re worried about the direction your life is taking.
- Being trapped: may mean you might need a change or a fresh approach to your life.
- Teeth falling out: usually means you’re feeling subconsciously repressed or controlled.
- Babies: sometimes they can mean that you want to share your knowledge with loved ones. They might also mean you’re holding something back.
- Animals: can mean to keep going no matter how difficult things are.
- Getting chased: almost always means you’re under pressure.
- Death: may mean you’re wanting a new beginning.
- Exams at school: they can mean you are feeling anxious or stressed at the minute.
- Demons and monsters: usuallymean you’re looking to change aspects of yourself.
- Houses: symbolise your brain and how you think. Each individual room means a different part of you, your memories, and your emotions.
- Money: is all about your self worth and how much you think you’re worth as a person..
- Falling: can mean you’re thinking about letting go of something you’ve been holding onto.
- Being naked: it may mean you’re not showing the world the REAL you.
- Being late or lost: may symbolises your lack of faith in your own ability to get things done.
- Car crash: usually mean you’re in a conflict with someone close to you and it needs resolving.
- Running in one place: running in one place means you’re trying as hard as you can to move forward in life but something or someone is holding you back!
- Flying: usually means you’re happy, high, uplifted and motivated.
- Crying a lot : can mean that you’re holding back your emotions.
- Drowning or being underwater: maymean you’re feeling overwhelmed.
If you are feeling vulnerable it is always advisable to see professional support from your doctor or counsellor.
How to interpret your dreams:
Interpreting dreams can give you a different perspective on problems/challenges you may be facing as well as shedding light on subconscious struggles.
To keep track of your dreams and possible meanings it is recommended to keep a dream journal (notebook) beside your bed. We often forget our dreams or parts of them after waking so when you wake, write down the main concept and symbols in your dream. The more symbols and the less literal your dreams are the better they are for interpretation. Then examine your dream when you are ready. There is no exact science to doing this. Trust yourself and your intuition, when trying to understand your dream. As your dream is unique to you. If you are attending counselling, speak with your therapist about taking your dream journal to a session as he/she may help provide an objective view. The content of the dream can then be used as a starting point for your session. Together with the help of your counsellor you can look for the meaning of your dreams and use the insights drawn from them in your sessions.
Take care, Sarah.