What do dreams mean

By Rachel Hartman
Info Guru,

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Dreams can use symbols to tell us something about our daily lives
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Dreams - we all have them. Sometimes we remember all or part of them; other times we do not. We dream nearly every time we sleep, even if the dreams are forgotten in the morning

When we consider the images and stories in our dreams, questions concerning the meaning of them often arise. Thousands of books and articles have been composed over the ages, dealing with the images in our dreams - the oldest known book of dream interpretation dates back to the Sumerian civilization in the 3rd century BCE.

While there are many interpretations about what goes on while we sleep, some of common themes occur again and again. Anthropologists have identified 12 universal dreams. These same stories and images have been reported across time and all cultures around the world. Here are some widely accepted interpretations of a few of those universal dream subjects.

The Sensation of Falling

Sometimes in a dream you may jump, slip, or even step off an edge of a building or mountain and feel yourself falling. Usually you wake up before you hit the ground. This is a common dream and it is often said that it represents a feeling of insecurity or anxiety. Perhaps there is a part of your life that you are unable to control. Another common interpretation of falling during a dream is associated with a sense of failure. Maybe you are afraid of losing your job or missing a promotion. These are often situations in which you cannot control the final outcome. If you dream of falling, consider the types of stress that you have in your life. Try to accept the things that you are unable to control, while changing those that you can.

Being Chased in a Dream

Another common dream that people have involves being chased. It may include someone chasing you. You might have heavy feet or another hindrance that slows you down. You are unable to run away fast enough and the person approaches you. You often wake up before the person catches you. It is usually said that this means you are running away from a problem. This could be a problem at work or it could refer to troubles at home. Whatever it is, it is often something that you do not want to face or are trying to avoid.

Flying in a Dream

If you find yourself flying while dreaming, it could be a sign that you feel like you are in control of things. It may also indicate that you have a new perspective on life. Perhaps you feel like no one can defeat you. If you fly in your dreams, consider the different issues in your life. Look at your accomplishments and the things you are content with - your mind may be reminding you that you have good reason to feel proud.

For the rest of the twelve universal themes including being lost, ill, naked or haunted, see the Pittsburg Post-Gazette's article that describes some of the most common dreams and their meanings.

So what do dreams mean?

When trying to figure out what do dreams mean, you will often find many different interpretations. Some argue that dreams are your brain's way of solving problems while you sleep. Your subconscious goes to work while you slumber and tries to sort things out the things in your life that are worrying you. Others state that your brain takes bits and pieces from your various memories and patches them together. What you see as a result is a dream, or your brain's version of a movie.

Whether or not our brain is solving problems during the night can be debated. Many people do find that they are able to sort out problems or pinpoint troubles to which their dream refers. This may help you face a conflict or overcome a challenge at home or at work.

Next time you remember a dream, consider what happened during the day before. See if the ideas in your dreams suggest anything you can do to improve the current situation you face. The images and words in your dreams may just help you out in the rest of your life.

Also, have you ever had a dream where you felt you were awake and were somewhat able to control what happened in your dreams? You've experienced a Lucid Dream. Our experts answer 'what are lucid dreams' as well as how to control them!

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