Common Dreams

It’s the end of the world. You’re running as fast as possible from the unknown entities chasing you. Suddenly the ground you are stepping on collapses, and you fall endlessly— only to find that everything is just a dream.

Dreams are images and stories created in our minds while we sleep. They can be fun, romantic, entertaining— and at times, frightening and disturbing. It’s just dreams, but why are you still thinking about them? What do these dreams mean?

Sometimes, dreams can cause anxiety and uncertainty in a person. That’s why it’s important to know the meaning behind your dreams and listen to what your subconscious tells you.

Common Dreams and Their Meanings

According to Eliza Boquin, a licensed psychotherapist, our body could experience what is happening in a dream. And it could take a few moments or hours before we get fully grounded in the present.

Dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg added that dreams are your subconscious thoughts. They are a continuation of your thoughts on your day and a universal human experience— meaning we can have the same dreams.

To help you unfold the meaning of your dreams, we have compiled the most common dreams people worldwide experience. Find out what your dreams mean below!

  1. Going about your regular day.

The number one most common dream is spending a normal day, doing normal routines like going to school, work, or cleaning your home. They can be boring dreams but still hold profound meanings. 

What does this mean?

Dreaming about normal real-life events can be surprisingly puzzling. Since our brains are limited to what we know, we cope with our stressors by reminiscing about how we spend our day-to-day life.

Maybe you went to bed thinking about everything you had to do the next day. Perhaps you’ve failed to do a routine and feel guilty about it. Analyze your dream and contemplate if this dream reflects the issues you currently have. 

Remember, creating dreams using our real-life sights and thoughts is common. Similar to what we call a Day’s Residue, or traces of memories and events that serve as raw materials in creating our dreams. 

  1. Hanging out with a celebrity.

In reality, the celebrities we admire or have watched are unapproachable. That’s why it can make you raise an eyebrow when Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, or your most admired celebrity makes a surprise guest appearance in your dream. Either they join you for lunch, or you’re caught dating them. 

It’s a thrilling and happy dream that leaves you feeling confused.

What does this mean?

There’s a reason your idols are hanging around your subconscious. It could be that there’s something about this person you admire or relevant to you. 

Have you watched a movie they’re in that completely relates to you? Or listened to their song that seems to be about your life?

When a celebrity does a cameo in your dream, that person can be a symbol or a representation of some aspect of your personality. They represent your feelings, opinions, thoughts, and worldview.

It could be that you long to express a part of yourself freely, like how these celebrities bravely bared their true selves to the world. Or want to achieve something and gain recognition for it.

  1. Your teeth are falling out. 

Your teeth falling out in a dream can be a nightmare and an agonizing experience. You might wonder what your subconscious is trying to tell you through this dream. Some cultures believe this dream can be a bad omen. However, in psychology, this dream is related to psychological stress.

What does this mean?

According to Healthline, a dream where your teeth fall out can represent personal loss. You might have lost a loved one, your job, or something you hold dearly— and you still can’t move on.

Or are you an anxious person? Famous psychologist, William Braun, says that this dream could be deep-rooted anxiety coming in the form of a dream. You might be concerned about your strength, competence, power, or ability to face the world. He added that dreaming of your teeth falling out might indicate that a change or transition will come to your life.

  1. You’re being chased.

Dreams of being chased by known or unknown entities can lead you to wake up catching your breath. According to Carl Jung, in his book Man and His Symbols, dreams of being chased tend to be symbolic rather than representative. They might represent a part of yourself or inner turmoil you are not addressing.

What does this mean?

William Braun suggested that it all depends on who or what is chasing you. Often, we dream of being chased by monsters. The monster may symbolize an addiction, a debt, or an indiscretion.

However, if you are being chased by a person you know, it could mean another. But it’s important to note that when giving meaning to this dream, you must consider your association with this person, not the actual person.

Is this person chasing you a friend? Or someone you are on bad terms with? Always keep in mind that people in our dreams can be the manifestation of aspects of ourselves. 

When you are being chased in your dream, it could mean that you are avoiding something in your waking life. Carl Jung suggested that instead of continuously escaping away, face the pursuer and never resist it. As stated in his book:

The best action would be: “Please, come and devour me!”

Working with such a dream in the analysis means familiarizing people with the thought that they should by no means resist when this element faces them.

The Other within us becomes a bear or a lion because we made it into that. Once we accept this, it becomes something else.

  1. You are flying.

Flying in your dream can mean many things. Some will find flying a joyful experience— liberating them from their miseries. While for some, it is a dream of anxiety and uncertainty— when they fall or fail to fly.

The variations of flying dreams are sizable and include flying in a vast, clear sky, flight in vehicles, flying over a body of water, and flying happily or terrified.

What does this mean?

According to Carl Jung, a dream of flight can compensate for the deficiencies of our personality. And at the same time, it can warn us of dangers in our present course.

Jung added that the psyche utilizes the dream to achieve balance. Dreamers may experience flying dreams— when here in the physical world, they are chained by problems in their daily life. Flight may mean one’s desire to be free of them.

For Sigmund Freud, this type of dream connects to a more literal sense of overcoming gravity. Freud suggested that dreams of flight may be linked to childhood experiences of being rocked by an adult or being playfully thrown into the air.

Moreover, modern analysis of dreams connects positive dreams of flight with the dreamer’s desire for freedom. The brain is attempting to find ways to free the person from their problems, thus resulting in a dream of flying.

As a symbol, flying is associated with freedom. Likewise, flying in a dream is considered a symbol of freedom in your being. It indicates that you are free from any boundaries and can be whoever you want and go wherever you want.

  1. Failing your exam.

Exams are one cause of anxiety for students. And for some, despite having left school for a long time, they still dream of taking an exam and end up failing it. In this dream, you experience many hindrances. Either your pen stops working, you’re running out of time, or you forget everything you’ve learned.

Many dream experts agree that failing an exam in your dreams mirrors your life’s anxieties.

What does this mean?

According to Lauri Loewenberg, this type of dream is usually associated with work. School is our first work, and taking exams might represent big challenges in our current workplace.

Whether it’s evaluation time, you’re trying to land a deal, or you aim for promotion— you feel tested and have to prove yourself. 

It’s important to analyze your feelings. Are you afraid before the exam? Or do you feel like you lack preparation? 

Failing an exam in your dream means that there’s something you’re anxious about something in your waking life, and you don’t want to fail that thing or lose the opportunity.

The takeaway is to remember that you can overcome everything and achieve anything you aspire to achieve as long as you put in the time and effort.

  1. Embarrassing yourself in public.

One situation we are afraid of and don’t want to be in—  is embarrassing ourselves in public. It’s much better to experience any bizarre things, but to embarrass yourself in public? Most of us will say that it’s much better to die.

Embarrassing dreams push us to explore our insecurities and tell us to leave our comfort zone. And they can be manifestations of our hidden self that wants to break free from society’s standards.

What does this mean?

To dream of embarrassing yourself in public represents your feelings of failure and disappointment. You might lack self-confidence and continue to walk on eggshells, afraid the world will judge you.

You might be afraid people will find out about your weakness and flaws; that’s why you do your best to conceal your true self. You worry too much about what others will think of you.

The embarrassment you feel during the dream represents your barriers. You want to be true to yourself, but your fear is greater than the self-belief you have. You feel guilty and blame yourself for suppressing your emotions.

The message is for you to listen to your inner self. Let go of your fears and accept who you are. You’ll always get good and bad from the world, so do not seek validation from others. 

This is easier said than done, but small practices of self-appreciation and gradual expression of your true self can lead you to greater heights.

  1. Dreaming of Ghosts and Monsters

Shadows and dark entities visiting or pursuing us in a dream can make us feel afraid at the mere thought of sleeping. For thousands of years, interpretations of this dream were deeply engraved in our minds. 

Some believe that dreaming of ghosts and monsters is not a dream but memory fragments of our real encounters with them. Other cultures, on the other hand, believe that dreaming about otherworldly creatures means that they have unfinished business with you. 

But in psychology, dreaming about ghosts and monsters instead of supernatural reasons mirrors aspects of yourself.

What does this mean?

Dreaming about ghost and monsters represent your fear of the unknown. You might be afraid of the future and anxious about what’s yet to happen. Or you got so comfortable in your comfort zone that you are afraid of change and growth. 

It’s an instinct for humans to want control over each aspect of their life because it gives us security. But in reality, it is only ourselves that we have control over.

It’s a waste of time to be anxious about the future. Instead, focus your attention on improving yourself and achieving your goals. It’s time for you to face your negative emotions.

  1. Dreaming about snakes.

Lauri Loewenberg says snakes are the third most common animal people dream of. Dreaming about snakes has negative and positive connotations for different cultures. Some consider snakes as harbingers of misfortune. While for others, snakes are a symbol of luck, wealth, and prosperity.

What does this mean?

A snake biting or chasing you in your dream might mean that you have a person in your circle that is likely to betray you. Or that you’re in a toxic situation or relationship that you have to remove yourself from.

Nevertheless, there’s a positive meaning to this dream. If the snake is not harming you, you’re in for a change. 

The way snakes shed their skin represents transformation and rebirth. It means you will enter a new season, completely changing your life.

  1. You are cheating on your partner.

Cheating on your partner in a dream can be alarming and make you feel guilty. But you don’t have to punish yourself for having this dream. This dream is purely symbolic and has little to do about infidelity. 

What does this mean?

According to Eliza Boquin, these dreams are created in your mind because you doubt your partner’s loyalty. Or that you are anxious about the safety of your relationship. You might also be afraid that you’re not deserving of your relationship.

Betrayals can happen in many forms. You might feel your partner is prioritizing someone or something else before you. Or that both of you need to be more transparent with each other.

Because of this, your subconscious tries to process the situation and tells you to face the issues you’re unwilling to address when you’re awake.

Your dreams tell you that something needs to be corrected in your relationship. The answer here is to strengthen your communication with your partner.

  1. Going out naked.

You are the center of attention in your dream, but not for a good reason. You realize that everyone is laughing at you who’s naked in public.

Like your dreams of embarrassing yourself in public, a dream of nakedness indicates your inner turmoils— or strength.

What does this mean?

Nakedness often represents your insecurities. Seeing yourself naked in your dream might signify that you fear revealing your insecurities. Or you’re afraid that you might get exposed. 

You might have experienced pretending to be someone just to be accepted, and you’re afraid that your true face will be unveiled.

This can also mean that you fear betrayal, rejection, and embarrassment. Being naked means you’re vulnerable and don’t want that to happen.

Despite this, there’s still a positive connotation to this dream. Nakedness can also mean that you have nothing to hide and are not afraid of showing your real self. It means that you’re true and honest.

  1.  You’re falling endlessly.

Falling into the unknown is a scary experience. Especially when you’re enveloped by darkness and your fall seems to have no end. You’re frantic to grab something to hold on to before you hit bottom, and terror consumes you. 

Dreams of falling can be associated with feelings of losing control and anxiety.

What does this mean?

The dream of falling symbolizes the fear of failure and of giving up control. Falling in your dreams means that some fear is ruling over your mind.

Falling can also mean a decline in your personal growth and status. There may be obstacles blocking your progress and leading you to fail your pursuits. 

A dream involving flying and falling can be interpreted as a desperate attempt to break free from fears. It is difficult to overcome fears; maybe the dream indicates you are tired of fighting them. It is time to take a break and be easy on yourself.

  1.  Dream of dying.  

Have you watched yourself on your deathbed?  Or you might have attended your funeral. Dreaming about death can give you a feeling of impending doom or cause you to fear the future. 

But worry not! Dreaming about death doesn’t mean that you or your loved ones will die. 

What does this mean? 

Dreams symbolically speak to us, so it’s crucial not to take everything literally. Instead, look at the elements of your dreams. The details from your dream can offer you more insight.

The person who died in your dream is significant. If it’s you, it might indicate that something within yourself is dying or being neglected. It could be a negative habit or a positive characteristic.

If you die a violent death in your dream, your subconscious might tell you to slow down and be careful in your everyday life. If it’s a peaceful passing, then it must be that you’re moving on from something that has a great part in your life.

  1.  Showing up late.

We have this dream where we have enough time to prepare but still end late for a reason we can’t point out. It’s a dream, but we still feel bad about not being able to show up early.

What does this mean?

Dreams about being late are acknowledged as anxiety dreams. They represent a person’s significant stress or worry about something in their waking life. They can also represent life goals you’re so worried about achieving.  Or there are aspects of your life you want to change but are afraid of stepping out of. 

This dream can indicate that you are suffering from the weight of an expectation you feel you cannot meet. The lateness mirrors your fear of not being able to reach the level expected of you.

Or you often ask yourself how long you can keep meeting people’s expectations until you disappoint them.

  1. Arguing with someone.

An ancient saying says a minute of patience is much better than an eternity of agony.  While this is true most of the time, this mantra also has its downside.

Let’s admit it. Most of us fear confrontations and arguments.

You, oh so, value peace to the point you’re robbing yourself of peace. You let your pent-up anger and disappointments build up to the point they haunt you in your dreams.

What does this mean?

A heated argument with someone can be refreshing in your dream but overwhelming in real life. Most of the time, you let everything slide because you’re afraid of hurting someone’s feelings.

But your subconscious is telling you that this is not the right path!

When you argue with someone in a dream, you hide your feelings and have unresolved issues with someone in your waking life. Feelings of anger and revolt towards a person or a situation normally trigger this dream.

So the key here is to communicate your resentments and let your feelings out.

  1. Committing a crime.

The world is against you, and you’re escaping from the authorities. It’s either you robbed a bank or murdered someone. It can be extremely unsettling to wake up from a dream where you are the perpetrator of a crime.

What does this mean?

According to dream psychologist Ian Wallace, dreaming about a crime usually stems from an unconscious feeling you’re keeping from yourself. From burying an old thought to suppressing memories, these inner feelings could be positive, negative, or neutral.

The crime you have committed in your dream represents a decision you have made in your waking life. Or maybe you chose to set aside your individual needs in the hope of society’s acceptance.

  1. Public Speaking.

You just went to sleep a few minutes ago, but then you find yourself standing on a podium— with hundreds of people anticipating your speech.

But before you embarrass yourself, you are pulled back to reality, and thank heavens that it’s all just a dream!

However, you can’t escape the fate of public speaking all the time.

What does this mean?

Seventy-five percent of our population has Glossophobia or the fear of public speaking. Some individuals may feel slightly nervous at public speaking, but it is a nightmare for others.

A dream of speaking in public usually signifies how you perceive speaking in front of others. Sometimes it might represent how you’re afraid of expressing yourself, especially if you have an upcoming speech. Perhaps you fear that you’ll be scrutinized or judged for sharing your thoughts.

Your dream is telling you not to be afraid of speaking your mind. It means you have to express yourself now and let your emotions loose. You never know; maybe you’ll be able to inspire others or change someone’s life.

  1. Becoming famous.

At some point in our life, we have dreamed of becoming famous. We are curious about the glamorous lives of celebrities and think of what will happen if we live in glitter and fame too.

Dreaming of becoming famous represents our desires and the need for recognition. It can also indicate our fate as we reach our aspirations. 

What does this mean?

To be someone famous in your dream indicates that you will achieve something important. It means you’ll prove your worth and capabilities to tell people that you deserve the recognition. The risks you’ll take to achieve your goals will come back to you in the form of success. Becoming famous in your dream means achieving what you dream of and desire.

Your dream tells you that you have to begin utilizing the potential that you have. Only by putting in the effort can you achieve the result.

Final Thoughts

Dreams, as fascinating as they are, matter. We might shrug our shoulders at our dreams each time we wake up, but doing so might lead to lost opportunities.

You might miss the chance to get to know yourself more. You might miss the chance to communicate with your subconscious. Or lose the opportunity of tapping into your higher self. 

There’s nothing bad about interpreting your dreams as long as you perceive them as a guide rather than a whole indicator of your fate.

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