What Do Your Dreams Mean?

What Do Your Dreams Mean?

September 17, 2019 9 By Ronny Jaskolski


What Do Your Dreams Mean? The human brain can be hard to decipher sometimes. This couldn’t be more true when it comes
to trying to uncover the potential meanings behind our dreams.When you go to sleep, your
mind starts playing out a personalized story in your head, one that is often abstract and
full of confusing or contradicting imagery. As strange as our dreams may be, it may surprise
you to learn that a lot of the dreams people experience actually share common threads and
themes among multiple individuals. In a 2003 study of the dreams of Canadian
University Students, Tore A. Nielsen and other researchers discovered a number of recurring
themes and images that cropped up more commonly in the participants’ dreams than others. But what do these dream themes mean? Before we continue, it would make our dreams
come true if you chose to subscribe to Bestie, and be sure to ring the notification bell
to stay up to date on our daily videos and content. In the 2003 Canadian Study, researchers distributed
a questionnaire consisted of 55 questions to Canadian Students, asking them to report
on topics, subjects and experiences that they remember having dreams about in the past. After tallying the results, the researchers
found that a significantly large number of students reported having experienced similar
dreams at one point or another. Among both male and female students who participated
in the questionnaire, over 60 percent were able to recount dreams about being chased,
dreams about falling, and dreams about being in school or studying. What’s more, the researchers also came to
the conclusion that individual participants in the questionnaire often had patterns of
thematic throughlines that occurred throughout multiple dreams they experienced. For example, if you had dreams about being
naked in public as well as dreams in which you can’t find a washroom, the chances are
you might be struggling with feelings of personal embarrassment. In this case, we see two different types of
dreams that appear to be motivated and driven by the same underlying theme or emotion. Of course, some types of dreams aren’t as
immediately apparent in their meanings as others, and when dealing with something as
strange and cryptic as the unconscious mind, there’s always going to be a lot of room
for debate, speculation and interpretation. If you dream about falling, is that just your
subconscious brain expressing your fear of heights? Or is there something deeper at play here? Just for fun, let’s take a look at some
of the most common dreams according to this 2003 survey, and see what experts in the field
of dream analysis have to say about them. Dreams About Falling Have you ever had a dream in which you were
falling from a great height, only to suddenly jerk yourself awake with enough force that
you practically fling yourself out of bed? According to the 2003 questionnaire, dreams
about falling were one of the most common types of dream reported, but they could have
more cause behind them than just a simple fear of skydiving. According to the Dream Dictionary, researchers
say that the average person will have more than 5 falling related dreams over the course
of their lifetime. So what makes this particular genre of dreaming
so unusually common? In some cases, the reason you dream about
falling might actually be more biology than psychology. As we drift off and go to sleep after a long
day, our bodies briefly enter a transitional state between being awake and being asleep,
known as the “hypnagogic state”. When we enter this state, our brain may interpret
the feeling of our muscles relaxing as the sensation of falling, causing our bodies to
violently “twitch” awake in what’s known as a hypnagogic jerk. According to one hypothesis, this involuntary
response could be a holdover from our pre-evolutionary days as tree-dwelling primates, when falling
asleep at the wrong place or time could result in a very real fall for our ancient ancestors. That might not be the only possible cause
for this phenomenon, however. In her interview with the Huffington Post,
Dr. Cathleen O’Connor suggests that if you commonly experience dreams about falling,
it may indicate that you’re experiencing what feels like a loss of control in your
waking life, whether it be related to work, finances, relationships, or even your physical
health. If that is indeed the case, O’Connor goes
on to suggest that rather than fight against these falling dreams, you should instead try
to embrace them. According to O’Connor: “If dreams of falling bring up feelings of
vulnerability and fear, realize that the goal is not to avoid them but rather to work with
those dreams in your waking state to deal with the fears around the situation so you
can regain your balance.” The next time you have a dream about falling,
think long and hard about what might have triggered it. The answer might not be as obvious as you’d
expect. Dreams About Being Chased How often do you have nightmares in which
something is chasing or pursuing you? In the 2003 questionnaire, dreams about being
chased weren’t simply among the most popular dreams shared among participants– they were
at the very top of the list! With dreams about being chased being such
a common shared experience, there should be an equally common experience that would trigger
them when we go to sleep, right? According to psychotherapist Richard Nicoletti,
dreaming about being chased might be your mind denoting the fact that you are trying
to avoid something. If that sounds a little on the nose, Nicoletti
also says to pay attention to just what exactly is chasing you in these dreams. Is it a man? A woman? An animal? Maybe you can’t even see what’s chasing
you in your dreams; all you know is that something is behind you that you feel a desperate need
to get away from. The nature of what’s chasing you in your
dreams may be able to provide some insight into what you’re running from in real life;
whether it’s a painful memory, an uncomfortable situation, or even your own emotions. According to Nicoletti, a dream about being
chased might be intended as a subliminal wake-up call, a sign that it’s time for you to stop
running in the real world and confront whatever it is you’ve been trying to avoid for so
long. Dreams About School In the United States and Canada, children
and teens can expect to spend at least 11 years within the school system, so it stands
to reason that the topic of education would weigh heavily on our subconscious minds. In addition to the 2003 survey, another study
conducted in 2014 determined that dreams about being in school ranked among the top five
most frequent categories for dreaming, even among adults who have been out of school for
decades. What’s more, people who have dreams about
being back in school rarely describe it as a positive experience: being late for class,
lost in the school’s hallways or unprepared for a quiz or test are all common occurrences
that people recount in their dreams about schooling. So what is it about these school-related dreams
that makes them persist for so long, potentially even years and years after we’ve long since
graduated? According to Michael R. Olsen, an expert on
the topic of dreams and unconscious intelligence, dreams related to school can potentially have
something to do with your own feelings of identity. On his blog, Olsen writes: “Our time in school has great influence
on the shaping of our personality – there are many ‘rules’ locked in for how to
think and behave, not least the ‘rules’ on how to think about ourselves.” Olsen goes on to say that the different aspects
of school life represented in the dream might also be related to different facets of your
identity. He suggests that your relationship with teachers
in your dream might reflect your current relationship with other figures of authority, and the classmates
within your school dreams could have something to do with aspects of your personality that
you might not be completely in touch with at the moment. Olsen strongly encourages people who experience
school-related dreams to pay attention to whatever memorable details emerge from them,
and to pay attention to what age you are presented as in your school dreams, as the dream could
be representative of a specific moment or time period in your early formative life. Dreaming can be a strange experience, full
of abstract thoughts, images and ideas that might not always appear to make a whole lot
of sense. However, by unpacking and analyzing certain
aspects of our dreams, it is possible to theorize and develop hypothesis on what some of the
imagery from our dreams could potentially be alluding to. And by looking at what recurring themes and
aspects of dreams appear most commonly across multiple dreamers, we can potentially hope
to find a common throughline that links the themes of these dreams together, bringing
us one step closer to deciphering the overall meaning. If you’ve ever experienced any of the types
of dreams we’ve covered here, then we hope that this new information was able to possibly
shed some insight on what your brain might be trying to tell you. Until next time, sweet dreams! What do you think about the dreams we discussed
here? Would you be interested in more videos on
this topic in the future? If so, be sure to let us know in the comments. If you happen to know anyone who might find
this video interesting, be sure to share it with them as well!