Life may be just a dream, but how do we interpret it? What we dream at night can give us clues about what is important to us in waking life. Dreams help us to process our conscious thoughts and can give us new and important insights into the problems and challenges we face in the world. Although we may have strange and unusual dreams, there are a number of common dreams that many of us experience over and over again. Read the interpretations below for an explanation of symbols that seem to appear frequently in dreams.
1. Faulty or lost items: your phone won’t work, your car breaks down, or you can’t find your husband.
This dream is alerting you to areas of your life that need repair or extra care right now. You may want to slow down and pay more attention to the realm of life indicated. For example, if you dream of your phone not working, notice how you are communicating to others now. Are you doing everything you can to get your message across in a positive way? If not, you may want to tune up this area of your life.
2. Money: you received a windfall, or you lost your savings in the stock market.
Money in dreams symbolizes what you value or find important in life. If you dream of suddenly receiving a sum of money, this indicates that you are at a time in your life when your values are becoming very clear to you. If you have dreams of losing money, you may be experiencing a time of feeling separated from your sense of meaning in life. Try to explore what has been important to you in the past to see if your values have changed or altered over time.
3. You find yourself back in the classroom, or you’ve failed a test.
This dream indicates that there is a challenge in your life and you fear failing. It also can mean that you may feel that you have regressed in some way and are not up to the task currently at hand. You may also feel judged or tested by an authority figure or someone who is in charge of you in some way.
4. You or a loved one is ill or dying.
You may be approaching a time of great change when some parts of your life are falling away and disappearing. This dream is helping you to practice the feelings of loss that you may be having as the elements of your life or your relationships with others change and evolve. It is rare that this dream forecasts an actual death or illness, but it still might be a good idea to get a checkup or pay extra attention to your health now.
5. Being chased.
Being chased in a dream indicates that you may be feeling you have a lot of responsibilities that you are having a hard time keeping up with. This dream is often known as a “stress dream,” indicating that its presence is a sign to try to relax and slow down.
6. Teeth, you’re smiling with nice, clean teeth, or your teeth are breaking off or forming cavities.
Teeth represent time, stability, and maturity. The state of the teeth in your dream will give important clues as to what your relationships and feelings are related to these important life themes.
Dreams where you or someone else appears nude relate to feelings of being exposed or vulnerable in waking life. You may currently be having an experience where everyone else seems to know about your problems and issues, and you are having a hard time processing your situation privately.
8. Falling, flying, or sinking.
Changing direction, either going up or down in a dream, indicates where your awareness is in waking life. Dreams of falling or sinking symbolize a time of being more aware of your unconscious mind and deepest innermost thoughts, feelings, and memories. Dreams of flying indicate that you are exploring your conscious mind at this time or connecting to the realm of spirits, angels, and other energetic beings.
Water in dreams is a sign that a certain emotional situation or experience is of importance in your life. Now is a good time to pay particular attention to your feelings and the realm of the imagination, dreams, and fantasies. The condition or state of the water will give clues as to the exact nature of your experience. Hurricanes and storms can indicate more challenging emotional situations, and on the opposite side, gentle streams and lakes indicate a more calm and peaceful emotional state or even a love or romantic connection.
10. Missing a boat, plane, bus, etc.
Transportation vehicles in dreams symbolize the ability to move and act in the world. They represent our will, desire, and skill at accomplishing and manifesting our dreams and goals. When one of these vehicles is missing, it can mean that we are having a hard time finding the motivation to act and move in the world. We may need to reconnect with what drives or propels us into creatively manifesting our dreams.
Developing the skill to interpret and make the most of your dream messages is an easy and enjoyable process and can be done by just about anyone.
Quick Tips to Interpret and Benefit from Your Dreams:
1. Keep a dream journal near your bed to record your dreams.
2. Read through your journal once a week and underline repeating dream symbols, terms, people, and themes that arise.
3. Use the guide above to track your current emotional state and life issues, and notice the patterns and timing of their evolution.
4. Try to identify any dream symbols (cars, teeth, water) that appear in your waking life, noticing which appear with greater frequency and the nature of your interaction with these symbols. Is there any overlap between your waking and dreaming life?