Bad dreams are the worst. You go to bed hoping to let go of whatever difficulties were happening in your daily life, and then you have a nightmare or anxiety dream that leaves you feeling even more stressed than when you first laid down for the night. But, make no mistake, dreams can be a great way to tap into your emotional well-being, and they might just be trying to tell you something about your waking life. A few of the most common stress dreams may just indicate there's something going on in your life that you need to pay a little more attention to.
Of course, it's always important to point out that dreams are absolutely up for personal interpretation, and are by no means a one-size-fits-all sort of thing. For the most part, the feelings that a particular dream may spark might be the most important thing to pay attention to, as well as what the particular dream symbols mean in your waking life. For example, while a dream about snakes might freak me out big time, to you, you might see them in a dream and think they're just cool or interesting, rather than frightening. See what I mean?
But hey, if we all started to feel just a little more comfortable in the realm of our own subconscious, it might do some really positive things for us while we're awake. So, here are some interpretations of common stress dreams you might be having that might offer you a starting point to tap into what's really going on with you.
1. Your Teeth Are Falling Out
Ah, a true classic, and yet it can take so many different forms. You bite into something, and somehow your tooth gets left behind. You look in the mirror, and you notice you've got a wiggly tooth. Or, the worst version, all your teeth just kind of shatter for no apparent reason. What could all of this mean?
Some speculate dreams about losing your teeth could represent loss in general, or more specifically, the process of "releasing the old to give place to the new." And that's not all bad, right?
2. You've Been Consumed By A Tidal Wave
This one is said to be connected very closely to your own emotional well-being, as water is interpreted to be symbolic of your emotions. A tidal wave might indicate that you're in the midst of a difficult change, or even a new relationship that's filling you with all the feels.
It can also mean you might be procrastinating on something big that you just need to get done.
3. Your House Is On Fire
OK, this sounds super bleak, but one time, I had a dream that my house was on fire. I woke up — in the dream, that is — and decided I was simply too tired to try to get outside and escape the flames.
At the time I had that dream, I happened to be working at a job I did not care for, and it was really stressful. Apparently, a dream about your home erupting in flames can be an indication that you need to slow down, because your life is totally overloaded. If you've had this dream yourself lately, take a moment for a bit of self-reflection, and consider any changes you might need to make if your life feels a bit too hectic.
4. You've Lost Your Car
Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, dream expert and author of Dream On It: Unlock Your Dreams, Change Your Life, told Dr. Oz that dreaming about losing your car might be connected to your own uncertainty or lack of motivation in real life. If your wheels represent your "drive," so to speak, it might mean that your motivation to continue on with something is waning.
Ask yourself if there are any circumstances in your life that you no longer feel passionate about or motivated to work on, and go from there.
5. You're Being Chased
Ugh, these dreams are the worst, aren't they? This common stress dream is, indeed, said to stem from anxiety in real life. More specifically, it may indicate a situation in your waking life that you're ignoring or running away from for one reason or another. Maybe you have to confront a family member about something that has you really worried for their well-being, or perhaps you're struggling financially just as the bills are due.
Whatever it is, as tough as it will be to face the problem head-on, think about how much better you'll feel, and how much more soundly you'll sleep, once you resolve the issue.
6. You're At War
Literally, you're on the battlefield in your dream, which is pretty much never a good place to be, right? Well, people have speculated that this dream could mean a few different things, not the least of which is some kind of major inner conflict, or quite literally a problem you're having with someone or something in real life.
This dream might also mean that you need to be more aggressive about something in your waking life, and all those fighting feelings inside you need an outlet for expression. Let it out, girl!
7. You've Jumped Off A Bridge
Have you ever been standing on the edge of a bridge in a dream, and for whatever reason, your dream self decided to take the plunge? It could mean you're actively trying to sabotage your own success.
Again, friends, take all of this with a nice, hearty grain of salt. There's no clear-cut interpretation that fits every single person's dream, but if you ask me, it's never a bad idea to examine your dreams and see what connections, if any, you can draw to your real life. At the very least, it'll teach you a little more about yourself and how your mind and imagination seem to work. Time to crack open that dream journal, eh?