Unpleasant as they may be, nightmares are an essential part of dreaming. While our more enjoyable dreams are spurred by wishes and desires, nightmares are a manifestation of other common feelings like stress and anxiety. However, like many dreams, nightmares are not as straight forward as they seem.
Within the hazy realm of nightmares, a cigar is never a cigar. Dreams are categorically symbolic, and the images within them should never be accepted for their face value. If you interpret them as such, you’re likely to miss the important issues your subconscious may be trying to convey.
Having a dream about natural disaster or particularly exasperating car trouble doesn’t necessarily represent a fear of these events actually taking place. More often than not, these nightmares reflect your inner feelings toward a pressing predicament in your waking-life. So read on for more info on 10 common nightmares we experience, and simple ways to address the frightening feelings that are vividly iterated within your dreams.
10: Feeling Lost or Trapped
Unlike most of the nightmares on this list, this dream is very direct and simple to analyze. Feeling trapped or lost in a dream indicates a concern of being lost or trapped into a certain situation or position in your waking life. Are others pressuring you into doing something? Do you feel as though you’ve been lost in the shuffle of things, or you’ve run out of options?
Realize this dream is a direct warning to your internal concerns, and it should be a cue to consciously address these feelings before it’s too late. Otherwise, you may start having this next type of nightmare.
9: Falling or Drowning
Do you feel like you’re in over your head? Maybe you’re caving under the pressure of a certain task or duty. These anxious feelings will most likely result in a dream of you falling or drowning. Dreams revolving around a continuous fall or drowning demonstrate an internalized anxiety about a situation or task at hand. The emotions they evoke can range from loss of control to exhilaration. Your specific reaction in this nightmare will likely mirror your reaction to certain circumstances in reality.
This is also a perfect opportunity to engage in lucid dreaming. If you know you have this dream often, you can resolve these falling and drowning anxieties by realizing it’s all a dream, and then willing yourself to control it. Instead of falling or drowning, tell yourself to fly or swim. After all, it is your dream, and within it you can do whatever you please.
8: Machine or Phone Malfunction
Did you call someone in your dream, only to have it ring endlessly without anyone to answer? Did your computer’s hard drive crash while you were in the middle of writing a paper? While these are not particularly terrifying nightmares, to some, a crashed hard drive can be just as devastating as crashed car.
Malfunctions with technology, especially communicative technologies, may mean you are failing to reach out to someone on an emotional level. Have you lost touch with a good friend? Is there a disconnect or barrier forming between yourself and a loved one? If this is a common nightmare of yours, take the time to evaluate your relationships and identify key areas that need to be mended.
7: Being Naked or Inappropriately Dressed in Public
Whether experienced in reality or in dreams, being caught in the midst of a natural disaster is an unquestionably horrific experience. Significantly disturbing dreams, like this one, will always contain substantial meanings, and nightmares of disaster speak volumes about your current state of mind.
Usually, a catastrophe dream alludes to feelings of disaster looming in your waking life. You might feel as though you cannot survive whatever turmoil or dilemma you’re currently challenged with, and instead are lost in the cataclysmic wreckage left in the wake your dream-disaster. If you tend to have a disaster dream, examine what exactly you are feeling overwhelmed or defeated about, and rationally address the issue.
5: Poor Test Performance