Whether we're losing our teeth, falling from a tall building, or being chased by a vicious attacker, at some point, we all have dreams that may seem absurd. But according to many psychologists, the mental pictures we conjure while we're asleep can speak volumes about our waking hopes and fears. Read on to find out what your dreams could mean.

6 Common Dreams

Although every dreamer is unique, there are several widespread themes that suggest common interpretations.

  • Being Chased.

    According to experts, chase sequences usually symbolize stress and may be your subconscious way of coping with it. The person chasing you may represent someone in your life, or even a part of yourself.
  • Falling.

    If you imagine yourself falling from a tall building or cliff, you're probably feeling insecure and overwhelmed. The act of falling may represent a loss of control or a fear of failure.
  • Losing Your Teeth.

    Whether they're falling out slowly or all at once, losing your teeth usually symbolizes anxiety over appearance and/or aging, psychologists say. Alternatively, these dreams may represent extreme embarrassment or a fear that someone's being dishonest with you.
  • Flying.

    If you can soar through the sky like Superman, it generally means that you're confident, in control, and feeling powerful. If you're having difficulty staying in flight, it may mean you're having trouble achieving your goals.
  • Taking a Test.

    It's not uncommon for adults to dream about sitting in a classroom with a number-two pencil and trying to beat the clock. Not surprisingly, these dreams usually represent anxiety about being scrutinized and a fear that you won't make the grade in life.
  • Being Naked.

    It may sound strange, but many of us dream about showing up for work in the nude (even stranger, our coworkers might not seem to notice). These dreams may represent a sense of shame or the fear of being exposed. If you're feeling exhilarated, however, your nudity may symbolize total freedom.


10 Dream-Interpretation Tips

To start interpreting your dreams, follow these guidelines from the Dreams Foundation, a nonprofit organization operating in collaboration with the Dream and Nightmare Research Library.

  1. Colors can mean many different things. For example, black can depict guilt, white can mean purity, and green can suggest healing.

  2. Directions often have hidden meanings. Forward generally represents the future, whereas backward or behind usually symbolizes the past. To the right often points to logical reasoning while the left suggests emotional or artistic aspects.

  3. Darkness, or being underground, symbolizes the unconsciousness or subconscious; light symbolizes awareness or awakening.

  4. Your viewpoint or perspective in a dream can be extremely telling. If you appear as yourself throughout your dream, you may have a fixed character. The other most common perspective is third person, in which you watch the dream from an audience viewpoint. This may indicate that you are removed and not experiencing the feelings and emotions being played out.

  5. The setting of a dream often provides a link to the aspect of your life the dream relates to. Deserts symbolize a lack of feeling or emotion and generally mean the dreamer has not paid attention to some aspect of his or her feelings. Oceans represent the vast stretches and depths of the dreamer's soul.

  6. Powerful weather, such as hurricanes and thunderstorms, generally symbolize powerful emotions and change.

  7. The type of room you are in suggests the size of your ego. For example, a kitchen or dining room symbolizes self-nourishment, while the garage symbolizes action or achievement.

  8. Dreams often deal with aspects of the human body. Hands are our tools for creation and work in the world; feet may describe the dreamer's current life path. Skin, in general, represents feelings and emotional challenges.

  9. Animals embody strong character aspects, especially of an instinctive or emotional nature. For example, birds symbolize freedom and increased awareness.

  10. Elements that transformfrom one thing to another in a dream could be pointing to a connection between the two elements. For example, objects of distorted size may mean that the dreamer's perspective is as it would have been at a different age.