Some nights you dream about a monster, then again about fire. Or you walk naked through the city: another strange dream. Often you ask yourself: What does my dream mean? Dream interpretation deals on the one hand with the symbolism, on the other hand with the Feelingsthat go hand in hand with the nocturnal images. Whether you look at the whole thing psychoanalytically or more soberly, it's always an interesting topic.
What is dream interpretation?
The interpretation of dreams dates back to ancient times. Later, psychoanalysts such as Freud and Jung dealt with dream interpretation. Ultimately, it involves the analysis of dream images and scenes. In Freud's time, dream interpretation had a great importance, especially in connection with repressed sexuality. In the meantime, psychologists and psychoanalysts proceed from unresolved, partial unconscious conflicts off.
Through dream interpretation, repressed problems are supposed to come to the surface. In modern times, psychoanalysts work together with patients on the interpretation. This is an important difference to Freud's dream symbolism and analysis from the outside.
The 20 most common dream symbols and their meanings
So what do the dreams mean? The following list with the 20 most common symbols will help you interpret dreams. However, many images are not unique and can be interpreted in different ways.
Flying: Those who can fly in their dreams may want to escape real-life conflicts. But possibly flying also stands for an intense feeling of freedom.
Fire: A fire in a dream can be a safe source of warmth, but also a destructive force. In addition, the fire often represents an inner transformation, a kind of renewal.
Water: Deep water or sea often symbolizes the unconscious. Some people are afraid of their subconscious - maybe something repressed wants to come out.
Snake: Many people see the snake as a phallic symbol and believe that it symbolizes sexual fantasies or fears.
Friends and relatives: Those who dream of familiar people often mean themselves. Because dreamers often recognize certain characteristics of themselves in other people.
Ex-partner: Dreams about the ex-partner can indicate that the partnership and the problems associated with it are not yet over.
Falling into the bottomless pit: If you constantly dream that you are falling into the bottomless pit, it can be a sign of serious problems, Fear from futility and depression.
Crashing: If a person crashes in your dream, you may be afraid of losing someone. Also, the suppressed feeling of a conflict situation with the person involved can trigger crashes in dreams.
Pregnancy: even men sometimes dream of being pregnant. This symbol represents the Hope on something new.
Driving a car: Whoever is behind the wheel has a certain power. But when the car can no longer be steered, the fear of losing control comes to the fore.
Persecution: Not only children dream that they have to flee from pursuers. According to dream interpretation, the pursuer symbolizes an unconscious, repressed element that wants to invade consciousness.
Darkness: In the darkness lurks the unknown. Thoughts and feelings are unclear. Fears and doubts can be better recognized and overcome in the light.
Death: Death is not always something frightening. Whoever dies in the dream may be facing a new beginning. Often other symbols like a coffin appear - these elements are crucial for the individual dream interpretation.
Nudity: Who is naked in the dream and therefore feels shame, feels exposed and vulnerable. However, nudity without embarrassing feelings can also stand for closeness to nature.
Teeth fall out: When teeth fall out in a dream, it is connected with worries and Fear of loss together. Insecurity and a lack of Self-confidence can trigger these dream images.
Toilet: Toilet dreams are quite common. In dream interpretation, the quiet little toilet stands for mental relief, i.e. for a psychological cleansing process.
Stairs: Stairs stand for a transition, for the way up or for a descent. Becoming aware, recognizing mistakes, discovering possibilities - this depends on the size of the staircase and the direction of the steps.
Forest: The forest is the symbol of the unconscious, of nature, but also of adventure.
Rat: The rat stands for organic diseases, but also for gnawing doubts.
Roads/Paths: The symbolism seems clear: roads and paths often refer to the path of life and to decisions - sometimes there are signposts.
How to better understand and interpret your dreams
The symbols are important for the interpretation of a dream - but they are not everything. If you want to interpret your dreams, you must first recognize the main motive. Are you ready for the unconscious? Perhaps you have not yet worked through a problem or have a Trauma displaced.
When you sleep and dream, your brain continues to work. At the same time, regeneration takes place. Perhaps you experience in a dream how your wishes come true. Or you prove yourself in a conflict and thus strengthen your self-confidence.
Dreams are more than just head movies. They help you to better recognize reality and also your own feelings.
How do you perceive the dream symbols? One of the things dream interpretation is about is to scrutinize your impressions. Maybe in your dream you turn off a wide road and walk along an overgrown path into the dark forest, because there is an adventure waiting for you. Or you fall down a slope, but you are not afraid. Then the fall does not mean loss of control, but it symbolizes a change.
The 8 most important dream interpretation methods
One method of dream interpretation is the psychological approach.
Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung are important representatives of psychoanalysis and focus on the desires that force themselves into consciousness in various forms.
Gestalt therapy is another way of interpreting dreams. Here, the dream contents become existential, scenic messages that can be re-enacted.
Meanwhile, sleep analysis often takes place in the laboratory: This is the technical methodology that dispenses with symbolic dream interpretation and precisely records the different sleep phases.
A fourth type of dream interpretation works with sleep interruptions. In one study, participants were asked to watch a movie at night and answer questions in the morning. This was to investigate the influence of dreams on memories.
How about a dream diary? Immediately after waking up, you enter your memories - for your own personal dream interpretations.
In client-centered psychotherapy, the focus is on the manifest dream content. Dream symbols, action and mood connect with each other and strengthen inner growth.
Daseinsanalyse assumes that the current mood influences dreams. The recognizable content connects the dream events with the real world and shows the dreamers how they can learn from their dreams.
The neuroscientific method is based on neuronal and cognitive brain processes. Unimportant behavioral forms have no relevance here, which would make dream interpretation unnecessary.
Why is dream interpretation important for your subconscious?
So is dreaming only a necessary break between the waking phases? This explanation is too simple for you - and too boring. You realize how your own dreams sometimes help you. Even if the interpretation of your dream images is sometimes difficult and confused, you want to know more about it.
What is the true meaning behind the dream symbols? There is something hidden that shows you the way. An unresolved problem, an inner conflict - if you decode the dream symbols, you will understand yourself better. You learn to formulate your own wishes and goals. In the dream you are much wiser - you want to take this feeling with you into reality.
Optimally, you can improve your creative and cognitive abilities through dream interpretation. Lucid dreams show you especially clearly what is possible.
Conclusion: Use dream meanings
Dreams are by no means just dreams - with an accurate dream interpretation you will learn a lot about your emotions and your mental states. Are you currently under stress? Then you may feel rushed by a pursuer in your dream. Are you facing a change? Then you are probably dreaming about stairs or pregnancy.
Recognize your own wishes better and use your creativity: Your dreams will help you. You can interpret your dream symbols yourself. Depending on the situation, you can also visit a sleep lab or a psychoanalyst.
Greator Meditation Challenge
We take you on an exciting journey: Five days, five meditations. Are you with us?